There's a particular agony that one experiences while listening to a CONCORA performance when one longs to be participating in it* ... but inevitably the agony is transformed to ecstasy as soon as the singing begins.
I experienced this transformation on Sunday afternoon, when CONCORA performed its final concert of the 2008-2009 season, its “Sonic Spectacular,” a luscious program of resonant music for two choirs and two organs. (For more information about the program for this concert, you may read my “preview” posts; they’re indexed here in Quodlibet under the tag “CONCORA Sonic Spectacular.” The index is below and to the right.)
From my seat in the balcony at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, I was able to enjoy the entire visual and aural spectacle of this French-tinged "Sonique Spectaculaire." Every moment, and every shade of sonic color, from whisper to thunder, was thrilling. Each musician – all the singers, David Westfall and Jason Charneski at the organ consoles, and CONCORA’s Artistic Director Richard Coffey on the podium – sang and played and conducted with complete commitment and confidence…and not a little sense of abandon, at just the right moments. I was moved to tears several times. I found myself on the edge of my seat, breathing along with my colleagues on the chancel steps. I felt tremendous pride in their individual achievement and their collective artistry.
As usual, Rick designed a stunning program, and CONCORA’s virtuosic, sensitive singing of this complex and challenging music will be in my "tunes-be-gone" index for quite a while.
My husband Dennis, who sang with the contingent of men from The Hartford Chorale who joined CONCORA in two selections, is taking great satisfaction in reminding me that he sang with CONCORA on Sunday and I didn't. But as I've said before, the next best thing to singing with CONCORA is hearing CONCORA perform.
You can read The Hartford Courant’s great review HERE.
* Not all CONCORA singers perform in every concert.