Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tokyo Cathedral and Schütz Choir - 東京カテドラルとシュッツ合唱団


On the 19th, a friend of mine invited me to Schutz Choirs’ Requiem Gathering, and I went to Tokyo Cathedral after a break of a few tens of years. Essentially, I don’t much appreciate this cathedral because the reverbration is excessive and the form of its interior is simply inorganic, but I had heard that they renewed the organ, and I was interested in visiting once again.
The event was annual for the condolence of some people died in the year, and this time Bach’s motet No. 227 “Jesu, meine Freude” was the only familiar music for me. The Choir sang in front of us but the voices cames from all directions with reverbrations, and you might wonder they are up above somewhere. Positively speaking, this sense of floating is a good feature of this cathedral.

The most impressive was Dvorak’s “Bible Songs” for tenor and organ. Zeger Vandersteene looked quite old, but the quality of his voice still belonged to those in the premium class tenors, and the cathedral reverbration was not obtrusive at all in this case.
The new instrument by Mascioni was made in Italy, and it sounded modern in tonality and well balanced from the bottom to the top. The organist, Yuichiro Shiina played Mendelssohn’s sonata No. 1.
Schutz Choir, as I recall it, was steady in their early activity when I was in to the renaissance music in my university days so many years ago at which time Schutz was not a composer widely recognized. Now that Ms.Yumiko Tanno has ceased to conduct the choir, it is nice to note with a respect that she still continues to sing herself today.

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