Thursday, February 12, 2015

びわ湖ホール声楽アンサンブルのヨハネ受難曲 - St. John Passion by Biwako Hall Vocal Ensemble

ヨハネ受難曲はあまりアリアが多くないのだが、圧巻だったのはアルトの2曲目、キリストが処刑される場面の"Es ist vollbracht"で、こんなに感動してこの曲を聴かせてもらったのは初めてだった。

Lined-up performers at the foyer after the stage
It’s been quite a while since I last visited Triton Square concert hall, and I recall it was coincidentally Mathew Passion at that time. This time, the performance of Biwako Hall Ensemble seemed a rare opportunity in Tokyo and I was interested. The tickets were almost sold out, and I didn’t have much to choose our seats.
The chorus team consisted of 16 singers, 4 for each part. In the UK is the group called “The Sixteen”, and this looked like the Japanese equivalent. Each singer enjoys the ability of soloist while they managed to control their timbre as a fascinating choir without exposing their individual tones. Only sopranos might sound a bit soloish, but their voices were very beautiful and they anyway had to lead the main melody lines, so it was not objectionable at all. The harmony was often breathtaking, and to me it was such an envious chorus as everything was entirely under control by their stressless and smooth voices. I should remark that Tetsutaro Shimizu, the evangelist did an impressively nice job. Takashi Aoki, Jesus was appointed the day before as the replacement of supposed singer who got ill, and he had sung this role once a few years before. He was professional.
The orchestra was all feminin and young except the concert master and a cellist. As I heard the very first passage of 1/16 notes, I felt rather pessimistic compared to other experienced and capable baroque ensembles, but they gradually settled down. Perhaps they are still in the generation busy dealing with the conductor’s instructions.

The most touching among arias was “Es ist vollbracht” by alto in the scence of cruxification.

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