Review: Madrigallery

Kevin O’Carroll brought his chamber choir Madrigallery to new heights at a Waterford Music Recital last week in the Large Room. This was a stunningly impressive evening as he brought the fruit of his stay at the Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas (home of Buddy Holly).

Kevin skilfully introduced the various new pieces and it was a pleasure to be there for a special evening from a special choir.

From the opening Ogden Nash limerick set to music by Eric Whitacre you knew this was going to be amazing and the beautiful O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen set another level as a James Agee poem Sure On This Shining Night (another Lauridsen tune) had tranquil tones, deep bass harmonies and a powerful impact. True, their madrigal origins, this thirty-two strong choir delighted with April Is In My Mistress’ Face and the humorous Mother I Will Have A Husband.

Then it just got better and better with a stunning setting of the EE Cummings poem I Thank You God (now the ears of my ears awake) Madrigallery opened my ears, anew.

Emma Scanlon joined them on piano for a beautiful Faure, Cantique de Jean Racine.

Then for at least the third time the concert got better. The Hebrew words in dense clusters of melody and harmony in Whitacre’s Hebrew Love Songs. What an experience.

After the interval, I felt a sense of anti-climax for the Mozart, Missa Brevis, as the choir joined the Waterford Chamber Orchestra. Yes it was wonderful but he magic of Cummings and Whitacre sang in my blood – I thank you god for this most amazing day and I thank you Madrigallery and Kevin O’Carroll for this amazing recital.

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