There was a buzz of excitement at the Piccolo Lasso coffee concert at Christ Church Cathedral, with Eric Sweeney on the organ for his own compositions, Roddy Doyle in the audience and a young girl in the choir fainted during the Missa Brevis.
Piccolo Lasso, directed with musical dedication by Ite O’Donovan, is the junior section of the Lessus Scholars and caters for young boys and girls aged 9 to 16. They receive specialised training and now have an international profile. The soft gentle purity of their young voices creates a special sound that is pleasing and impressive.
Beginning with a Eucharist hymn, O Mysterium Ineffabile, this 30+ strong choir moved into Faure’s Ave Maria and a very beautiful Anglican piece, Love One Another.
Eric Sweeney’s interlude was the spirited Mendelssohn – great horror music stuff with climbing tones and exciting ripples. The choir then delighted the audience with the beauty and majesty of Franck’s Panis Angelicus and a Plain Chant was amazing. Usually audiences are accustomed to adult voices in plain chant but these high voices were emotionally effective.
Eric Sweeney returned with his expansive and expressive The Winding Gyre with its pulsing tones of praise and the powerful end note. We do know in Waterford how lucky we are of a Sunday morning to be able to enjoy the work of a composer who has come to live and work among us and we rejoice in his creativity and talent. His Missa Brevis opened with a short plainchant and the high voices of the Gloria touched many as the young choir rose to the glorious Hosannas before ending with a quiet flourish on the more peaceful Agnus Dei.
During the Missa Brevia, a young choir girl fainted and strangely the choir continued and a young woman from the audience went into the body of the choir and with assistance carried the child out for fresh air. The choir didn’t seem to miss a beat. This seemed to me to be taking musical dedication a beat too far.