A new vocal quartet, Concordia, made an excellent debut at the Christ Church Coffee Concerts and quickly established a warm rapport with a capacity audience eager for innovation, new beginnings and a quality vocal showing.
Concordia means – Roman Godess of Harmony – or peace – and Niall Crowley, Brendan Long, Ruairí de Frein and Dermot Doyle delivered that sense of vocal harmony, peace and a rich vocal tone.
Niall Crowley eats sleeps and lives choral work and his work at WIT and the various city choirs attests to great dedication and love. His fame and reputation has brought him to the notice of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and he has been appointed as conductor to their Cambiata Choir.
A shaky opening of a 13th century piece showed innovation and an Agnus Dei from Tye was beautiful and comes from Tye’s less famous Western Wind Mass. A trio set a good vocal tone with a Henry Tudor tune Pastime With Good Company. This symbolizes the origins of Concordia, but their future is bright on this debut in the warm spring sunshine inside Christ Church.
High point of the concert vocally was three songs from Franz Schubert, that showed the range of the quartet from restless, plaintive Nightingale to the lyrical Honey of Love and the rich deep tones of Gondoliers. I felt that this was better than chamber groups like the Shaw Singers who recorded these songs in the nineties.
Deirdre Long who accompanied the Schubert songs on piano provided another highlight with a rich rolling sound of Rachmaninov and the happy and familiar Chopin prelude in D major. The quartet returned to conclude with a short Holohan piece To You and a vocally sparkling Anuna song Dulaman. Two whimsical songs followed and the closing Drinking Song was a gem of dramatic vocal technique. Here’s to the next outing for Concordia.