The Starlight Night

Saturday, December 1st 2007, 5pm
Sandels Hall, Topeliuksenkatu 2 (Töölöntori)

Galante (prepared by Mikko Sidoroff),
Suomalainen poikakuoro (prepared by Saara Perkola),
Helsinki Chamber Choir,
conducted by Nils Schweckendiek

Gregorian chant:
Hodie Christus natus est
Thomas Weelkes: When David heard
Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Starlight Night
Jonathan Harvey: How could the soul not take flight
(Finnish premiere)
Benjamin Britten: A Boy Was Born op. 3

We head to England for Christmas. Britten's masterpiece for mixed choir and children's voices, written when he was only 19, marked his breakthrough as the most gifted British composer of his generation. The Helsinki Chamber Choir will present his half-hour celebration of choral sound in its challenging original, unaccompanied version. The concert also marks the start of our exploration of works based on the David and Absalon theme, and includes the Finnish premiere of a major choral work by one of the greatest composers writing for choir today.
The lines of each section of the choir were straight and clear, as if played by instruments, and yet soft and flexible, supporting an unbroken sense of breathing. Each group sang with pure intonation and the resonance between the voices took on a life of its own, so that the whole space was filled with ringing colours.
Hannu-Ilari Lampila,
Helsingin Sanomat, Finland