A mix of traditional carols and more modern music await audiences attending the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Christmas concert, Noël! Noël!
The ovation at the end of the performance at Melbourne’s Recital Centre suggests Brandenburg’s artistic director, Paul Dyer, has the mix just right.
For traditionalists there are the `old favourites’ such as Once in Royal David’s City, O Holy Night, Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful.
Lovers of more modern pieces are catered for with such delights as My Love is Always Here from Harry Potter and My Prayer (Bring Him Home) from Les Miserables.
There’s also music from Palestrina, John Rutter and Ola Gjeilo. The Brandenburg Choir’s presentation of Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine was one of my highlights of the evening.
Audience cheers suggested I wasn’t alone in appreciating the presentation of My Prayer by guest tenor Joe Parnis. Parnis, who starred as Freddie in the recent production of My Fair Lady, also won over the audience with a modern and very humorous interpretation of the Twelve Days of Christmas. A swing version of White Christmas he performed with several choir members also proved a great hit.
Orchestra members were given plenty of chances to shine, accompanying the choir and Parnis in a number of carols and songs. They also expertly performed several instrumental pieces, including a medley of Good King Wenceslas and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.
The great variety of numbers offered was one of the joys of this year’s concert. Hearing the magnificent Brandenburg Choir and Orchestra perform was, as usual, the greatest delight!
The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra is performing Noël! Noël! at various locations around Sydney and in Wollongong until December 20. Visit the Australian Brandenburg website for more information and tickets.
Jenny Burns attended Noël! Noël! as a guest of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.
*Photo credit: Steven Godbee.
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