The angelic voices of the Hofstra Chorale and Chamber Choir singers rang out again on Friday night, as Dr. David Fryling – professor of music – conducted yet another masterful performance at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City.
As with most of their performances, the Chorale and Chamber singers cover a diverse array of compositions, from traditional to more avant-garde pieces.
This semester’s performance opened with an experimental offering, as the entire Chorale sang Tarik O’Regan’s “I Had No Time to Hate.” The performers stood in an unusual configuration for this first piece, making a sort of U-shape around the audience, with the sopranos and altos to the front and the tenors and baritones/bases farther back.
The performance began with a shout, with the sopranos and altos opening up before the tenors and bases joined in, while soprano Courtney Cox and tenor Matthew Ho took the lead with wonderful solos.
Probably the most fascinating part was the accompanying American Sign Language interpretation, which was passionately executed by alto Rebecca Skolnick.
With the first piece completed, the Chorale singers walked off as the Chamber Choir began their portion of the night, singing Dominick DiOrio’s “A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass” (the theme of the night).
Along with the constant excellence of the Chamber Choir’s vocal performers, the accompaniment of Bryan Wysocki on marimba gave the performance an extra edge, permeating the silences with his nimble and energetic instrumentation. Wysocki’s mastery of his instrument is, by all accounts, unmatched and this performance showed nothing different. Soprano Sydney Coelho sang solo with her commanding, confident vocal performance soaring high above the rest of her counterparts. The final movement ends with a brilliant, sudden stop, making way for the rest of the Chorale singers to return to the stage for the final two acts.
Johannes Brahms’ “Nänie” began with a lengthy opening organ section, played with no hitches by Matthew Koraus. This is the second time this school year the Chorale and Chamber show has implemented an organ accompaniment, and it paid off handsomely.
It is worth mentioning that while last semester’s performance opened up with a more explosive organ entrance, this time the accompaniment was much tamer. However, the explosiveness of the church’s holy instrument did return somewhat in the final piece, Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem.”
The Chorale singers, as always, hit every note with quality and precision throughout both pieces, and baritones Alex Herron and Nevin Shah gave excellent, expressive solos to match.
The final movement, “In Paradisum,” ended on a quieter, somber note, as the vocals slowly came to a stop and the audience came to a complementary roar of applause.
Fryling’s tradition of Chorale and Chamber alumni returning to the stage for “I Have Had Singing” closed the night, concluding another first-rate program on a harmonious note.