.m., Nov. 29)
Vivo Christmas concert a jazzy affair
Alex MacFarlane performed with Coro Vivo during their annual Christmas concert
on the weenkend. Fred Sherwin/Photo
classical Christmas music. At first blush it seems like an odd combination. There
are plenty examples of jazz renditions of contemporary holiday tunes such as Duke
Ellingtons version of Jingle Bells circa 1961 and White
Christmas by the Charlie Parker Trio, but jazz infused chamber pieces are
few and far between.
it to Coro Vivo conductor Antonio Llaca to find one of the few chamber jazz mass
pieces in the world and use it as the basis for their annual Christmas concert.
was written in 2004 by Norwegian composer Jan Gunnar Huff for the Bode Cathedral
Choir in Bode, Norway..
original piece follows a traditional chamber mass in five parts Kyrie,
Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Die. Llaca went out and procured the services
of three accomplished jazz musicians for the weekend performances.
Lalande is one of the top classical jazz saxophonists in the country having played
with orchestras in Germany, Manhattan and Montreal. Stand-up bass player Paul
Mack is a graduate of the University of Ottawas music program and has played
with orchestras in Spain and South Africa. Last but not least, Alex MacFarlane
also graduated from the University of Ottawa and has performed as a feature soloist
with the NAC orchestra and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.
out the musical accompaniment for the 60-mermber strong chorus was pianist Louise
LÚveillÚ, who has been a fixture with the Coro Vivo for the past 20 years, and
Llaca, himself, who played classical guitar.
performing the Meditatus, the chorus warmed up with several compositions by Venezuelan
composer Cesar Alejandro Carrillo sandwiched in between two pieces written by
Dave Brubeck, as well as jazzed up version of "We Three Kings" arranged
by the contemporary jazz legend.
first half of the concert was solid, as is the case with any Coro Vivo performance,
but the Meditatus was a real treat. Lalande's sax solo during the Credo was absolutely
whole thing came together beautifully and over top of it all was the voices of
the 60-member choir, reminding everyone who the real stars of the show were. Over
the past 10 or so years, Coro Vivo has evolved into one of the premiere choruses
in the region and their performance of Huff's Meditatus will enhance their status
that even more.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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