[…] the 30-odd members of the chamber choir sang with confidence, skill, and passion, as Rachmaninoff’s masterpiece deserves. […] Flight’s sensitive and expansive leadership gave a trajectory to each of the 15 movements, and to the work as a whole. This long, demanding piece needs conviction and focus, and the ensemble seemed to have both of those in abundance.

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This 30-voice chamber chorus specializes in historically informed performances, and our reviewers regularly search for superlatives to describe their presentations of Renaissance and Baroque choral music.

Heralded by the San Francisco press for its “dazzling” and “sublime” performances, California Bach Society showcases Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s best choral works. Artistic director Paul Flight leads the award-winning 30-voice chorus, vocal soloists, flutes, and a full consort of viols in the poignant Litanies de la Vierge and the splendid Missa Assumpta est Maria.

California Bach excels in the intricate polyphony of Bach’s choral writing. Their sound is well-balanced; texts are delivered with excellent diction (in this case, in Latin); entrances are consistently secure; and above all, the singing is focused and clear.

Our critic wrote that the choir sang with technical assurance and expressive command throughout the afternoon and into the evening: “The listener had the uncanny, elevating sense of hearing every voice devoted to a single purpose. It was, in the broadest sense of the term, a musically spiritual experience.”

The choir, which sang with technical assurance and expressive command through the afternoon and into the evening, seized on the animating, call-and-response tension of that first chorus. … It was, in the broadest sense of the term, a musically spiritual experience.

 

Soloists for Italian Masters in Venice, April 26-28

Group Photos