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  • Hannah Fraser


The Song Company



A live programme in three uninterrupted sequences exploring the very different temporal perspectives of the Easter story in glorious polyphony by Monteverdi, based on his musical forebear Gombert, with new Australian motets by Alice Chance and Elliott Gyger, and by Antony Pitts, the Artistic Director of The Song Company, Australia’s premier vocal ensemble. Recorded in the round by Ross A'Hern in the cavernous acoustics of the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

Soprano, Anna Fraser

Soprano, Susannah Lawergren

Mezzosoprano, Hannah Fraser

Tenor, Richard Black

Baritone, Mark Donnelly

Baritone, Andrew O'Connor

photography: Andy Udu Cat. no. 1EMIIT Available in stereo on CD, or as a download (MP3/FLAC/ALAC) from: and via Hyperion Records:

“...Monteverdi’s Missa In illo tempore and Gombert’s motet... formed the central thread of the three parts of The Song Company’s radiant presentation in the acoustically miraculous crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral under their new Artistic Director, Antony Pitts. Standing in a circle on the terrazzo floor under the central vault, the building amplified and echoed the interweaving lines with iridescent resonance, building to a peak of intensity in the elaborate counterpoint that closes the Gloria and Credo of the mass that was quite magical... Pitts’ music expanded classic polyphonic vocal textures to incorporate modern harmonies within a broadly consonant framework and an original and sensitive understanding of the voice... This was a concert of rare and transcendent beauty.” - The Sydney Morning Herald

“A three-part polyphonic soothing of the soul... Given the holy location, the superb singing and the well-thought-out programme, it was quite a success. The concert was divided into three parts, representing three aspects of Easter: Tomb, Hades and Throne... Each section also worked in Thou wast present as on this day from Pitts’ Requiem for the Time of the End. The unifying element was the fluidity of time, the connection between past, present and future and, of course, the musical thread of polyphony that can arouse a sense of the eternal in the hands of a dexterous composer. The singing throughout was precise and unforced, the vocalists taking advantage of the Crypt’s natural amplification. Pitts’s direction from within a circular arrangement ensured a tight relationship between vocalists, as well a democracy of the six singers...” - Limelight Magazine “From the first intake of breath... I was yet again overawed by the exquisite vocal machine that is The Song Company... exploring the Easter story with music old and new, the audience were enchanted and seduced by the possibilities of the voice - at once reverent, distant, sombre, joyful and spiritual. The ‘filigree detail of each individual vocal part’ was brought alive by Susannah Lawergren, Anna Fraser, Hannah Fraser, Richard Black, Mark Donnelly, and Andrew O’Connor... Artistic Director Antony Pitts created a concert in three parts exploring the subjects of Tomb, Hades and Throne. Into this musical setting was interwoven some of the most beautiful, intricate and intimate hymns, psalms, a capella Mass parts, plainchants and motets. Clever artistic direction placed Australian composers in amongst the ancient greats... Extensive, educative and detailed program notes explained the historic musical journey we were on and the definition of polyphony – ‘the combination of apparently independent voice parts into a harmonious whole’, adding it was ‘one of the noblest inventions of the human mind’.” - classikON

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