Chanticleer's Over the Moon shines at Society of the Four Arts

Palm Beach Daily News

Those who were brave to confront the rainy weather on Wednesday to hear Chanticleer at The Society of the Four Arts were rewarded with a foretaste of heaven.

The internationally acclaimed all-male chorus presented an unforgettable program loosely organized around the moon and its mysterious influence on our lives. Throughout the evening, the 12 singers displayed uncanny pitch control, flawless diction and unmatched balance.

The first half of the program, subdivided in four parts, relied heavily on the choral music of the Renaissance, from the elaborated style of Antoine Busnois, to the more direct approach of Claudio Monteverdi.

It was musical heaven. Chanticleer’s handling of counterpoint emphasized the many textures featured in this ever-complex music. Their rendition of Gaude, caelestis domina by Busnois was particularly impressive, for the difficult melismatic passages (sometimes reminding the listener of medieval organum) performed by soloists.

Another highlight came with Benedicta es, caelorum Regina by Josquin Desprez. The “master of the notes,” as Martin Luther called him, Desprez wrote many motets honoring Mary, most famously his Ave Maria. Chanticleer’s interpretation was not only technically flawless, but also heartfelt, as the singers sounded spiritually connected with the beautiful text.

But it was the group’s rendition of two of Gustav Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder that crowned the chorus’ impeccable program.

The program ended with a set of crowd-pleasers, from Henry Mancini’s Moon River to the spiritual, There is a Balm in Gilead.

Like anything interpreted by Chanticleer, every single melodic phrase was sang with utmost care and refinement, closing in a most moving manner, a most moving celebration of the human voice in all its artistic glory. 

Read the rest of the review here