Published in October 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
EXAUDI: Exposure 2016
Barbican, 23rd October
Among the Babel of interchangeable British choirs offering early music and a smattering of 20th-century classics, EXAUDI stands apart. Ferociously brilliant and completely uncompromising, this vocal ensemble is the bladed edge of contemporary classical music. Under the direction of conductor James Weeks, these extraordinarily talented singers shape the soundscapes of the future, commissioning and premiering works that explore the territory where sound ends and music begins, or possibly the other way around.
EXAUDI’s annual showcase concert—a sampler of short pieces by a selection of living composers—is a great opportunity to hear what’s new in classical music and discover talent that often has yet to make it into the major concert halls. This year’s composers include experimental genre-bender Leo Chadburn, whose whimsical Affix Stamp Here offers an affectionate homage to postcard writing, and Andrew Hamilton, whose newly commissioned Proclamation of the Republic marks the centenary of the Easter Rising in music that grows from tiny beginnings to end with an impassioned dance. Sense and nonsense provide the theme for Claudia Molitor’s Das Schwein, das Schwein and Naomi Pinnock’s The Writings of Jacob Br. Open your ears and you’re guaranteed an exciting evening.
St George’s Hall, Liverpool, 4th October
There’s nothing flamboyant or histrionic about James Ehnes’s playing, but make no mistake, this Ca…