Voces8 began the day with a masterclass with the Chamber Choir, presenting the group one by one in a song by Nat King Cole ‘Straighten up and fly right’ as more and more parts were added. This style of singing was very catchy and just a flavour of what was to come in the evening concert. They then moved on to doing a rather unorthodox warm up involving pretending to be a drum kit, chopping an apple and catching a very annoying fly, which we finally caught.
After this eventful opening, we built up a piece called ‘Blake’s Bossa’ where a member of the group, coincidentally named Blake, built up several layers of percussion, lower harmony moving through the bass, tenor, alto and soprano sections until we recreated a full Latin band. We replicated different instruments such as violins and saxophones by representing them with different sounds, such as pizzicato strings with a ‘plum’ and a saxophone with a ‘zz’ as the starting syllable.
We finished with a performance of ‘Thou knowest Lord’ by Henry Purcell with Voces8, particularly focusing on word stresses and making sure that the piece doesn’t drag, by playing on the beat consistently. We were then treated to a private Q and A session with Voces8, being able to ask a variety of questions, it really was quite the master class.
The concert in the evening was another spectacle in itself. Voces8 presented a masterful performance of many varieties of pieces, ranging from renaissance opera, all the way up to Swedish disco pop! It was spectacular how Voces8 managed to vary from Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’ to classical singing in a heartbeat.
Their blend, tuning and musicality was simply staggering and it made for an awesome night, with all of them being superb performers. There really is no better way to spend a Wednesday night!
Henry Blencowe (L6N)