Wednesday, 2 December 2015

RICERCAR, Dec 2, 2015

By Present Tense Ensemble & The Twoks
At TheatreWorks, until Dec 12, 2015
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: TBC

 Full review also online in Herald Sun Arts on Thurs Dec 3, 2015. KH
(L-R)  Aubrey Flood, Shauntai Batzke, John Howard, Daniel Han (standing) pic Lachlan Woods

RICERCAR begins with a violinist leading the audience along Acland St. and into the neighbouring church where J. S. Bach’s music swells and the leadlight saints glow as the evening light fades.

This performance investigates and is inspired by the musical form of Bach’s Fugues and Preludes and is divided in two parts: Book One - Alpha in the church and Book Two - Omega performed in the theatre.

A church is the ideal space to hear Bach’s choral and instrumental music because the acoustics and religious atmosphere are evocative of Bach’s own work in the Thomaskirche (Thomas Church) in Leipzig.

The church organ, a piano, violins and guitar blend with the chorus, soprano (Shauntai Batzke) and tenor (Simon Gilkes) to create surging waves of sound that shift into almost imperceptible ripples of distant harmonies.

In Book One, the company creates a surround-sound by singing and playing in the balcony choir, the pews, on the altar and in darkening or candlelit corners...continues after publication. K

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