On October 20th GHOSTLIGHT made their debut in Teachers College’s Milbank Chapel. The high caliber ensemble was founded by Evelyn Troester and consists of 20 singers. Their focus is mainly a cappella repertoire and exert a high level of craftsmanship, sensitivity, musicality, and fine technique.
On Wednesday, the concert’s theme was Nachtigall (nightingale) and consisted of a wide range of musical repertoire including Brahms, Eric Copland, Bernstein, Ravel, and living composers Eric Whitacre and Folke Rabe. Pieces were sung in German, Hebrew, French, English, and even without words.
Some of the most memorable pieces were Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs (1996). With the added timbres of guest violinist, Natasha Lipkina and pianist Noah Palmer, the authentic sound of Hebrew dance songs were brought to life while the singers playfully and jauntily sang in asymmetric meters and freely and beautifully sang melismas similar to the prayers one might hear in temple.
Folke Rabe’s (1935-) Rondes (1964) was quite a pleasant surprise and wonderful addition to the concert program. Most of the first half of the concert were German song in concert chorale in homophonic texture. However, Rabe’s piece was sung without words and explored unconventional sounds the singers could produce with their voices. Upon speaking of his piece, Rabe wrote in 2000;
“In the 1960s I was, along with many colleagues, interested in composing with timbres as a form-defining element. I was also interested in extending the means of expression in voices and instruments. Consequently I wrote a piece that was not based on a text but on vocal sounds that you perhaps cannot find in any language. Furthermore, in those years I was (and I still am!) interested in the visual aspects of music performances, e.g. to compose the movements of musicians and singers on stage. All the mentioned aspects are present in Rondes.”
GHOSTLIGHT performed Rabe’s piece effortlessly while maintaining a sense of playfulness and light-hearted humor.
The audience was so enthralled with their concert, GHOSTLIGHT performed an encore of Manhattan Transfer’s “Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” Evelyn Troester gave the audience the opportunity to pick their preferred ending to the piece in recognition of the spirit of Teachers College. By the end of the piece, the audience had tears from the pure beauty from the a cappella ensemble.
GHOSTLIGHT performed a fantastic, engaging, and highly impressive premiere concert. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for this elite chamber choir!
Their next concert:
Laudes Organi December 7th, 2010 at 8 PM
Saint Mary the Virgin in Times Square: W46th street (between 6th & 7th Ave)
For more information or to learn more about GHOSTLIGHT go to: http://www.ghostlightchorus.com/home.cfm