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By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

Audience Moved by Spem In Alium


March 14, 2024

The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) presented a concert titled Spem In Alium at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

It was a program of much diversity as LAMC sang 12 extraordinary pieces led by the very capable and passionate associate music director/conductor Jenny Wong.

All of the awe-inspiring works performed showcased music reflecting the spirit of hope, devotion, and deliverance.

Out of all of the pieces, the three that were most remarkable were two monumental masterpieces - Thomas Tallis' towering "Spem in Alium" and Herbert Howells' "Requiem" - as well as the world premiere of Carlos Simon's "Affirmations."

The Chorale displayed magnificence and virtuosity while singing "Spem" which was written for forty individual voice parts. Tallis' motet is regarded as the pinnacle of Renaissance polyphonic ingenuity, and the Chorale successfully carried it out as the composer wanted it.

Howells' "Requiem", a rarely performed Romantic work of outstanding artistry, is a sublime and complex work of soaring vocals and unexpected harmonies. The Chorale had no issues with tackling the complexities and made it sound transcendent.

"Affirmations" was the most special and creative piece on the program. The theme of the piece was about the concept of freedom. One of the members of the Chorale had a solo, speaking affirmations that included "I am at peace with myself," as the Chorale sang in the background. This piece caused the audience members to feel positive self-reflection.

The program was a triumph for Wong and the Chorale and remarkable from beginning to the end.


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