Only a few diehard conservatives who had come to hear Bach and Faure left St James Church
last Sunday afternoon during the Song Company's premiere performance of Elliott Gyger's Ficta.
compellingly sung by the core group of six under the composer's direction.The occasion was the Song Company's 10th anniversary concert and its program of contemporary,
baroque and romantic music, in that order, was a microcosm of its repertoire.
Ficta is so cleverly academic that it rises above pastiche, even though it includes
material as varied as high modernism, crooning, and Wagner's prize song from Die Meistersinger,
sung to an Ern Malley poem. Gyger continues to write with an elan for concerted singers.
I look forward to hearing more of his own voice in his next major work.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra, accurate and stylish, joined an augmented choir for Bach's cantata
Wachet Auf and Faure's Requiem,both sensitively conducted by the Song Company's director Roland
This was simply the best performance of a Bach cantata I have heard from Australians in a live
performance, even though not all the solo singing was as distinguished as one hears on CD.
The Faure was given such a lush romantic reading (Elijah Moshinsky, where were you?) that a funeral
seemed the least likely occasion for it.
We were, of course, celebrating not a death, but a birthday. May the Song Company's second decade be
less fraught than much of its first 10 years. May it continue to attract full houses and please its
audience as thoroughly as it did on Sunday.