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The Esoterics sing the O antiphons for Advent at Christ Episcopal in Tacoma

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Nov. 29, 2011 at 9:55 am with No Comments »
November 29, 2011 9:55 am
The Esoterics, with director Eric Banks. Courtesy photo.

Interestingly, for a secular choir, The Esoterics are welcoming the pre-Christmas season of Advent with – well – a Christian Advent program. The Seattle a cappella choir, with its adventurous director Eric Banks, strong voices and innate musicality, is known for singing completely out of the box; but if you think their Admirabile program is the usual Christmas listening experience, think again. They’ll combine Arvo Pärt’s “Magnificat” with renditions of the O Antiphons (music based on the seven names for Christ in the Bible) by three contemporary composers: the Estonian Pärt, the Polish Pawel Lukaszewski and Seattle’s own John Muehleisen, all in the ringing acoustics of Tacoma’s Christ Episcopal Church.

The Esoterics combine with the Cornish singers to form a 60-voice ensemble that will sing the Pärt and the Lukaszewski antiphonally, while combining to sing the “Magnificat” and the Muehleisen. The works express, in three languages (Latin, German and English) and three very different musical styles (Pärt’s mystical minimalism, Lukaszewski’s rich, shimmering clusters and Muehleisen’s clear American voice) the human understanding and adoration of Christ.

The 75-minute program will be sung as a meditation, without intermission or applause, something the award-winning choir does regularly and successfully in this venue. Other performances run Dec. 2-11 in various Seattle locations.

3 p.m. Dec. 4. $20/$15/$10 for any current choir member. Christ Episcopal Church, 310 N. K St., Tacoma. 206-935-7779, www.theesoterics.org


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