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									Excerpts from our archive of reviews

A Handel Celebration
Oct. 19, 2003

“Having listened with growing delight to the end of Symphony Nova Scotia’s and the
Halifax Camerata’s glorious performance of Handel’s Ode to St. Cecilia in St.
Andrew’s Church on Sunday afternoon, I left the crowded house untuned.
“The final line of 17th century poet John Dryden’s pæon to St. Cecilia, the patron
saint of music, goes “And music shall untune the sky!” My guess at what he means is
that the perfection and glory of music are such that, in comparison, one of nature’s
most admired miracles, the blue sky itself, is out of tune by comparison. So was I ...
“With choral magus Ivars Taurins to lead the Halifax Camerata Singers, themselves
finely honed and celestially tuned by Jeff Joudrey, and with SNS’s loving attention to
baroque style, all that was needed to put this performance over the top was a superb
tenor and a brilliant soprano.
“For the first we were offered Rufus Müeller, the possessor and manager of a voice
fit to invoke the heavenly harmony .... Enter Ann Monoyios with a voice to shiver the
heart: true, pure and effortless....”
The Chronicle-Herald

Haydn’s Creation
April 12, 2002

“The Symphony Nova Scotia Choir and the Halifax Camerata Singers helped the
heavens to tell the glory of God, celebrated the achievement of the glorious work,
and sang a mighty fugue to the Lord at the end of it all. But they themselves were
one of the glories of this performance, their detailed work on the giddy 16 th note
runs sparkling with clarity and energy.”
The Chronicle-Herald

November 2000

“Everything, from the lush acoustics to the breathtaking ornamentation of the
interior of St. Patrick’s Church, makes it an ideal meeting place to hear a concert of
sacred motets and magnificats.
“When the choir is the Halifax Camerata Singers, with their finely balanced and
honed sonorities, you could hardly ask for anything more ....
“No fewer than 10 soloists out of the total of 26 singers gave eloquent testimony to
the Camerata’s bench strength. The NBA should be so lucky.”
The Chronicle-Herald

Scotia Festival of Music 1998
June 14, 1998

“They didn’t have any fireworks on hand, and besides they were in St. Patrick’s
Church, but something special definitely needed to be done to celebrate the finale of
Scotia Festival of Music’s two-week love-in with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Sunday afternoon.
“So, with 700 ardent fans in the pews, Tafelmusik invited all of the young artists who
have been working like demons on baroque style with orchestra members since May
31, to join them in the grand finale, a triumphantly joyful performance of Handel’s
Fireworks Suite.... with over 40 musicians, it was the largest baroque orchestra ever
assembled in Canada.
“And the playing, as it has been all week, was incandescent, full of musical fire ...
Climaxing a concert also featuring Bach’s Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria, with the
Halifax Camerata Singers giving the choruses an equally glorious workout, The
Fireworks was appropriate for another reason. It was written to celebrate the Peace
of Aix-la-chapelle in 1749, the year Halifax was born ....”
The Chronicle-Herald

Bach Mass in B minor
February 7, 1998

“.... In the hands of the right people, the B minor Mass could well be the background
music played at the final rapture of the faithful into paradise.
“Jeff Joudrey’s Halifax Camerata and Truro Cantabile Singers, assisted by Symphony
Nova Scotia and four superb soloists, were definitely the right people Saturday night
at St. Andrew’s United Church.
“And the audience knew it. They packed the church to the rafters, sacrificed small
talk and cellophane-wrapped candies for two hours, and rose to their feet with such
enthusiasm after the final chord you could have been at a rock rave ....
“This was an unforgettable performance. We all have to be grateful for the way in
which the singers, soloists, players and director transmitted the genius of Bach to us
with such honesty, clarity and skill.”
The Chronicle-Herald

Music for a Holy Week
March 23, 1997

“... The Halifax Camerata Singers performed this difficult music with its emotional
roller-coaster effects in the confidence and security which comes from painstaking
preparation and thorough understanding.
“Throughout the program, which also included a set of three Easter motets and a
chorus from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, the Singers expressed themselves with
fluency, well-balanced, blended sonority, and dynamic versatility ....”
The Chronicle-Herald

April 15, 1996

“ ... Done well, Elijah is a musically colorful and impressively entertaining show.
“It was done very well Sunday afternoon in the Cohn. Conductor Jeff Joudrey and St.
Cecilia artistic director Barbara Butler assembled a choir of 180 by combining small
choruses from Kentville, Truro, Halifax and Sydney ....
“The massed choir, occasionally divided into double chorus, or women’s three- and
four-part chorus, sang extremely well. The precision they achieved, both in their
rhythm and their diction, despite their large numbers, must be attributed to the
thoroughness of their preparation .... The audience, a near sell-out, were not slow to
recognize the power of the performance. The bravos began to ring out even before
the final fortissimo chord had stopped sounding.”
The Chronicle-Herald

Dec. 20, 1996
Symphony Nova Scotia’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah took the
superhighway home last night in the Cohn. It was definitely not the scenic route as
conductor Leslie Dunner sprinted the choir through the fast choruses.
“The choir, however, is a thoroughbred. The Halifax Camerata Singers and the Truro
Cantabile Singers – both prepared within a millimeter of perfection by Jeff Joudrey –
are not ones to shrink before the impossibly fast 16th note chains in All We Like
Sheep Have Gone Astray.
“Perfectly synchronized as they sang, each section contradicted the text with their
spot-on unisons ....”
The Mail-Star

10th Anniversary Gala Concert
Nov. 16, 1996

“Long after First Baptist Church was dark and the pews had emptied Saturday night,
the ethereal pianissimos of the Halifax Camerata Singers lingered in the ear.
“Since we knew before a note was sung what an outstanding chamber choir they are,
their 10th anniversary concert under Montreal choral master Wayne Riddell was not
so much a revelation as an apotheosis.
“Their performance of Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem sent out the kind of shock waves
people experience in the presence of something rare and beautiful ....You could read
out and cradle those golden, blue, ivory and rose sonorities in your hands. You could,
that is, if you weren’t holding your breath ....
“Camerata’s extraordinary dynamic range, from a whisper-thin pianissimo to a
blazing fortissimo, often within a beat or two, gave [the Requiem] not only unusual
delicacy and power, but a sense of mystery and of personal loss....”
The Chronicle-Herald

Chichester Psalms
March 1, 1992

“[The] 22 voices of the Halifax Camerata Singers continue to create a standard of
vocal ensemble for other choirs to emulate. Their choral tone is polished and
beautifully balanced, and as they move through their music they project a
professional level of attention to precision and nuance.”
The Chronicle-Herald

Musique Royale Concert Series
Aug. 21, 1991

“With exquisite diction, crystalline tone and an ensemble honed to an edge so sharp
it made your teeth ache, the twenty-two voices of the Halifax Camerata Singers
landed the four-week Musique Royale series home in St. George’s Round Church in
Halifax last night ...
“Five years ago, Truro organist and choir director Jeff Joudrey and a score of hand-
picked singers from around the province joined forces to create a superior chorus.
Last night’s concert demonstrated how far they have come and how well they have
succeeded. They certainly outshine with their high standard of consistency, balance,
total unity and ringing sound any other choir in the province .... nothing gets out of
control, and their unanimity is truly impressive.”
The Chronicle-Herald

Musique Royale Concert Series
Aug. 16, 1989

“The Musique Royale summer series ended for metro audiences in St. George’s
Round Church with a strong performance from Jeff Joudrey’s Halifax Camerata
“The Camerata demonstrated exquisite discipline and carefully groomed ensemble
throughout the program. The texture of their tone was light and their counterpoint
was scrubbed and shining ....”
The Chronicle-Herald

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