A neat blend of voices

A neat blend of voices

enjoying A view of the audience.

The choral group, popular for rendering most of the pieces in acappella (without accompaniment), performed a set of 24 songs in Latin, Italian, Spanish, English and Konkani.

It didn’t matter that there was no accompaniment, the choral group was perfection incarnate as all the four parts — alto, tenor, bass and soprano blended into one and sounded like one voice. The excellent acoustics of the Cathedral only added to the charm of the evening. The nip in the air didn’t deter passers-by and music lovers from stoping by.

Most of the members of the choir are trained singers who can read, write and even compose music. The ensemble attempts to revive the choral tradition of Goa and they popularise this concept by travelling and performing on several prestigious platforms across the country. Their focus is on performing pieces of world choral repertoire, including Goan, of all genres arranged for four voices in classical style. The choir conductor Miguel Cotta said, “The idea of performing in five languages is for variety and our idea is to portray the true spirit of Goa, where all these languages are sung and spoken. We have hand-picked a lot of Konkani songs as well. The choir members meet twice a week and the practice sessions are sacred.”  

The choir began the evening with a Latin song titled ‘Veni Emmanuel’ which means ‘Come O Come Emmanuel’; second was a Konkani piece titled, ‘Ballaka Jezu, Io Tum Io’ meaning ‘king of kings’. This was followed by two lively English pieces ‘Hymn to Creation’ and the popular carol ‘Go tell it on the Mountain.’ They moved on to perform a 12th century German carol titled ‘In Dulci Jubilo’; then there was ‘Natal’ in Konkani about the birth of Christ. The Spanish song, ‘A la Nanita Nana’ was more of a lullaby.  

Some of the other songs the choir rendered were Schubert’s ‘Gloria’ and Beethoven’s ‘Hallelujah’. The Konkani piece ‘Poixilea Desantle’ was about a far away land. There were also a few popular songs such as ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, ‘Fanfare for Christmas Day’ and ‘Dormi Dormi’, an Italian lullaby.  

 Fr E Miranda, a member of the choir, said that the choir wishes to capture the spirit of the season. “In Goa, this is the season of carol singing and we didn’t have to practise too long to perfect our notes. Music comes naturally to us,” he explained.  The group was accompanied by Pearl Viegas on the piano.

The seats began to fill up slowly but steadily and most people in the audience said that they loved the performance.

“This is the season for choral singing and it was nice to listen to carols in a variety of languages. That’s something we don’t get to hear very often,” said Sheil Rodgers, a music lover.

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