- May 7, 2018
With the sun blazing above the beautiful gardens of Glyndebourne there could not have been a more delightful setting for the concert that was to come. And once inside in the cool of the stunning opera house we were in for a real treat. Vox Luminis, a Belgian choral ensemble of international repute took to the stage and opened with Johann Sebastian Bach’s breathtakingly difficult Jesu, Maine Freude. This they delivered with unbelievable ease, making the room ring with this beautiful work. Their strengths are too many to list but above all they have the skill to field incredible solo voices and at the same time be utterly compelling as an ensemble choir. It would be wrong to pull out any single voice but also wrong to not mention a simply divine and effortless soprano whose bell like voice shone throughout.
They followed with Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater, once again delivering precision with ease, a sound that whilst crisp was soothingly mellifluous.
After a short interval they returned with their string ensemble to deliver Handel’s Dixit Dominus – and how! This compact group of musicians filled the space with a performance of such soaring dynamics that it was hard to believe that there were so few on that stage. It was intensely powerful, dramatic in delivery, thunderously intense when it needed to be and whisperingly delicate too. The clarity of their diction as impressive when harshness was required as when it needed to be gentle and when it came to the moments where the score required pace they remained as precise. In an encore of the final part they upped that pace to an astonishing level with the same precision and inevitable excitement.