“Baroque with a Touch of Class(ical)” was an intriguing theme which had me eagerly attending the spring concert of the Classic Choral Society. While I have known of this group for quite some time, I have never attended a concert before. This is not to say that the singers aren’t worth the attention, merely that their previous offerings didn’t really capture my interest. As a big fan of baroque, I decided to change that.
The night could not have been better. It felt like a cool summer evening and the beautiful venue in the heart of Goshen had me strolling through the square to reach the church. I truly didn’t mind, and as you can see from the picture I snapped, I enjoyed the view. The venue didn’t disappoint once I entered. The main sanctuary was everything one would expect from the exterior and one could tell that the acoustics would serve well.
The evening started with Purcell’s ‘O Sing Unto the Lord’. This was a delightful start with four soloists and in English. I quickly noticed that the Classic Choral Society’s tone and size really lent itself to Baroque and Purcell more specifically. The loudest portions of the piece were my favorite, every singer blending into climactic, harmonious chords.
The rest of the night fared well with Telemann’s ‘Laudate Jehovam, Omnes Gentes’ and Haydn’s ‘Christus Factus Est’ being particular high points. Though the Classical fair was provided by two Mozart pieces, I was disappointed in the stark contrast they provided from the Baroque. They were solidly performed but felt misplaced on the program. They left the ear feeling a bit jarred from the otherwise bright, melodic, or hallowed fare.
Not to be outshined by the singers, the instrumentalists were memorable. The strings, half of which are longstanding members of the Hudson Valley String Quartert, were truly splendid. They ebbed and flowed with the music, bringing stellar movement and beauty to the works. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the keyboardist. The sound was not of a piano but that of an artificial harpsichord. While I can appreciate the attempt, the balance was considerably off and the harpsichord overpowered the strings more than a few times. This took away from the experience of live music and was only added to by the player’s inflexibility in tempo.
Overall the positive vastly outweighs the negative in the Classic Choral Society’s performance. The program was enjoyable if sometimes a bit misdirected but singers and strings alike made the night entertaining. For those interested, the Classic Choral Society finishes out this program with a final Spring concert on May 9th.
If you go:
Classic Choral Society
Saturday, May 9th, 7:30pm
King of Kings Lutheran Church
543 Union Avenue, New Windsor
Admission: Free will accept offering