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by Timothy Robson

Contrapunctus-CSJE

Contrapunctus, a professional choral group just finishing its first season, gave an unusual program of music for high voices (sopranos, altos, countertenors) at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Friday, June 6th. British countertenor and conductor David Acres, music director of Contrapunctus, planned an audacious program of 22 works, with repertoire from Gregorian chant and the early polyphonist Perotin, through Brahms and Fauré, to a striking new work by Cleveland composer Kevin Foster.

The tenors and basses of Contrapunctus sat this one out, but if these fine performances are any indication, audiences should flock to the group’s next concert. Read the rest of this entry »

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by Daniel Hathaway

DContrapunctus-at-IdeaStreamon’t be surprised if the second concert by Cleveland’s new choral ensemble, Contrapunctus, at St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Cleveland on Friday, June 6 at 7:30 pm, is missing a few voice parts — tenors and basses, in fact. British countertenor David Acres, who founded and conducts the ensemble, planned it that way.

“There’s so much repertoire for high voices from about 950 to the present to explore,” Acres said in a telephone conversation. “We’ll begin with a Salve Regina over a two-note drone and work our way forward through virtually every century to a piece written for sopranos and altos by one of Contrapunctus’s own tenors, Kevin Foster. A lot of the music is outside the norm — pieces from the York Mystery Plays, Lassus, Landini, Lotti (a piece I’d never heard before), Kapsperger. It’s not run of the mill, and I quite like that.”

Audiences may be accustomed to hearing upper-voice choirs from girls’ schools and women’s colleges, but Acres notes that Contrapunctus’s sopranos, altos and countertenors will serve up something different for its audience in Friday’s free concert. Read the rest of this entry »

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