"Four weeks ago in London I felt like I'd been touched by angels. I heard a choir sing the most breathtaking, blissful and ethereal music and I knew I'd found a spectacular opening to this year's Noël! Noël!," says Paul Dyer, the Brandenburg's Artistic Director. "I was at the famous Oratory on Brompton Road. I couldn't find the music program anywhere but was so ecstatic about finding this gem that I chased a member of the choir leaving the church afterwards, pleading for the name of the work."
Noël! Noël! is the Brandenburg's annual Christmas concert. In its 14th year, the series is a Sydney festive tradition, with concerts at the City Recital Hall Angel Place and churches around the city selling out. It has also resulted in two best-selling CDs, with A Brandenburg Christmas even hitting #59 on ARIA Album Chart for pop releases in the busiest retail week of the year (sitting proudly between releases by Stan Walker and John Farnham).
The series heads to Melbourne for the first time in 2012, with two concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre tonight, 8 December. This also marks the Melbourne debut of the Brandenburg Choir.
"The Brandenburg's annual Noël! Noël! concerts are an absolute Christmas treat," says Paul. "They are a joy for the audience, The Players of the Orchestra, the singers of the Brandenburg Choir and for me. And like a great Christmas cake, there are specific ingredients.
"At Noël! Noël! we perform traditional carols and luscious baroque music, adding the flavours of the Brandenburg. It is a heady blend of European and Latin American rhythms and percussion, some medieval chant and quite a bit of fun," says Paul of the unique mix, blending the ancient with the modern.
"Sacred, joyous and spectacular choral works are brought to life by the Brandenburg Choir accompanied on period instruments by the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the classical saxophone of Christina Leonard," he continues. "For the first time at these concerts, I will also introduce the hauntingly beautiful sound of the ancient cornetto, played by Matt Manchester. There is always something to make you swoon and something to make you smile. It is definitely a feel good concert not to be missed!"
Check out the trailer at www.youtube.com/user/AustBrandenburg and visit www.brandenburg.com.au for more information.
2 MELBOURNE CONCERTS
Sat 8 Dec MELBOURNE - Melbourne Recital Centre - 5pm & 7pm
Bookings: Melbourne Recital Centre Box Office (03) 9699 3333 or book online at www.melbournerecitalcentre.com.au
Ticket prices: From $56 / Under 30 from $26 plus booking fee
3 SYDNEY CITY CONCERTS
Wed 12 Dec - SYDNEY City Recital Hall, Angel Place - 7pm
Sat 15 Dec - SYDNEY City Recital Hall, Angel Place - 5pm & 7pm
Bookings: City Recital Hall Box Office (02) 8256 2222 or book online at www.cityrecitalhall.com
Ticket prices: From $61 / Under 30 from $26 plus booking fee
6 SYDNEY + 1 WOLLONGONG CHURCH CONCERTS
Mon 10 Dec - PADDINGTON St Francis of Assisi - 7.00pm
Tue 11 Dec - PADDINGTON St Francis of Assisi - 7.00pm
Fri 14 Dec - WOLLONGONG St Francis Xavier's Cathedral - 7.30pm
Sun 16 Dec - CREMORNE St Peter's Anglican Church - 6.30pm
Mon 17 Dec - NEWTOWN St Stephen's Anglican Church - 7.00pm
Tue 18 Dec - PARRAMATTA St Patrick's Cathedral - 7.30pm
Brandenburg Box Office (02) 9328 7581 or book online at www.brandenburg.com.au.
All church concerts are General Admission.
Wollongong - Adult $55 / Under 30 $32 plus booking fee.
Parramatta, Newtown - Adult $65 / Under 30 $43 plus booking fee.
Paddington, Cremorne - Adult $75 / Under 30 $55 plus booking fee.