EX CATHEDRA | "rhythmic precision with a certain jazzy swagger" - African Sanctus review

“The power of Fanshawe’s Sanctus lies in its ability make a cohesive blend out of what might, in other hands, be a clash of contrasts – a contrast of cultures, and the contrast between the spontaneous, improvised, free nature of the source recordings – and the more structured approach of western classical musical forms.

“The thought that many of the recorded voices might now no longer be with us, added a further contrast: that the living people singing, playing and dancing so magnificently before us, and delivering such a joyous, life-affirming and vibrant performance, were somehow duetting with ghosts of the past.

“Indeed, joyous and vibrant this performance was. The Keneish Dance Company, choreographed by Keisha Grant, formed an exuberant dramatic bridge between the recorded and live material, referencing traditional and modern dance vocabularies. One could not but be delighted by the obvious enjoyment between the outstanding Keneish percussionist, N’famady Kouyate and the CBSO percussionists.

“Singers from Ex Cathedra and the highly talented group, CBSO SO Vocal, part of the CBSO’s Arts Champion work, combined rhythmic precision with a certain jazzy swagger. Katie Trethewey soared in the stratospheric soprano solo passages. One also doffs a cap to Jeffrey Skidmore for the sheer technical virtuosity involved in conducting a live performance around recorded music.”

Read the full review at www.reviewsgate.com