For those of you living under a rock, or who just think it is too much of a hassle to go out at night, you simply must rethink your respective lives. Especially now, in the season of comfort and joy, there is no more comfort and joy to be found than that which you will receive as a precious gift gently placed in your heart by the incredible Chanticleer.
What has 24 legs, 12 souls and 1 voice? You guessed it. What makes Chanticleer the marvel that it is? I will tell you. Each singer is a soloist. Each singer is not an egotist. Ergo, the ensemble is made up of fabulous, unselfish artists who perform for the good of the whole, for the good of the music, and ultimately, for the good of our ears. I looked up the word “blend” in the dictionary and it read: see Chanticleer. Yes, the beauty of sound is overwhelming, the detail to dynamics is unparalleled, and the musicality is unmatched. The success of Chanticleer really lies in the fact that, in addition to the voices themselves, they listen to one another. They LISTEN. Sometimes, I think there is more listening going on than singing. How else could the attacks and cut offs be so precise? How else could the blend (again) be so pure? How else could the essence and message of the music be so unforgettably presented?
Case in point: at 6 pm on Wednesday, December 21, at the Carmel Mission, Chanticleer offered a variety of selections covering music from the late 1500’s to today. Each period of music, each season, was true to the time and to the composer. Each selection was treated as if it were gold; full of nuance, care and respect. Singing early works, an ensemble must be clear and clean, and so very much in tune. They were. To sing the “modern” pieces (A Hymn to the Virgin, Lulajze, Jezunin and Die Stimme des Kindes) an ensemble must be fearless, confident and very, very talented. They were. The modern works were my personal favorites because they were filled with such powerful dissonance and intricate moving lines. They were at a level of difficulty to which any musician should aspire.
If you did not hear Chanticleer this time around (or if have never heard Chanticleer) you MUST go next year. You MUST get your tickets NOW. If you don’t, “the angels will weep for you” (Shaw).
Soap box: Any performance by any performer in any discipline should be performed for the connoisseur. Chanticleer delivers.
Reg Huston has been a concert soloist and has performed leading roles in opera and musical theater throughout the greater Monterey Peninsula for over thirty years.