Tonight’s all-women’s Early Music Hawaii concert, “Triumph Against the Odds,” had Carl Crosier’s fingerprints all over it — a total triumph, in terms of programming, execution, and the added bonus of a great audience. Carl selected all the women who sang in it, picked all the music, and even suggested what they should wear — all black long skirts with white headpieces. So even though he wasn’t physically in the beautiful nave of St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral, he was there very much in spirit.
As the first notes sounded of the opening chant by Kassia (“Above the Teachings of the Greeks”) the audience immediately fell silent, and time stood still while people were transported to another time and place by the simple yet profound chant. The magnificent cathedral acoustics of the building added to the ambiance as the six women, dressed all in black except for white veils, slowly processed down the main aisle, singing monody.
Earlier in the day, Noe Tanigawa’s wonderful interview with guest conductor, Jennifer Lane, and Ian Capps (President of Early Music Hawaii) was aired on Hawaii Public Radio which you can hear by clicking here.
The description reads as follows: Conversation about an upcoming concert of early women composers in Western music. In addition, Jennifer Lane, mezzo soprano who teaches voice, opera and early music, and Ian Capps, host of HPR’s Early Muse and president of Early Music Hawai’i, reflect briefly on the contributions of Carl Crozier (sic), long time cantor at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.
Tonight, in the exceptional acoustics of the co-cathedral of St. Theresa, voices will rise in praise of early women composers. The program was a special project, a final project, for a much loved leader in Honolulu’s music community, the late Carl Crozier (sic). HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the pleasures of these rarely heard compositions.
Every single woman had solos to sing, and when they sang in unison, or in harmony, the sound was pure and exquisite. Naomi Castro said it best: On cloud 9. We did it ladies!
Thank you, Carl. I know you were pleased!
(P.S. I heaved a huge sigh of relief when the last notes of the concert were over, as I played most of the concert from figured bass [a musical shorthand] or open score. Whew! THAT was more than enough of having to make up my own part!)