By Amanda Murthy
Angelic voices of the Lumina choristers reverberated through the building of St Mary’s Cathedral for an evening filled with history and tradition in music, debuting the group’s first concert for 2019 titled Allegri’s Miserere.
The concert that took place on 5 May from 7pm and was attended by more than 250 audience members including Catholic parishioners from across the Perth Archdiocese, priests, musicians, friends and family.
Lumina is a Western Australian based sacred choral ensemble that has performed at various venues including Archdiocesan events since 2009.
Cameron van Reyk, Music Director for the concert, both conducted and sang for the hour and was joined by sopranos Jane Artelaris and Monica Brierley-Hay, altos Sofie Kros and Emily Bruining, tenors Chris Goff and Greg LeCoultre, and bass Sam Lander.
The group was joined by some local Perth musicians for their first number Miserere mei, Deus – a song composed by Gregorio Allegri.
Mr van Reyk said the group had been working on the concert since March and was excited to be able to perform pieces, which, he says is perfect to be sung at a large and special venue such as St Mary’s Cathedral.
“We expanded our traditional eight voices to a larger ensemble to perform our first number, Miserere mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri with the help of some of Lumina’s friends in music,” Mr van Reyk said.
“This 1630s’ composition is particularly special because it was originally written specifically for the Holy Week Tenebrae but the manuscript was hidden and kept privately only to be sung exclusively at the Vatican once a year.
“This was not until the young Mozart visited Rome, heard the piece, transcribed it from memory and passed it on to others since.
“Today, Miserere is regarded as one of the most famous sacred choral works to be performed and recorded – we were honoured to be able to perform it as an opening piece,” he added.
Going back to his childhood roots of singing Gregorian Chants, Mr van Reyk said the following piece – titled Ubi Caritas – from two composers Maurice Durufle and Ola Gjeilo was performed with the intention of showcasing how the chant setting from Holy Thursday has transformed throughout the years.
“Crucifixus is taken from the Nicene Creed and describes the burial of Christ, Mother of God, Here I Stand is a simple but deeply moving piece which creates an atmosphere of devotional stillness,” Mr van Reyk explained.
The other songs featured included Justorum Animae, Coelos Ascendit Hodie, Beati Quorum Via, and the final number Jubilate Deo which translates the words “Go into His gates with praise, into His courts with hymns and give glory to Him” in song.