“The Brandenburg Choir was polished and responsive, powerfully conveying the work’s celebratory magnificence in their full-voiced climaxes sung in unison.” The Australian
The Brandenburg Choir is renowned for its astonishing vocal blend and technical virtuosity.
Established by Artistic Director Paul Dyer in 1999 to perform in the first-ever Noël! Noël! Brandenburg Christmas concert, the Choir has become a regular part of the Brandenburg year. The first Noël! Noël! concert combined medieval chant and polyphony as well as carols from around the world in their original settings and languages.
“Music from earlier centuries often requires the sound of the human voice. I wanted to put a group of excellent singers together adding a rich complement to our period instruments. Our Choir is a ravishing blend of radiant Sydney singers”, says Paul Dyer.
Originally 13 voices, the Choir joined our Orchestra and wowed audiences with truly beautiful renditions of both familiar Christmas favourites and rarely-heard sacred works, performing music from the eleventh century to the Baroque. It was an instant success, combining musical, literary and scholarly performances that thrilled audiences and critics alike.
Noël! Noël! has proven to be so popular, the Brandenburg has released their third live recording of the concert at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Paddington, Sydney. Noël! Noël! was recorded in 2016. This beautiful collection of festive music is available in leading music stores. In addition to the annual Noël! Noël! concerts, the Choir now regularly performs as part of the Brandenburg’s annual subscription season. Bach Cantatas, Handel's Coronation Anthems, and Mozart’s great Requiem and Coronation Mass are among the best-loved performances of the Choir. Their performance of Handel’s Ode for St Cecilia’s Day received critical acclaim, with The Sydney Morning Herald declaring:
“[The Brandenburg Choir is] one of the finest choruses one could put together in this town”.
The current members of the Brandenburg Choir are all professional singers, many of whom also hold music degrees, but they do not all sing full time. From music teachers to lawyers, business managers to medical doctors and nurses, each member looks forward to the opportunity to perform with the Brandenburg throughout the year.
The Brandenburg Choir's very own Spencer Darby provided a tenor's take on performing the music of Handel for our upcoming series, Handel's Anthems & Fireworks;
"One of the specific challenges in singing Handel’s music is the language - the English language. This may come as a surprise, but many native English speakers prefer to sing in Italian, Latin, or French, over their mother-tongue. Singing in English can be a hornet’s nest of linguistic challenges. I always think of English as needing to be very carefully and meticulously wrought, whereas languages like Italian and French are more flowing and innately beautiful.
Singing something as monumental as Handel’s Messiah or the Coronation Anthems requires every choir member to work together, not only to sing all the correct notes and rhythms, but also to build something musically unique and special. This means having an awareness of the person next to you to the point of knowing when they breathe in certain phrases for example. The level of coordination and cooperation runs deep where good music-making is concerned. It’s a pleasant type of pressure, knowing that everyone around you is a capable, hardworking musician because it keeps you accountable for your musical responsibilities.
Handel’s Anthems & Fireworks is a special, exciting Brandenburg program. I hope you can make it to hear Handel in all his splendour and glory."
The Brandenburg Choir will be performing in our forthcoming concert series, Handel's Anthems and Fireworks.