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"Four weeks ago in London I felt like I'd been touched by angels. I heard a choir sing the most breathtaking, blissful and ethereal music and I knew I'd found a spectacular opening to this year's Noël! Noël!," says Paul Dyer, the Brandenburg's Artistic Director. "I was at the famous Oratory on Brompton Road. I couldn't find the music program anywhere but was so ecstatic about finding this gem that I chased a member of the choir leaving the church afterwards, pleading for the name of the work."
Noël! Noël! is the Brandenburg's annual Christmas concert. In its 14th year, the series is a Sydney festive tradition, with concerts at the City Recital Hall Angel Place and churches around the city selling out. It has also resulted in two best-selling CDs, with A Brandenburg Christmas even hitting #59 on ARIA Album Chart for pop releases in the busiest retail week of the year (sitting proudly between releases by Stan Walker and John Farnham).
The series heads to Melbourne for the first time in 2012, with two concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre tonight, 8 December. This also marks the Melbourne debut of the Brandenburg Choir.
"The Brandenburg's annual Noël! Noël! concerts are an absolute Christmas treat," says Paul. "They are a joy for the audience, The Players of the Orchestra, the singers of the Brandenburg Choir and for me. And like a great Christmas cake, there are specific ingredients.
"At Noël! Noël! we perform traditional carols and luscious baroque music, adding the flavours of the Brandenburg. It is a heady blend of European and Latin American rhythms and percussion, some medieval chant and quite a bit of fun," says Paul of the unique mix, blending the ancient with the modern.
"Sacred, joyous and spectacular choral works are brought to life by the Brandenburg Choir accompanied on period instruments by the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the classical saxophone of Christina Leonard," he continues. "For the first time at these concerts, I will also introduce the hauntingly beautiful sound of the ancient cornetto, played by Matt Manchester. There is always something to make you swoon and something to make you smile. It is definitely a feel good concert not to be missed!"
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