The concert went spectacularly well. The two ensembles had been unable to do a sound check in Boe Chapel prior to the actual performance, due to union regulations that prevented them from rehearsing in Boe. However, even though all previous rehearsal had been in St. Paul, the ensembles performed together smoothly.
This is not the first time that the St. Olaf Choir and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have collaborated in concert. They performed together in honor of the 125th anniversary of the founding of St. Olaf in November 1999. However, Thursdays concert was the first joint venture of the St. Olaf Choir and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on SPCOs subscription concert series.
The concert opened with a performance of Mozarts Symphony No. 29 in A by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), and closed with Mozarts Requiem in D Minor.
Mozart died before finishing his Requiem, making it one of the most contested and controversial pieces in the history of music.
The audience on Thursday night was blown away by the choir and chamber orchestra's combined efforts. Emily Lindo 07 said, It was inspiring to hear our own Ole Choir with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, especially as the two groups achieved a remarkable blend of sound, energy, and spirit.
St. Olaf Choir director Anton Armstrong expressed pride in his choir again and again. They sound like a seasoned choir, not one that has been singing together for only two months, he said.
The St. Olaf Choir's next endeavor will be a world premier performance of Sussmayr's Requiem with instrumentalists this spring. That performance will be coupled with this weekends Requiem concert on a CD that will be internationally released on Avie records.
Armstrong said he is excited about the opportunity for the sounds of the St. Olaf Choir to be internationally distributed. This will be their second release in two years, a big accomplishment for the St. Olaf Choir.