Fiori Musicali Choir
Renowned for clarity and purity of voice, the Fiori Musicali Choir (usually around 20-25) began life in 1984 with a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Since then, there have been CDs, including Purcell’s ode Hail! Bright Cecilia, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and a first British recording of the Requiem in C minor by baroque composer JD Zelenka.
Fiori’s choir sings everything from mainstream Haydn and Schubert to risqué madrigals by Gesualdo. Director Penelope Rapson challenges with unusual repertoire, sometimes including idiosyncratic pronunciation – Fiori’s Zelenka recording for instance called for abstruse Viennese-style Latin, with Czech inflections! The choir has explored music by the 16th Czech composer Turnovsky – never before performed in the UK – and Russan orthodox settings by the contemporary composer John Tavener.
After a standing ovation for Tallis’ magnificent 40-part Spem in Alium in an isolated redundant church somewhere in Warwickshire, one audience member confided afterwards, “That was amazing – I think I’ve just been to heaven and back.”
Fiori’s efficient rehearsals – generally no more than two for any given programme – are musically and intellectually stimulating. The ethos is that every member makes a unique musical contribution (often with some pertinent point of view, too! which all adds to the fun.) And there is no note bashing! (no passengers either, and absolutely no vibrato – cardinal sin #1 as far as director Penelope Rapson is concerned.)
To audition, email firstname.lastname@example.org.