The Australian Bach Society: Grand goals for Melbourne's newest chamber choir

Polyphonic Voices' upcoming concert Magnificat! is featured in the latest edition of the newsletter of the Australian Bach Society. Click here to read the article in the published newsletter

Grand goals for Melbourne’s newest chamber choir

Polyphonic Voices is set to close its inaugural year on the highest of notes with Magnificat!, a performance of J.S. Bach’s Magnificat (BWV 243a). But what makes this group stand out from the other choirs in and around Melbourne?

Drawing predominantly from the wealth of talent in the College and Church choirs of Melbourne, Polyphonic Voices aims to perform the finest choral music at the highest standard. It’s a professional-quality group, made up of 20 seasoned choristers who know all the ins and outs of the standard repertoire and are seeking to work at the next level.

The name Polyphonic Voices stems from the word ‘polyphony’, denoting the music of intricately interweaved melodies that one associates with the great composers of the Baroque period. Thomas Bland, president of the committee, notes that, “The name is a symbol for the talented individuals who have combined to make this exceptional choir.”

Under Artistic Director Mr Michael Fulcher, the group performed to packed houses at both its major concerts this year. Furthermore, with each set of new repertoire the committee of Polyphonic Voices seeks to create a real event – something more than your average concert. “We’ve finished our planning for 2015 and are really excited about what we’re putting on offer,” says Tom.

An important part of the group’s work is taking the best music of the Anglican choral tradition and performing it in a new setting. However they do not so limit themselves. “The passion and precision that have become synonymous with College Choirs can be applied to choral music of any style and era,” says Tom. Indeed, the group’s 2014 concert, A Midwinter Christmas, featured a medley by The Idea of North as well as several jazz arrangements of Irving Berlin classics – one of Michael Fulcher’s former incarnations was as a jazz pianist. “Audiences should be able to expect the highest quality of performance, regardless of the repertoire.”

Polyphonic Voices’ final concert for the year gives the group an opportunity to live up to its name. “Bach’s Magnificat is a true masterpiece,” says Tom. “To perform it at this Melbourne landmark alongside such talented musicians will be a one-off experience.”


Magnificat! the song of Mary

St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne

7:30pm Saturday 15 November 2014

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