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Switzerland Tour, Mar 2015 - Le Nouvelliste

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English translation below


French review of Switzerland tour 2015


More than 600 people came to listen to the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge this Sunday at the Basilique de Saint-Maurice.  The famous Choir interpreted, with a rare talent and generosity, English choral works from the Renaissance to today, as well as a piece by Ticinese composer Ivo Antognini, written specially for the commemorative occasion of the Abbaye of St Maurice.  In the second half, TCC sang modern works.  The audience let themselves be transported by the grace and joy which emanated from the music. A truly magical event, which will remain in memories for ever. 

Pascal Crittin, president of the Commission Culturelle pour le 1500e anniversaire de l’Abbaye, wanted to offer an exceptional musical moment for the occasion.  He had the original idea of inviting one of the best choirs in the world to interpret Antognini’s piece, written specially for the occasion, the composer being one of the best of our time. The event would take place in the Basilique of Saint Maurice to celebrate and perpetuate its ancient and yet very much alive choral tradition.

Stephen Layton, musical director, points out that TCC’s singers are very talented: “It takes already a lot of talent to study at Trinity College, but taking part in the Choir as well as reading for a degree asks for an unstoppable will-power and dedication.” He adds: “I am astonished to see such sensitivity and intelligence in these young people, it is a true gift for me to work with them, it’s rejuvenating!”

Beyond the vocal technique, which is of an infinite precision and creates celestial harmonies, it is the warmth and joy of singing which emanates from the Choir that makes it truly remarkable.  Pascal Crittin comments: “The quality is exceptional and I am very moved by what emanates from them all, by their authenticity.”

Stephen Layton conceived the programme based on his wish to offer the audience what English music has done best to sing God’s glory.  He had also wanted to collaborate musically with Ivo Antognini for a long time, which is why he accepted the invitation of the Abbaye of St Maurice with much enthusiasm.  He believes that interpreting contemporary works helps tradition remain alive and adapted to its time.  He explains: “A tradition isn’t kept alive simply because it is 1500 years old.”

Magali Charlet