onomatopoeia Christmas performance
Desert Chorale: A Merry New Mexico Christmas
An arts-advocacy performance review by Norma Lynn and John
Seagrave, members of the Music Critics Association of North America for Arts Alive! and Well.
The Santa Fe Desert Chorale presented 5 performances of A Merry New Mexico Christmas. On 21 December, there was a big crowd at Santa Maria de la Paz in Santa Fe, with seats rearrranged in an arcuate plan. There was a lovely ambiance with the lighting and holiday decorations, though the hall seemed drafty. Diction was remarkably good for this reverberant space. The program differed materially from that previously announced, and was less sophisticated than has been usual. Director Dennis Shrock has an easy flowing, unforced approach that relaxed the audience.
As a Robert Shaw memorial, four arrangements by Shaw and Alice Parker were included. Fum, Fum, Fum and Masters in this Hall had been included in the Sangre de Cristo Chorale program. The "Fums" were done crisply enough, but the onomatopoeia effect was compromised by holding the final Fum. Masters in this Hall was spirited, and somewhat more satisfactorily vigorous that when used as a processional by the Chorale. O Sanctissima was taken very slowly, by contrast, in gentle simplicity.
and a very merry and jolly Christmas to ya'all