March 29, 1996 “From Captivity to the Holy City”

Philippa Kiraly, Seattle P-I, April, 1996

Music Review

Titled ‘From Captivity to the Holy City,’ the program was devoted to words of those going, or returning, literally or figuratively, to Jerusalem and thus home to God’s abode. Some words came from the Psalms, some from such 17th-century poets as Paul Flemming and John Donne – words of praise, distress, faith, sorrow, prayer, anxiety, agony. Together, they were a powerful collection.

… the group’s sound was glorious, and its intonation well-nigh impeccable.

Nothing was insecure in the way Opus 7 tackled an extraordinarily difficult work, “De Profundis,” commissioned for the occasion from John Muehleisen (a composer for whose works Opus 7 has an affinity).

Full of dissonance and variety, with many lovely resting places and spine-tingling moments, this is a major choral piece. It will be hard, for instance, to forget the amazing musical line ‘Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy,’ sung without flaw by soprano Lisa Cardwell Pontén.

The expressiveness was present [both] in the new . . . and the older [music]

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