The Stranger Guide to Seattle

Sasquatch Books, The Stranger Guide to Seattle, June, 2000

The ensemble-in-residence for the imposingly towered St. James Cathedral offers a fine reminder that whatever excesses Christians of all stripes have committed in the name of God, they’ve also made possible some lovely music. Dedicated to religious works, naturally, but specifically to music of the 20th century. And the group admirably manages to avoid the over familiar; there’s Britten and Tavener, to be sure, but not necessarily the pieces you’d expect. If God is in the details, then director Loren Pontén has done full service to his deity — the group sings beautifully to a member, no matter what is set before them. Always a service worth catching; too bad about those uncomfortable pews, though.

Typical Programming: Mostly tonal (were any of the Darmstadt gang into God?), but some aggressively modern pieces are fit in (and performed wonderfully) as well.


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