The joyous and celebratory sounds of Julian Anderson’s grand chorus/orchestra work Alleluia filled the Royal Festival Hall in March. The work was commissioned by the London Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate the reopening of the RFH in 2007, and it made an equally impressive impact at this revival 7 years on. This performance featured the original performers, the London Philharmonic Orchestra/Choir and principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski, who clearly relished the work’s skilful orchestral and idiomatic choral writing (Anderson knows both ensembles well having been composer in residence with the orchestra since 2010 and having sung with the choir himself).
The thrilling performance is available to listen again via the LPO website till 8 May.
‘The 15-minute piece's function is essentially celebratory; it sets a 10th-century Latin text known as the Alleluia Sequence, in which each short section of divine praise ends with the word that forms the title. Anderson's prodigious technical skills are evident throughout: in the super-enriched harmonic language, the imaginative skill of the orchestral writing and the choral writing that is punchy but also subtle and precise. Here the choir was on expressive form, hitting their notes fairly and squarely, with all sections working in perfectly balanced coordination. The piece made a joyous impact.’
The Guardian (George Hall), 4 March 2014
‘The piece made a joyous impact.’
‘It is a setting of Latin verses known as the “Alleluia Sequence” and has an appropriately outgoing, jubilant character, with some intriguing choral sounds and colourful scoring for a large orchestra containing the usual extensive helping of assorted percussion instruments favoured by contemporary composers.’
Classical Source (Alan Sanders), 1 March 2014