The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra may have gone on strike Thursday, but there were still some angelic sounds to be heard downtown. The Texas Camerata, several of whose members are FWSO musicians, presented a program called Sacred Art in St. Patrick Cathedral. (The Camerata is not, of course, involved in the current artistic strife.)
Seven of the nine composers on the program were active in the late 17th and early 18th centuries — familiar territory to Camerata, which specializes in music played on old-timey instruments or replicas thereof. What made the program a little unusual was the inclusion of two works by composers still alive.
This worked out very well, for Phil Kline (who was born in 1959) and Julian Wachner (1970) obviously weren’t intent on creating any stylistic clashes. Their music was gentle, appealingly lyrical, reverent even. Their sounds blended well with those of their 17th- and 18th-century brethren.
Kline’s Alma Redemptoris Mater and Wachner’s O clarissima Maria were beautifully sung by countertenor Ryland Angel. For their texts, the two composers reached back about a thousand years to two medieval poets: Herimann the Lame (1013-1054) and Hildegard von Bingen (ca. 1098-1179).
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For me, the most moving work of the evening was Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, a sad and deeply touching composition again showing Angel’s mastery of this sort of material.
The music wasn’t all religious or somber. Some highlights included two bright fanfares, with Adam Gordon and Leigh Anne Hunsaker as the featured trumpeters; an appealing trio by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, with flute player Lee Lattimore as the featured soloist; and Vivaldi’s catchy La Folia, with violinists Kristin Van Cleve and Ania Bard taking the lead.
Other participants in a pleasant evening were violist Donna Hall, cellist Karen Hall and organist Corey Candler.