Schola Cantorum of Texas is closing its season this week with ecclesiastical programs in two area churches. Sunday afternoon’s program was in First United Methodist Church in Grapevine; a repetition is scheduled for Monday night in Fort Worth’s Arborlawn United Methodist Church.
The program in both venues includes the Mass in G Major by Schubert, the Requiem of Maurice Duruflé and Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars by contemporary English composer Jonathan Dove.
Throughout Sunday’s program, Schola lived up to its reputation as one of the area’s finest choral ensembles. Led by Jerry McCoy, the sizable group was precise, unified in approach and remarkable for beauty of sound.
Assisting was an excellent organist, Clinton Bray, and a small orchestra. The vocal soloists were soprano Kristin Stewart, mezzo-soprano Lauren Fisher, tenor Andy Stewart and baritones Robert Ward and Jeffrey Snider.
The most remarkable of the afternoon’s works, in terms of both its inherent worth and the beauty of the performance, was the Schubert mass. It is the work of an 18-year-old boy who was already an obvious genius.
Schola’s performance was moving throughout (soprano Stewart deserves special mention).
The performance of Duruflé’s Requiem was an impressive execution of a difficult score, with Bray at the organ contributing greatly to the work’s effect.
Dove’s Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars (the text comes from the Bible) was given a hypnotic performance, with Bray’s organ producing some unusual and interesting sounds.