Excerpts from Review by Anthony Ritchie (Otago Daily Times Article, December 2007).


The Southern Consort of Voices directed by Daniel Kelly gave a Christmas Recital in St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday at lunchtime. This long established chamber group is developing nicely under the direction of Kelly who, himself, is growing in stature as a conductor.

Working with an unaccompanied choir is a great challenge, and a crucial issue is choosing the right music for the singers. This programme suited the choir well, with a mixture of relatively simple settings and some more challenging items. … It was nice to see on the programme some items by Arvo Part, a composer championed by former conductor Jack Speirs.

Of the modern items, Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium sounded beautiful, with some lovely shaping of phrases and secure intonation. Body’s People Look East was also convincing: strong in tone and with good control of the changing rhythms. Another highlight was Madden’s popular I Sing of a Maiden, which featured some lovely lines and glowing harmonies. Here the choir displayed a strongly blended sound.

The opening German carols were secure in their delivery, but … the choir could work on a brighter, more incisive tone. The choir … finished with a flourish, singing the Holly and the Ivy and I came away thinking this choir is in good hands …