Astra Quarter-Hour Concerts - Spring-Summer season 2020
A series of short aural-video programs for online listening and viewing, assembled from the Astra Concerts archive from the 1950s to the present, and introducing new studio works from composers in the period of COVID-19.
Drawing on these past and current elements, mini-concerts are created that never took place as such, from items separated in time and place. New ways open up for Astra's characteristic program experiences, of encounters between different styles and eras in music, both choral and instrumental.
Concert 1 - The City
Robert Carl, Stefan Wolpe, Alma Mahler
Concert 2 - The Royal Park School
Martin Friedel & Allan Walker (2020), Keith Humble (1987)
Concert 3 - William Blake, Cradle & Grave
Dorian Le Gallienne, Bo Holten, Elisabeth Lutyens
Concert 4 - Procession and Footfalls
Robert Schumann, Elisabeth Lutyens
Concert 5 - Composer - Kaleidoscope
Short works by Helen Gifford
Concert 6 - Between War and Revolution
Arthur Lourié, Alexander Mosolov, Alexander Kastalsky
NB For best video quality, use the Settings "wheel" to choose HD (1080p).
"The skill that John McCaughey and the Astra Choir bring to these extraordinarily demanding works cannot be overstated. This has to be some of the most virtuosic choral singing I've ever heard. The profundity of the music is consistent, and you won't have to be an aficionado of choral singing to appreciate this music." － Fanfare (review of Astra's CD "We, like Salangan Swallows...")