The King’s Singers at Cumnock Tryst: ‘Perfection at every turn’

‘An absorbing hour-plus feast of first-class entertainment,’ wrote Ken Walton of our recent Cumnock Tryst concert. ‘With perfection at every turn, not least in the unshakeably purity of their intonation, the King’s Singers brand seems assured for another half-century at least.’
Walton reviewed our Cumnock concert for Scottish classical music site VoxCarnyx. The performance featured our brand new ‘Legacies’ programme which celebrates the anniversaries of musical and cultural visionaries including Ligeti, Disney, Byrd, Larkin and Vaughan Williams.
The Ayrshire festival is particularly meaningful to us as the product of composer James MacMillan, with whom we have a long and close relationship. It came at the end of a particularly busy touring schedule in which we covered five different countries within 30 hours.

‘The musical journey was smooth but adventurous,’ wrote Walton. ‘”Days from Even Such is Time” by Bob Chilcott (a former King’s Singer) offered a crisp and contemporary call to action, before the silvery perfection of Renaissance anthems and motets by Byrd and Weelkes. The joy in these earlier works was to witness that six-part group’s instant switching between moments of luxurious homogeneity and pertinent internal combat.’

The involvement and contributions of Paul Whittaker was also praised. ‘What also contributed to the freshness of the presentation was the interpretational signing for the hard of hearing by Paul Whittaker. Even for those of us unfamiliar with this language, Whittaker’s expressive physicality was a fascinating, added dimension that enhanced the presentation meaningfully and beautifully, all the more helpful when the complexity of some of the music occasionally obscured the clarity of the texts.’

The King’s Singers, pictured with composer James MacMillan (centre) and Paul Whittaker (right)

You can view the full review here.

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