One Bird with Two Stones

Resident critic of the Houston Chronicle, Charles Ward reviews for us a concert given by the St. Olaf College male choir, Cantus. After praising them for their

Impeccable singing, an engaging stage personality and heartfelt interpretations [which] added up to a pleasurable evening...

Mr. Ward’s article seems to take a nosedive into misinformation, local opinion-having and confusing contradiction.

He states that:

The sound was traditional male,

You know, one penis and two balls.

... forgoing the countertenors and male sopranos that give Chanticleer its unusual timbre.

While, yes, they may have chosen to forgo the upper voices (the countertenors and male sopranos), I’m pretty sure that it is not traditional. In fact, I’m sure of it.

Cases in point,


The King’s Singers

Ars Poliphonica

And now, Cantus

This point is small and my citations cherry-picked, granted. Just take my word for it; I’m right. But I believe this is an example of many critics’ general propensity for poor research or a lack of knowledge about the topic for which they are writing. I don’t know how these guys get jobs.

And then there is this little jibe on terrorists.

The 23rd Pslam, a work dedicated to his mother, Bobby McFerrin [yes, the “Don’t worry, be happy” guy; he’s also a very good composer, ed.] made the nurturing God into a female,

Oh no!

a twist of unorthodox thinking that undoubtedly


would delight radical Christian feminists.

Don’t forget, we’re in not in a blue state, anymore. That said, it comes of no surprise that there is also this:

The post-intermission half reached its peak fairly early with “Last Letter Home,” an elegant, haunting setting of a letter from a soldier who died in Iraq [pronounced: eye-RACK, ed.].

But this is neither here, nor there. The review is positive, aside from the few little regional indicators and a lack of research. This is why the final bit is so confusing.

It seemed like they poured their musical hearts into every work they performed...

A positive thing.

At the end, I was almost consumed by an urge to run out to the lobby to buy those CDs that, a bass humorously noted,

Presumably, not a sporting-fish.

the members would be happy to sign afterwards. I headed to my car instead.

Not a positive thing.

Not a PC thing. Not a correct information-having thing. What on Earth, then, is this? The average thing.

P.S. Cantus is good. You should go to their performances.


Sator Arepo said...

I love me some Charles Ward. Mmm-mmm good. Well done, sir.