In February, I was fortunate to be able to travel to Germany to see (at last!) Gregorian Masters of Chant LIVE. I was blessed in being able to attend not one, but two shows. I saw the the preview (Danke, FP!) in Lubeck and then—two nights later—the world premiere in Hamburg.
First off, I would like to say that through countless listens to the studio recordings and countless watches of the various DVD's? I was in no way prepared for the goose-bump inducing and spine-tingling grandeur of experiencing the Gregorian choir live. Simply, it was magnificent beyond mere words.
The Epic Chants show (and it IS a show, not simply a concert) was themed around classic and well known movies and featured the ensemble singing in four languages—English, German (Engel) Latin (O Fortuna) and Italian (Nella Fantasia).
The show was pulled together, thematically, by the alternately fun, poignant and sometimes magical use of a large screen featuring everything from cameos by the various choir members, floating clouds, a fantasy unicorn and adorable images of the choir with their beloved female family members.
It was further enhanced by the extraordinary light show and use of props, such as laser gloves and pyrotechics. It has to be seen to be believed. Incredible.
Musically, the eight-voice choir is backed by a string quartet (Angel Strings) and a four piece rock band consisting of piano (Eva Mali) keyboards (Carsten Heusmann/Matthias Meissner) guitars (Gunther Laudahn) and the fire-breathing drums/percussion of Harry Reischmann.
Featured female artists were the always enchanting and charismatic Amelia Brightman, a long-time fan favorite, who performed a stirring solo from Gladiator (Now We Are Free) along with several selections with the choir. Also featured was Nemo Studios artiste, Eva Mali, who sang a beautiful solo rendition of the classic “Nella Fantasia” and also performed the flagship song “World Without End” from the Epic Chants CD. Amelia and Eva also fronted the choir for a mind-blowing adaptation of Led Zeppelin's timeless “Kashmir” that had the men in the audience entranced and the women in the audience sighing enviously over Amelia's abs.
A highlight for me was the encore ensemble presentation of “Hallelujah” which featured everyone in the show singing in turn. It was especially fun in Hamburg, when the choir did the number in the audience, and by the fate of the gods, directly in front of me. * happy sigh * The show ended with a frolicking and fun rendition of “Sky And Sand” which featured a never-before seen side of the choir that was totally unexpected and had the audience on their feet, dancing along.
All, in all, it was a fabulous show which simply flew by and was TOTALLY worth flying nearly 9000 miles for. If you haven't bought tickets yet? Run, don't walk, to the ticket counter and experience this truly incredible show for yourself.