The Helsinki Chamber Choir (Helsingin kamarikuoro) was founded in 1962 as the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir and assumed its current name in 2005. It is currently Finland’s only professional chamber choir. The choir’s Artistic Director from 2005–2007 was Kimmo Hakola. Since 2007 Nils Schweckendiek has been responsible for the group's artistic planning.
There was a time, not long ago, when Baroque scores were treated as a folio of performance suggestions, not as the letter of the law. Performers felt free to add music or (more often) to take it away, and to do other things which were quite different from what the composer originally had in mind. Sir Thomas Beecham had no qualms about performing surgery on the music of George Frideric Handel, a composer he absolutely adored. No disrespect was intended. In fact, Beecham loved Handel so much, he wanted everyone else to love him too. That meant making him more palatable for modern tastes – bigger and leaner, at the same time.
Bach’s St. John Passion with a star-studded lineup of soprano Johennette Zomer, countertenor Andreas Scholl, tenor Mark Padmore, and bass Klaus Mertens, conducted by Ton Koopman, was bound to be—and indeed was—an enjoyable affair. A little over two years ago the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra performed the B-minor Mass with him, now they tackled the ‘smaller’ Passion.
Having spent years showcasing his own personality while diminishing the importance of the instrumentalists in his bands, Cab Calloway groveled during the early '50s, resorting to every imaginable gimmick and often sounding positively desperate. Two rather forced duets with Eugenie Baird employ exactly the same material as Pearl Bailey and Hot Lips Page were using during that same time period. These somewhat irritating covers are as different as can be from the fine artistry of Pearl and Page. "Rooming House Boogie" actually rocks, and Sam Taylor has a good hot solo. An overbearing tribute to Joe Louis is followed by the misogynistic "Your Voice"…
Philippe Herreweghe, principal conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, has devoted himself for over ten years to fresh and invigorating readings of the (pre-) Romantic repertoire. Together with the Collegium Vocale, founded in 1970 by Philippe Herreweghe himself, and superb soloists they perform Dvořák’s Requiem.