Best Choral Performance: Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale— Handel’s Saul
Our reviewer wrote about this performance: “To report that the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale gave a magnificent performance of the work … is both manifestly true and slightly misrepresentative of the achievement. Yes, there were grand and glorious things … but it wasn’t the orchestral showiness that made such a deep and faceted impression. What mattered was the dimensionality of the whole, the depth of feeling and dramatic urgency that came together with such authority and grace under conductor Nicholas McGegan’s sure hand.” American Bach Soloists took second place with St. Matthew Passion, followed closely by California Bach Society’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s The All-Night Vigil.
Best Early/Baroque Performance: Voices of Music — “As Steals the Morn”
We weren’t able to catch this performance, but our readers certainly did, and they pushed this concert ahead of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s performance of Handel’s Saul and California Bach Society’s “I Maestri Italiani a Vienna” program. Voices of Music regulars were joined by acclaimed singers Amanda Forsythe and Thomas Cooley for a winning evening that included the Bach Orchestral Suite in B Minor and arias from Handel’s operas. Featured soloists were Emi Ferguson on Baroque flute and and Marc Schachman on Baroque oboe.
Read more at San Francisco Classical Voice