Critical Acclaim

Adelaide Chamber Singers perform in Tokyo, Japan

The Adelaide Chamber Singers continues to receive positive press reviews from local, national and international press from Adelaide and Sydney to London and Oxford.

2013

“ Under guest conductor Christie Anderson’s adroit and caring direction the 16-strong ACS, on something of a lap of honour after their recent triumphs in Europe, were still in winning form with their cutglass precision, tonal elegance and cultured panache suiting Britten’s style to perfection. All seven settings of Hopkins’ poems sounded positively incandescent.”

“Throughout the program ACS infused everything with their special brand of magic…”

“Conducting and singing such a complicated, contrasting piece is a challenge for conductor and singers alike, and it was met superbly. No audience could have been more thrilled or uplifted – nor shown their appreciation more warmly.”

“…a magnificent performance of Thomas Tallis’s Spem in Alium 40-part motet under Crossin. It was spine-tinglingly glorious. There should be more events like this.”

2012

“ACS let the light shine through the chorus runs, separating the notes – the result of much painstaking work (especially for the basses) on vocal cords and diaphragms. Lucinda Moon led a six-piece ensemble for stylish accompaniments…”

“Director Carl Crossin and his talented bunch are always totally involved in their work. Their engagement embraced the crowd.”

“The full, focused sound of the opening chorale, Herr unser Herrscher, promised good things to come and they did… the chorus [was] directed by Adelaide Chamber Singers conductor Carl Crossin [and] their sound filled the Great Hall with full-toned, smooth-edged gravitas.”

“The Adelaide Chamber Singers and the Sydney Chamber Choir, the two choirs which formed the chorus, were magnificent … The chorales, varied within themselves according to their emotional import, were polished, meticulously phrased, and emotionally satisfying… The singers were joined by an orchestra of excellent players led by Lucinda Moon, one of Australia’s most experienced and capable baroque violinists.”

“The well trained choristers managed their various roles with distinction, dispassionate observers in the chorales, bloodthirsty crowds in the trial scenes and most tellingly as loving friends in the final chorus… Moon’s little band kept the baroque conventions on track with strong strings, elegant obbligatos from oboes and flutes and secure continuo of organ, gamba and bassoon.”

2011

“…the 2011 festival has brought together new, favourite and little-known older chamber works and given singing voices, whether solo or concerted, the consistently prominent place they deserve. That last statement is true, at least, when the festival’s resident choral group is as impeccably co-ordinated as Carl Crossin’s Adelaide Chamber Singers…”

“The ensemble never faltered, and among the many fine soloists, Alexandra Stubberfield shone most brightly.”

“In their delivery of Tavener’s formal but deeply expressive chants, men only, women only, both combined, with and without harmony, Crossin and his colleagues were at their most disciplined and most serene.”

2010

“Conductor Graham Abbott wrapped up a package that could take pride of place under any Christmas Tree. 25 of the fairest and best Adelaide Chamber Singers performed remarkable feats of speed and accuracy.”

“Now that is something for an amateur choir to shout about: 25 years of continuous concerts, of conventions upheld and broken, of appearances around Australia and six international tours, of high standards reached and improved upon.
Both these [Gabriel Jackson’s Sanctum est verum lumen and Tallis’ Spem in alium] are tours de force for any choir. They wrapped up a night of triumph for Crossin and the singers.”

“The two [Francisco Guerrero and Claudio Monteverdi] give us different but equally finely wrought musical world views. Both were superbly performed by the Adelaide Chamber Singers under the attentive direction of Carl Crossin.”

2009

“rare are the singers who can move so smoothly between solo and chorus roles.”

“FREEZING though St John’s might be on a chilly spring evening, the Adelaide Chamber Singers were on fire in a large program that showcased their formidable artistry. ”

“There were fine solos from the very versatile Greta Bradman and tenor Andrew Lynn, but the real triumph of this performance was the collective and cohesive achievement of all 30 voices.”

2008

“Alan McKay was in voice of God mode in The Trumpet Shall Sound and so was Martin Philipson’s trumpet.”

“One of the features of this ensemble is its ability to sustain and continually polish a collective sound, with moments of gem-like visceral beauty.”

“…a choral celebration beyond anything in living memory – in Adelaide, and most other places too.”

“The genius of Pärt’s silences and solo notes was never more evident than in this splendid performance by this remarkable world class group which calls Adelaide home.”

“The Adelaide Chamber Singers are a marvellous ensemble… Will someone please bring them to Sydney?”

2007

“As ACS performances of this work go, there was probably more energy, drive and sheer force of character in this version than previously, their tremendous verve and infectious good humour bringing Vecchi’s vision into sharp relief for the lucky listeners”

“Carl Crossin’s Adelaide Chamber Singers clearly understand the idiom and love the music, to which their full, fresh tone and blend are ideally suited.”

“…Crossin’s group permeated the soul of this music producing interpretations of rapturous intensity.”

“…a memorable feast for the senses.”

“…sonic purity and deftly expressive subtleties.”

2006

“In just one hour listeners experienced an emotional outpouring of highly coloured, deeply contemplative music…all sung with effortless grace. Director Carl Crossin and guest conductor Michael Brewer created absolute magic… 5 stars”

2005

“I hereby declare the revelatory realisation of Rachmaninov’s Vespers by the Adelaide Chamber Singers an Australian major event”

“…it was the Adelaide Chamber Singers who provided all the insights with a combination of disciplined purity and a dance–like exuberance that proved how celebratory, not dirge–like, this work really is. It should come as no surprise: ACS have over the years performed virtually all of Pärt’s choral works and have a great affinity with the composer.”

2004

“…without exception beautifully sung…the best blend, the most pinpoint intonation…”

“…voices with astonishing depth and power…Caught up in their intense concentration, listeners were totally absorbed.”

“…disciplined artistry…delicate beauty.”

2003

“…brimming with energy, vitality and fun, along with all the vocal finesse, musical empathy and stylish presentation to which we have become accustomed under Carl Crossin’s direction.”

“…intensely focused…disciplined precision. An engrossingly beautiful performance.”

“…17 years of building up a level of choral professionalism new to this city…”

2002

“The city’s classiest choral outfit by a country mile.”

“…refreshing to hear so much detail without losing the pace and vitality”

“Adelaide Chamber Singers continues to set the standard”

“Standout items included Orazio Vecchi’s L’Amfiparnaso, in only its fourth Australian performance, all by the Adelaide Chamber Singers and its Director Carl Crossin, which proved perhaps the hit of the weekend…realized with musical intelligence, dry wit and great style.”

“The real heroes of the evening were the 40 Adelaide Chamber Singers and Elder Conservatorium Chamber Choir…genuine drama and pathos…”

“…the choir — Adelaide Chamber Singers and Elder Conservatorium Chamber Choir directed by Carl Crossin — sounded wonderfully hushed, tightly focused and intense.”

2001

“…[This CD] covers a range of styles and tastes that amply demonstrate the breadth of skill and refinement that characterises this renowned, home grown ensemble. The quality is the consistent point…”

“…the event was a great success, confirming the Singers’ reputation as Adelaide’s foremost nest of songbirds.”

“Bruno Weill was fortunate in having Adelaide Chamber Singers to provide his chorus…rarely can so rich a vocal texture have so belied the small numbers producing it”

2000

“There was an appropriately grand and opulent sound to this performance, and a precision of rhythm and phrasing…ACS remain Adelaide’s pre–eminent vocal ensemble…this reading was notable for its sustained excellence…Carl Crossin continues to make a richly rewarding contribution to this city’s musical life”

“Carl Crossin is well known for his bold repertoire choices…he demanded of his Singers that they not only sing (which they did, as usual, quite beautifully) but also act and react, eat, drink, move, speak…they obliged in full…the Masonic Hall was charmed by these ravishing sounds”

“by far the best and most committed performance of a new and decidedly ‘modern’ piece I have heard from the Chamber Singers”

1999

“Liberating our imaginations in that great acoustic were the Adelaide Chamber Singers…the results were stunning”

“Singers WOW the audience! …this concert was an eye–opener. With their superb precision, musicality and adventurous programming, ACS looks set to take the UK by storm during their three–week tour.”

“impeccably controlled…exquisitely performed”

“quite remarkable…a rare degree of finesse”

“With such assured singing, the pitch has a cut–glass precision…compelling from first note to last…provided me with extraordinary pleasure”

1998

“The real stars, though, were the Adelaide Chamber Singers, whose enthusiasm, clarity and energy were exceptional”

“Singing of uncommon quality…ACS is undoubtedly one of SA’s musical gems…unerring accuracy…most ravishing sounds”

“complete musical success…splendid intonation and finely judged internal balance”

“Carl Crossin and his Adelaide Chamber Singers are constantly searching for new ways to make their concerts more interesting, more varied, more appealing…In ensemble tone, pitch and blend, they were as good as I have heard them.”

“The Adelaide Chamber Singers are accomplished at maintaining a sense of balance and the clarity of individual lines…[they have established a] distinctive and admirable vocal style…As a vocal ensemble they have reached a level of maturity which is clearly the result of both talent and hard work.”

“The Adelaide Chamber Singers sang with real bite and attack.”

1997

“…sustained, disciplined and beautiful musicianship…another milestone in the already substantial success story of this important local ensemble”

“…the constant, central element was ACS’ still–fresh, marvellously clear and disciplined singing”

1996

“…highly polished seasonal gems in a diverse, cleverly constructed program…The only thing that is predictable about an ACS concert is its sustained and exemplary performance standard…This was ACS at their very best and it doesn't come much better.”

1996 UK tour

“…Sheer excellence…a joy to hear…”

“…an immense and memorable contribution…”

“…really splendid…adding so much distinction both to the broadcast and to the Convention.”

“…a well disciplined and versatile group…thoroughly enjoyable.”

“…captivating and professional vocal sound…Great Southern Spirits (Stephen Leek) was stunning and the audience was completely rapt.”

“…another fine, richly satisfying concert…Adelaide’s most consistently high–grade performing ensemble — meticulous in their preparation, thoughtful and often adventurous in their programming and, most significantly, always expressing a deep, collective devotion to the music they sing.”

1993

“A large audience packed St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral last week to hear Carl Crossin draw a remarkably impressive Bach’s B Minor Mass from a nineteen voice Adelaide Chamber Singers and small orchestra. They kept the church spellbound for over 2 hours”

1992

“Establishing a very high quality level is one thing. Sustaining and even winding it up a notch or two marks a significant achievement. Since the mid 1980’s Carl Crossin’s ACS has pursued such a path with an artistry and dedication that has been both a pleasure and a privilege to hear”

1991

“Very occasionally a concert comes along that is a privilege to attend. The Adelaide Chamber Singers’ Easter offering of Pärt’s setting of the Passion according to St John (Passio) is certainly in that league. Once again ACS has redefined its own exacting standards and with them, the level of choral music making in Adelaide”

1988

“[The Adelaide Chamber Singers] appearances have set new standards for their genre in this city…”

1987

“A moving and gentle triumph…This concert from the Adelaide Chamber Singers was quite simply an enriching experience; the kind of music making that would add to the quality of music making just about anywhere”