“Conspirare, chapeau les Texans!-Saint-Lô” by Xavier Alexandre, Ouest France, 11.02.12
English translation by Felicity Howard:
Conspirare, Hats off to the Texans!
If it’s necessary to dispel some clichés about Texas – Stetsons and cowboy boots – the Conspirare choir, based in Austin, takes on the job. The concert, which was greeted with wild applause yesterday in the hundred year old chapel at the Agneaux Institute, provided a particularly invigorating illustration of the American repertoire. Conspirare’s charismatic choir director draws out the best from spirituals, country & western ballads and pop songs, thanks to exceptional arrangements, the quality and balance of the voices and the depth of emotion of the singing. In a melancholic programme of music for All Saints Day the Samuel Barber compositions, including the Prayers of Kierkegaard and the version for voices of his famous Adagio for Strings, were especially moving. Even the heavens began to weep as the emotional power reached its climax. The serenity of Sure on this Shining Night provided solace. Finally, Conspirare gave as an encore Campers at Kitty Hawk, a tribute to the aviation pioneers, the Wright Brothers. The rhythm evoked the staccato of the telegraph, the “singing wires” as the Indians called them. It was entirely fitting, like the gift of Ma Normandie which endeared the Texans to the audience. Truly warm-hearted.*
* Play on homophonic words in French: Choeur = choir / Coeur = heart