The Sydney Chamber Choir conducted by its Artistic Director Sam Allchurch, is joined by several instrumentalists for Songs of Innocence & Experience.The 24-strong ensemble selects from five decades of its specialist repertoire, the music of the Renaissance and of contemporary Australia.

Sydney Chamber Choir

Yuin composer Brenda Gifford’s Mother Earth/Minga Baganis the now familiar Welcome to Country. The bowed harmonics of the vibraphone played by Rebecca Lagos and Jess Ciampa’s rhythm sticks and conga drums evoke the chants of animals and sweeping desert plains, drawing a landscape in sound.

The joy is evident in Josquin des Prez’s Ave Maria.The lyrical contrapuntal themes are well defined through the richly-layered texture. The sections are well-shaped. Four-part counterpoint contrasts with the antiphonal pairing of voices and chordal sections before closing in homophony. This clarity of texture is also evident in Pierre de la Rue’s low set Absalom, fili mi.

Alternating with these early pieces in the first half of the performance are three contemporary works. Australian composer Stephen Adams’ Memory Piecesis an intriguing a...