Photos: Karen Kavanaugh Photography
Performances & News
For full information on a Good Friday virtual performance see Kathleen’s public facebook site (above) for more information on an inspiring concert.
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. John Passion
Good Friday, 10 April, 3pm (CEST)
Live from St. Thomas’ Church in Leipzig
Vielen Dank für die Mitwirkung und Förderung dieses Projektes/
Many thanks for participation and support on this project to:
Benedikt Kristjánsson – tenor
Reginald L Mobley – Countertenor d’amore
Bachfest Malaysia / Malaysia Bach Festival
J. S. Bach-Stiftung
Ottawa Bach Choir
Julia Sophie Wagner – Sopran
The 2020 JUNO Nominees
CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: VOCAL OR CHORAL
- When There Is Peace: An Armistice Oratorio Chor Leoni Men’s Choir Chor Leoni*Independent
- Schubert: Schwanengesang; Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge Gerald Finley Hyperion*Sony
- Handel: Dixit Dominus; Bach & Schutz: Motets Ottawa Bach Choir, conducted by Lisette Canton ATMA*Naxos
- Summer Night Peter Barrett, Martha Guth, Allyson McHardy, Helen Becqué Centrediscs*Naxos
- Schubert: Winterreise Philippe Sly with Le Chimera Project Analekta*Select/The Orchard
Ottawa Bach Choir
Lisette Canton, conductor
Concerts throughout Germany
Including the International Bachfest Leipzig 2022
Ottawa Bach Choir
Latest CD is now available. Reviews Noted Below
“staggering and movingly performed” ~Gramophone Magazine
“this new one is among the very best” ~American Record Guide
“thrilling performances of…Handel, Bach and Schütz” ~The WholeNote
‘Dixit Dominus’ – Handel
‘Komm Jesu, komm’ – Bach
‘Cantiones Sacrae’ – Schütz
On the ATMA Classique label
Click on the link below to purchase now:
March 27, 2019
The Ottawa Bach Choir and Ensemble Caprice join forces in this recording for thrilling performances of Baroque masters Handel, Bach and Schutz. From the outset of Dixit Dominus, the quick pace and precision with which the chorus deftly moves through Handel’s ever-running and cascading phrases is aweinspiring. Daniel Taylor guests for the alto aria Virgam virtutis in which the interplay between his golden voice and the continuo instruments is sublime. Soprano Kathleen Radke maintains a wonderfully relaxed vocal line through the execution of elaborate lines in Tecum principium in die virtutis and later she and Kayla Ruiz create enchanting chemistry in the soaring duet De torrente in via bibet.
Looking back almost a century, next on the recording are rarely heard Passion Motets from Heinrich Schutz’s Cantiones Sacrae. Heavily influenced by Italian madrigals of the time, Lisette Canton coaxes the full anguish of the thematic material from the choir in emphasizing dissonances and highly expressive rhetoric. The recording ends with homage to the choir’s eponym. In Bach’s Komm, Jesu, komm, excellent recording technique and choice of venue shine through, with a lovely resonance from the start and an erudite interchange captured in the dialogue of a choir divided into two sections by the composer.
Dianne Wells – The Whole Note
Showing that Toronto is not the only Canadian city capable of producing superb period ensembles, the Ottawa Bach Choir, conducted by founding director Lisette Canton, have combined with Matthias Maute’s Ensemble Caprice from Montreal in eloquent, persuasive performances of Handel, Schütz and Bach. The two have teamed up before, most notably in 2016, when they played in Beijing and Shanghai, and this is reflected in how easily they move to the heart of the music’s spiritual message, and how organically they integrate their HIP knowledge in order to communicate that message.
Their performance of Handel’s Dixit Dominus also gets the young composer’s precocious power and the passion of his utterances. From the exuberant, rigorous physicality of the opening chorus and the clear enunciation of the singing, the choir sing as if the words were actually being listened to and reflected upon by an engaged congregation.
The Canadian countertenor Daniel Taylor’s sweet-toned singing of ‘Virgam virtutis tuae’ is one of a number of lovely vocal contributions, another being sopranos Kayla Ruiz and Kathleen Radka’s exquisite ‘De torrente in via bibet’. There is splendid instrumental work throughout, including Jean-Christophe Lisette’s cello solo in the ‘Virgam’. And the choir show their virtuosity and staying power in the fugue that concludes the ‘Gloria Patri, et Filio’.
The Schütz songs are similarly vivid and engaged, but even so the grandeur of Bach’s motet is staggering and movingly performed. The sound is captured splendidly by Montreal’s own ATMA Classique label in the audiophile space of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church in Ottawa.
Kathleen is one of the featured soloists on the Ottawa Bach Choir’s recent Christmas CD ‘TWAS BUT PURE LOVE Christmas CD, Lisette Canton, conductor ; and the soprano soloist on the choir’s previous exceedingly popular A CHRISTMAS STORY with harpist Caroline Léonardelli, the women of the Ottawa Bach Choir, Lisette Canton, conductor; and one of the soloists on the OBC’s Cantate Domino CD in the exquisite Beatus Vir and Lux Aurumque. Kathleen is also the voice of Tosca in the computer animated short “Vissi d’arte”. Sponsored by Bravofact/NFB and created by Black Cherry Digital Media, the animated short has been shown on Bravo TV and at festivals in Ottawa, Italy and Japan.
“Soprano Kathleen Radke sang the solo cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 beautifully. She has such a smooth and lovely voice that it would have been worth going to the concert just to hear her… she’s got what it takes. Richard Todd, music critic, Ottawa Citizen