Between Nineteen and Twenty

Laurence Equilbey on filling the gaps.

By Lydia Perović


While a student of conducting in Vienna, Laurence Equilbey experienced a visceral epiphany singing in the Arnold Schoenberg Choir and decided that this was the kind of repertoire worth dedicating her life to. Equilbey’s realization occurred during a performance of Schoenberg’s atonal work De Profundis. She heard primal, grounded a cappella voices achieving transparency, malleability and lightness of the highest order. The nineteenth and twentieth musical centuries appeared to her to be naturally connected by the chamber choir repertoire, that ensemble equally at home with abstraction and weightiness, the religious and the secular, the tonal and atonal...

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