SeraphicVespersDavid Fleshler writes in the South Florida Classical Review of last night’s performance of Vespers by Seraphic Fire and Piffaro, The Renaissance Band.

Describing “the unique tone of the Vespers by American composer Kile Smith,” he writes that “the work sounds like no other music,” and goes on to say that it’s “a serious, ethereal and searching setting of German and Latin texts…the words…inform every note.”

He mentions details from the score, and has this to say about Vespers overall: “The work spans centuries. In style and cadence, it has much in common with 16th-century choral music. Harmonically, with its soaring polyphony and gentle dissonances, it could be from any time in the past 80 years or so. The predominant tone is reverent and serene. There’s never a sense of the composer trying to awe the listener into spiritual submission through sheer choral grandiosity.”

Piffaro, Seraphic Fire, and artistic director Patrick Quigley receive genuine and deserved praise for their riveting and finely-honed concert. I was thrilled and moved by their performance, and happy to have found new friends in South Florida. St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral is beautiful, with a bright and exciting sound. Three more concerts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in other venues, details of which are here.