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Cantori celebrates 20th anniversary with works by Ohana and de Leeuw
by Adria Quinones and John Lad for Vocal Area Network
Posted May 16, 2004

Cantori New YorkFirst, a summoning call sung by women: "Ii yaha..." The stark sound of fifths and octaves, without vibrato. The women are joined by the men, doubled so subtly by vibraphone that you're aware of the change in the choral sound without being immediately able to identify the reason. Then suddenly comes a cry of every singer together with the striking of a mass of percussion instruments--two pianos, vibraphone, xylomarimba, gongs. As the tremendous sound reverberates, the chanting begins...

From the beginning Avoaha grabs your attention. Arresting, startling and highly original, this is Maurice Ohana's final masterpiece, being presented for the first time in the United States by Mark Shapiro and Cantori New York, on Sunday May 23 at 8:00 PM at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, 116th and Broadway. The program also includes Ton de Leeuw's Cinq Hymnes, an extraordinarily beautiful, meditative work. Scored for chorus, two pianos and numerous percussion instruments, the concert is an exploration o