As a cappella singing goes, you can’t beat Chanticleer. This San Francisco-based 12-member male ensemble offers some of the finest, clearest, engaging vocal performances you’re likely to hear.
If you go
WHAT: ChanticleerWHEN: 7 p.m. TuesdayWHERE: Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.COST: $35, $55 and $75MORE INFO: Individual tickets may be purchased at TicketMaster.com, by calling (800) 745-3000, or at the CCA office, 131 King St. (727-1216). On the day of the concert, the box office opens at 1 p.m.
They are expert ancient music purveyors, sublime modernists and rollicking popsters. Give them Monteverdi or Gesualdo and you’ll get back something luminescent. Give them John Corigliano or the Chinese-American composer Chen Yi and you will think twice about contemporary music.
Or give them traditional spirituals, a famous Broadway tune or traditional Mexican number and listen to what they can do. It’s all a bit jaw-dropping.
You will get a chance to hear the 35-year-old Chanticleer in its program, “The Siren’s Call,” on Tuesday, presented by the Charleston Concert Association at the Sottile Theatre. The one-night-only program begins in the 14th century with Andrea Gabrieli and ends with a 21st-century version of “Blues in the Night” and “Wade in the Water.”
Chanticleer, named for the clear-singing rooster in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” has won various awards, including a couple of Grammys, and keeps getting critical accolades. The group gives about 100 concerts a year throughout the world. In its midst are composers and arrangers whose handiwork often is heard during performances.
The Charleston program, “The Siren’s Call,” spans the centuries. It features a work by Chen Yi, written for Chanticleer on the occasion of the ensemble’s 35th anniversary, called “I Hear the Siren’s Call.” It mixes Chinese and contemporary musical idioms to tell a story about sailors lured upon the rocks by the seductive voices of the sirens.
The 12 men of Chanticleer sing soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass parts to produce a full range of sound and expression.
You’ve got to hear it to believe it.