After finishing a selection from Randall Thompson's "The Peaceable Kingdom," Saturday night, the Paul Hill Chorale vanished. Hill accepted the prolonged, loud applause alone with the baton, in the middle of the vast, empty stage of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Apologizing for the disappearance of his chorus, he explained that "They're due somewhere else."
Sure enough, after two brass ensembles spent a few minutes tossing the music of Gabrieli back and forth, the singers reappeared in the balconies on either side of the hall to sing "Haste Thee Nymph" from Handel's "I'Allegro," a jolly piece in which, for example, the syllable "Ho" from "Laughter Holding Both His Sides" becomes a long series of "ho, ho-ho's" rolling back and forth between the two choruses.
The latest in the Chorale's popular series of antiphonal concerts involved a considerable amount of moving about. At its climactic Point, the exquisite 40-part "Spem in Alium" of Thomas Tallis, the group was divided into eight small choirs, blending and answering one another from all parts of the hall.
The singing, as always, was superb. The program varied from music of the Renaissance to the world premiere of "Everyone Sang" by James E. Tritschel, a fascinating study ofshifting choral textures.