POLYPHONY: Voices of New Mexico


The Albuquerque Journal (online version only)
April 2, 2017
Review by D.S. Crafts

Spanish composer Enrique Granados lived through the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. Today he is primarily known for his piano suite Goyescas and the popular Spanish Dances, favorite works of guitarists. Last week after a week-long series of lectures culminating in a final concert entitled The Granados Project, Maxine Thévenot's[cq] group Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico presented little known works by the composer as well as a revival of his Canto de las estellas (The Song of the Stars). Much of the concert was strictly instrumental, but three pieces highlighted the excellent voices of the choir. Continue reading...

The Albuquerque Journal (online version only)
March 27, 2016
Review by D.S. Crafts

Celebrating masterworks from and inspired by the Renaissance, Maxine Thévenot's Polyphony (Voices of New Mexico) presented a gorgeous tapestry of sound Friday night. The program offered primarily liturgical works ranging from the 16th to the 20th century. Directing a carefully chosen group of singers, Thévenot conducts with a minimum of gesture eliciting a maximum effect—the mark of a master conductor. Continue reading...

The Albuquerque Journal
October 21, 2014
Review by D.S. Crafts

The New Mexico Philharmonic chose to begin its new Classics season with a study of contrasts in similarity. Two Symphonies No. 9 — by Haydn and the Choral Symphony of Beethoven. For Haydn it was an early work (9 of 104 symphonies), while for Beethoven the culmination of a lifetime's work. The two pieces document the span of the symphony from light court entertainment to music that probes the depths of Hegelian philosophy. But Haydn was no mere entertainer and throughout the compass of his symphonies he took the form as far as his world view would allow. It was for the revolutionary tendencies of Beethoven to take it beyond. Continue reading...


Winter: an evocation – recording

The American Record Guide
November/December 2012 issue
Review by Charles H. Parsons

Although billed as 'music for the winter season for women's voices, harp and organ', this really is music for the Christmas season. The ubiquitous Ceremony of Carols opens the program, followed by two traditional English carols for solo harp and the just as ubiquitous 'Silent Night'. But in between come eight most unusual and new selections: music by Andrew Ager (2), Miklos Kocsar, Sean Og Tuamo (solo harp), Cary Ratcliff, Tarik O'Regan, Patrick Hadley, and John Tavener. The music is quite lovely – soothing and tranquil. The performances are the same. Texts are included.


"Find a Soundtrack for the Holiday Weekend"
"Winter: An Evocation"
The Albuquerque Journal
December 23, 2011
Review by David Steinberg

Though the title doesn't hint at it, this is mostly an album of religious Christmas music performed by the other-wordly female voices of Polyphony. The centerpiece is a gorgeous rendition of Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols." There also are tracks of carols by John Tavener, Franz Gruber and Tarik O'Regan, among others. Continue reading...



"Immaculate 'Messiah' Perfect for Easter"
Review by D.S. Crafts
The Albuquerque Journal
March 25, 2012

Isn't Handel's "Messiah" a Christmas piece? That's been the tradition for a long while, and it seems to suit well the yuletide spirit – at the least the first third of the work. Actually, the premiere performance was on April 13, 1742, in Dublin, Ireland, celebrating the Easter season.

Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico is reviving that original context in its superlative production this weekend at St. John's Cathedral. The group begins the work with Part Two, essentially the Easter story. Music Director Maxine Thévenot has assembled an outstanding group of players and singers alike. Chorus, orchestra and soloists all come together brilliantly, creating an event that will not easily be forgotten. Frankly, I can do no better than to give this performance my highest recommendation. Continue reading...



"Year in Review"
By D.S. Crafts
The Albuquerque Journal
December 25, 2011

A concert recording artist, Thévenot is a musical force to be reckoned with wearing many musical hats locally, as music director for St. John's Cathedral, director of the UNM Women's chorus Las Cantantes, and if that is not enough, founder and director of the chorus Polyphony. Continue reading...



The Albuquerque Journal
December 16, 2011
Review by D.S. Crafts

Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico has in only a few years established itself the state’s premiere chamber chorus. That is due in no small part to the group’s founder and director Maxine Thévenot, a musical force to be reckoned with. Besides Polyphony, she also directs the UNM women’s chorus Las Cantantes, music at St. John’s Cathedral and is a concert organist with several solo recordings to her credit. Continue reading...



"Vocal ensemble is pitch-perfect, with panache"
Review by D.S. Crafts
The Albuquerque Journal
May 27, 2011

The a cappella vocal group Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico prides itself that all its members are residents of the Land of Enchantment. Indeed, from the concert given on Sunday, hosted by the Placitas Arts Series, there is certainly no need for imported "ringers." Continue reading...



Concert Sponsor, Dr. Catherine Harris

It was a stunning performance Polyphony gave on Sunday (May 22, 2011) at the Placitas Artists Concert! The perfect blend of voices, perfect pitch and timing, and pure unaccompanied singing is hard to beat. Continue reading...