Singers who conjure up the magic of freshly fallen snow

Crisp and clear: a breath of Finnish air from Enkelit at Square Chapel
Crisp and clear: a breath of Finnish air from Enkelit at Square Chapel

This extraordinary choir, formed in England in 2003 and with 12 female members, astounded us with their crisp and clear voices, translating the essence, if not the language, of Finnish folk song.

The a cappella sounds and rhythms were like fresh-fallen snow, clean and pure.

Ably directed and compered by Richard Pomfret, Enkelit took us on a journey through Finnish choral music and its revival through the latter half of the 20th century.

With tangible sadness, light humour and vacillating rhythms, they sounded well-placed in the clean air and acoustics of the intimate Square Chapel.

Through constantly changing places and juxtaposition, they very particularly created an outstanding and original sound for many of these pieces, most of which were written by Finnish composers over the last 20 years.

After two plaintive songs, with voices replicating instrumental sounds and creating haunting and atmospheric impressions, we headed, uplifted, for the interval. But not before, as carefully explained by a member of the choir, an outstandingly explicit and naughty musical description of what happens when a boy, a girl and a meadow come together!

Extraordinary to think that the sound of admittedly stunning music, accompanied by, for most of us, an undecipherable and elusive foreign language, should be capable of such uplifting impact.

As the light faded over Halifax, followed by more melancholy and night songs, Enkelit, with beautiful voices all with perfect pitch, produced an evening of pure magic!

Catch them on June 17 at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge.