Oddly enough, newcomers to the Adiemus
experience could do far worse than start here and work backwards. Unlike its predecessors, this volume of new music for orchestra-plus-quasi-early-music-stroke-ethnic-vocals purports to be based on a kind of potted history of dance music (that's s in Grove
rather than groove), with the resulting rhythmic diversity enlivening the music no end. However, what seems to have escaped even the composer (at least if his po-faced booklet notes are anything to go by) is the unassailable fact that dance has always had an enormous influence on the style and form of popular music, which has in turn informed this
music in some cheer-inducing ways. Jenkins himself points us towards his gavottes, waltzes, rumbas and square dances, but the musical results are a splendidly unstuffy mixture--Adiemus does the torch song, Adiemus does the Victorian parlour ditty, Adiemus does Disney--which is immediately enjoyable. The effect is like that of a good stage musical, producing a frisson
of recognition with every number. This is recommended on grounds of sheer affability. --Roger Thomas
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