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These are the comments of one with a background in popular music who has enjoyed, as a camp follower, performances by his wife's local choir for several years. Composition There are four works on this CD. Three last for about 12 minutes and the more multi-structured "Magnificat" is about 25 minutes long. The compositions are sympathetic to both performers and listener. The vocal range is neither too demanding nor too complex rhythmically, which suits the ears of this listener. There is no danger of rhythms sounding gimmicky or of melodic changes being made purely for effect; everything seems purposeful. Being "sacred", much of the music has a spiritual quality. This may sound a truism, but the spirituality in these works transcends and is simultaneously enhanced by the use of the Latin texts, particularly in the first two works, "Ave maris stella" and "Magnificat". "Magnificat" is the longest work and features some demanding vocal harmonies which resolve happily. Orchestral accompaniment complements the vocals with subtlety. Individual instruments are given room to breathe - cello introduction is followed by oboe then violins. Bassoon (and bass or cello?) underscore the mezzo solo. Track 4 is a slow section, with subdued woodwind, which requires singers to hold long notes. If analogies are appropriate, please excuse my limited knowledge. Gorecki came to mind here, as did Bernstein in the more rhythmic preceding section, with interludes like a Shostakovich film score in track 2 and a Josquin motet after the soprano/mezzo duet. It seems good that a work should offer such diverse suggestions, yet retain its freshness and originality.Read more ›
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