Top positive review
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Angel Voices, ever singing
on 24 September 2006
I have never been a fan of crossover CDs: usually the singers are far too contrite and `Songs-of-Praise' to merit any serious attention. The 300th recording of Bach's Ave Maria alongside a forty part a cappella rendition of Agadoo always seems so media-orientated and not for the listening audience.
This CD is a wonderful breath of fresh air in a market so saturated that most CDs are the same track listings sung by copy-cat singers. The four girls are very pretty and that will obvious draw crys of the group's being yet another manufactured group. Fortunately, the four girls are just as exquisite in voice as they are in looks. One particular singer, Laura Wright, sings with an extraordinary honesty in her voice, the sound entirely beautiful like her fellow singers: not manufactured or syrupy like some, not `celtic' and `ethereal' like some singers one hears. A very promising start for this young lady, who I believe is also the current BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year.
The choice of music is inspired, and there are some excellent musical arrangements: rather than existing purely for cheese and profit, some academic purpose and skilled musicianship appears to have gone into this production. The voices soar effortlessly, but with purpose, in Barber's Agnus Dei (with an astonishingly good male-voice choir singing the lower parts); Robbie Williams' Angels sounds terrific with the voices in octaves; Geoffrey Burgon's Brideshead Revisited theme (a personal favourite) is given a make over as a setting of Ave verum corpus - some may say that this smacks of cheese, but no more so than settings by Saint-Saëns and Gounod, and the stylish singing here is both convincing and captivating.
I hope that these young ladies will not be too London bound or feel pressured by the media, and continue to make good honest music. All in all, an excellent purchase that not only bears repeated listening, but insists upon it.