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Spotless Rose - Phoenix Chorale Hybrid SACD

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £15.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten, Cecilia McDowall, Healey Willan, Herbert Howells, Javier Busto, et al.
  • Audio CD (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B001DF6GI6
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 623,779 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Œuvres de Paulus, Britten, McDowall, Howells, Busto, Willan & Belmont / Phoenix Chorale - Charles Bruffy, direction

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
This Chandos disc invites comparison with the Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh recording of the same name on DG.

The present disc contains only works by modern composers, from Healey Willan (1880-1968), through Benjamin Britten and others, to Cecilia McDowall (b.1951). The only overlap with the McCreesh disc is the eponymous "Spotless Rose" by Herbert Howells (lasting ~3:38).

These are gentle, moving choral works, lightly modern in their integration of twentieth century harmonic methods, some with vocal soloists. The most atypical piece here, Jean Belmont Ford's "Electa" (1995) is also, at 21:14, over twice as long as any other on the disc. It is a spare composition, yet more dramatic, featuring its three soloists more prominently, and with (not overused) accompaniment by bass drum and a single tympanum.

The recording was made in the Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona in 2005. The choral work led by Charles Bruffy is clear, expressive and precise.

The sound is warm and has ample depth; individual voices can be heard cleanly within a well integrated, realistic church acoustic. This SACD shows up all the recording faults I found in the DG CD (see my review of 5 March 2009).

Despite similarly sized choirs - the Phoenix Chorale consists of twenty-four singers - the Gabrieli Consort sounds larger and more monolithic. There is a bigger dynamic range, and McCreesh's disc is the more exciting for its integration of modern and nineteenth century pieces with those of high-powered Renaissance composers (Josquin, Mouton, Palestrina).

This Chandos disc has beautiful music, sympathetic performances and demonstration sound. If the repertoire appeals, get both Bruffy and McCreesh if you can!

DISCLAIMER: This is a Hybrid SACD.
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Format: Audio CD
The CD does not play and I am having to return it. I have tried it on numerous different players.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix Chorale. 24 Nov. 2012
By John Mozisek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
IAccidentally caught this bunch of You Tube. They are quite good aren't they. Isidmplyadore this kind of music and can't get enough of it. I sing in a choir and really admire this king of work.
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