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All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
The selections on this compilation of modern and contemporary a cappella choral works are taken from albums released by Hyperion between 1998 and 2009. A variety of ensembles and conductors are represented, but most prominent is Stephen Layton, who conducts the Trinity College Choir, Cambridge, the Holst Singers, and the group Polyphony, and is heard on half of the tracks. Also included are performances by Wells Cathedral Choir, led by Matthew Owens; Tonus Peregrinus, led by Antony Pitts; the Choir of Royal Holloway, led by Rupert Gough; the Westminster Cathedral Choir, led by Martin Baker; the Westminster Abbey Choir, led by James O'Donnell; and Schola Cantorum of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
The selections on this compilation of modern and contemporary a cappella choral works are taken from albums released by Hyperion between 1998 and 2009. A variety of ensembles and conductors are represented, but most prominent is Stephen Layton, who conducts the Trinity College Choir, Cambridge, the Holst Singers, and the group Polyphony, and is heard on half of the tracks. Also included are performances by Wells Cathedral Choir, led by Matthew Owens; Tonus Peregrinus, led by Antony Pitts; the Choir of Royal Holloway, led by Rupert Gough; the Westminster Cathedral Choir, led by Martin Baker; the Westminster Abbey Choir, led by James O'Donnell; and Schola Cantorum of Oxford, led by James Burton, Mark Shepherd, and Jeremy Summerly. The album is a goldmine for fans of what might be described as the New Lushness in choral composition, exemplified by the work of composers like Morten Lauridsen, Veljo Tormis, Geoffrey Burgon, Bob Chilcott, James MacMillan, Pitts, Pawel Lukaszewski, and Eric Whitacre in music that is harmonically rich, timbrally inventive, and warmly lyrical. The most familiar work is Randall Thompson's "Alleluia," which gets a terrific performance from Schola Cantorum of Oxford led by Burton. Other pieces that are done often enough to be familiar to fans of this style of choral music include Tavener's "As one who has slept," Pärt's "Magnificat," and Whitacre's "Sleep," but much of this repertoire is fairly obscure. The CD's title describes its contents well; these are pieces that are pillowy in their limpid sensuousness. The program notes make it easy to find where each track was originally released, which is helpful for listeners who want to search out other similar works. The singing throughout is exemplary, with beautiful intonation and tone quality, virtuosic vocal discipline, and interpretive sensitivity and passion. Hyperion's sound is, as typical, warm and clean with a natural ambience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/13/2009
  • Label: Hyperion Uk
  • UPC: 034571100418
  • Catalog Number: 41

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 To Morning ("O holy virgin!"), for chorus - Gabriel Jackson & William Blake (2:27)
  2. 2 As one who has slept, for chorus - John Tavener & Stephen Layton (4:10)
  3. 3 Ave dulcissima Maria, for chorus - Morten Lauridsen & Stephen Layton (7:04)
  4. 4 Alleluia, for a cappella chorus - Randall Thompson & Oxford Schola Cantorum (6:15)
  5. 5 O sacrum convivium - Pierre Villette & Holst Singers (3:43)
  6. 6 The Corpus Christi Carol (No. 2 of Christ's Love), for 5 voices & choir - Geoffrey Burgon & Matthew Owens (4:45)
  7. 7 Adoro te, for chorus - Antony Pitts & Matthew Owens (4:06)
  8. 8 Magnificat, for chorus - Arvo Pärt & Rachel Elliott (7:04)
  9. 9 A Child's Prayer, for treble, chorus & organ - James MacMillan & Martin Baker (3:47)
  10. 10 The Shepherd's Carol, for chorus - Bob Chilcott & Choir of Westminster Abbey (3:08)
  11. 11 Balulalow, for choir - Martin Luther & Nicholas Maw (2:20)
  12. 12 Nunc dimittis, for chorus - Trinity College Choir, Cambridge & Pawel Lukaszewski (4:23)
  13. 13 Sleep, for chorus - Eric Whitacre & Stephen Layton (5:33)
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