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Posted December 28, 2010
Julian Wachner--composer, conductor, and teacher--is the new director of music and the arts at New York City's famed Trinity Church. Judging by this disc, and a concert I saw him conduct, it was a fine choice. Volume one of his "complete" choral music mixes the sacred and the secular; some pieces are with organ, some unaccompanied. Wachner can do it all: very contemporary rhythms and sounds might be followed with a page of lush romantic music, or in his sacred works he can fit right into the great Anglican tradition (check track 12, a wonderful hymn tune with a somewhat surprising descant). Maybe a future installment will be sung by the Trinity choir, which has already recorded for Naxos. Meanwhile, the Elora Festival Singers do an excellent job on a well-engineered collection--blend is good, pianos are clear, and fortes don't blast. Notes by the composer himself are a plus.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Julian Wachner is a fine choral composer, and this CD is welcome both as is and as the start of a collection of his music. His writing combines the virtues of fluid rhythmic scanning of the texts, melodic transparency that makes all the words clear and luminous, extended harmonies. He's a composer who makes extended major key passages complex and interesting.
The cummings and Rilke settings are good balances between the meaning of the words and the richness of the music. Wachner is skillful at making 'appropriate' music, colors and phrases suitable for each poet. The liturgical music is lovely, especially the short "Introit For The Season of Epiphany," and again the style sounds absolutely apt for the meaning, different than the music for the modern poetry but still recognizably Wachner's conception. I especially like the sharp rhythms he uses in the "Missa Brevis." Impeccable performances by the Elora Festival Singers and Noel Edison, and nice, resonant sound.