- Les Chansons des Roses, for chorus
- Lux Aeterna, for chorus & orchestra
- Madrigali, 6 Firesongs on Italian Renaissance poems for chorus
- O Magnum Mysterium, for chorus
American composer Morten Lauridsen is a master of writing choral music that is harmonically lush, contrapuntally interesting, melodically memorable, and gratifying to sing. This disc brings together four of his most popular works, which include three cycles -- "Les Chansons des Roses," "Lux Aeterna," "Madrigali" -- as well as his setting of "O Magnum Mysterium." The Chamber Choir of Europe, conducted by Nicol Matt, sings with warmth and a secure tone. Matt conducts with sensitivity, giving the music plenty of room to breathe, with tempos generally on the relaxed side. The choir is particularly effective in the moving and densely chromatic a cappella "O Magnum Mysterium." "Lux Aeterna" is heard in its version with organ, played by Jörg Halubek, rather than with instrumental accompaniment. The composer provides sensitive accompaniment on the piano in "Dirait-on," the final (and only accompanied) song in "Les Chansons des Roses." The sound is warm and intimate. While the performances fall short of being sublime, this CD would be a good introduction to the variety of Lauridsen's work for anyone interested in accessible and gratifying new choral music.