Ola Gjeilo: Voices, Piano, Strings

Ola Gjeilo: Voices, Piano, Strings

by Ola Gjeilo


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Ola Gjeilo: Voices, Piano, Strings

The young Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (say YAY-lo) studied at the Juilliard School and has lived in New York and Italy. It's not clear how much contemporary Christian music he might have absorbed while in the U.S. (New York is probably not a top market for the genre), but the sacred pieces here contain passages that evoke the so-called praise & worship music within that genre, with light choral polyphony over a backdrop of piano and/or strings. Other pieces lean more toward Philip Glass, and yet others toward a cappella music in John Rutter's more artless vein. How you feel about these models may determine your reaction to Gjeilo, but there's no doubt that he welds these semi-popular styles together skillfully: a piece may begin with a pop piano introduction (played by Gjeilo himself) and then recede to choral melodic material in a chantlike vein. Gjeilo's music is economical and not pompous in the least. Perhaps the most effective piece here, and a place to start sampling, is "Tundra" (track nine), a setting of a text by Charles Anthony Silvestri depicting a slice of Norwegian landscape. The utter simplicity of Gjeilo's music here matches the words, but there is nothing derivative about either of them. The performances by the top-notch choirs Tenebrae and Voces8 are superb. Those interested in choral music in crossover styles will find a distinctive take on that new tradition here.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/01/2016
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028947886891
catalogNumber: 002464602
Rank: 3656


  1. Sacred Heart (Ubi Caritas III), for chorus & string quartet
  2. Reflections, for string quartet & piano
  3. Tundra, for soprano, female chorus, piano & optional string quartet
  4. Serenity (O magnum mysterium), for cello & chorus
  5. The Lake Isle, for chorus, guitar, string quartet & piano
  6. Northern Lights, for chorus (from Tres Cantos)
  7. Dreamweaver, for chorus, string quartet & piano: The Crossing
  8. Sanctus, for chorus
  9. The Ground (Pleni sunt caeli), for chorus, piano & string quartet
  10. The Spheres, for vocal ensemble
  11. Ubi caritas, for chorus

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ola Gjeilo   Primary Artist

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