- Gloria, for soprano, chorus & orchestra, FP 177
- Concerto for organ, strings & timpani in G minor, FP 93
- Symphony of Psalms, for chorus & orchestra
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Poulenc: Gloria, Concerto for Organ / Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Holiday season and the stores are filled with carols and pop tunes that seem further removed from Christmas every year. At the same time all the choral ensembles around the country are scheduling the Messiah and festivals of carols and it is refreshing to turn to less well know works on CD for instilling a warm mood, works that while perhaps are not particularly for the Christmas season are none the less celebratory and appropriate now - and anytime. This release by the venerable Robert Shaw and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and Chorus reminds us just how fine a conductor he was. Poulenc's 'Gloria, for soprano, chorus & orchestra' is performed all too seldom. It is a bracingly modern work that alternates choral movements with orchestra separated by movements that include soprano solos - and some of the most graceful vocal writing in Poulenc's repertoire. Here Sylvia McNair is the right choice, her clearly focused voice has the range to breathe through the long arching lines with ease. The chorus, orchestra (especially the brass!) and soloist just blend beautifully. Michael Murray is the fine soloist for Poulenc's 'Concerto for organ, strings & timpani in G minor', a mystical work that also calls forth thunderous organ passages. The contrast between the organ and strings with tympani allows the organ to solidly represent all of the brass and woodwind instruments and the effect is eerily dramatic. For years the old recording of these first two works with Georges Pretre conducting were the gold standard: that may now have changed! Shaw wisely completed this grouping with Stravinsky's infectious 'Symphony of Psalms', another work that is slowly becoming a standard in orchestral repertoires for very good reasons. Here are the driving irregular pulsating rhythms that mark this period of Stravinsky's writing coupled with the ongoing fascination for the Russian orthodox music that he quoted throughout his career. Shaw and his Atlanta forces give a richly colored and broadly spaced reading and the sounds resulting from all three of these works is first rate. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp