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Impressive performances

A 20th century recital by the Westminster Choir,
recommended by

Avie    AV0046

Heaven to Earth. Westminster Choir. Joseph Flummerfelt. © 2004 Westminster Choir College of Rider University

Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, prepares its students for a wide range of professional musical work in schools, universities and churches. The choir's principal conductor, Joseph Flummerfelt, became Musical America's 2004 Conductor of the Year, and his broad range of musical enthusiasm and experience brings its weight to bear on this fine recital of 20th century choral works.

Beginning with Barber's Agnus Dei, which is performed with an underlining ensemble of six strings, the choir exhibits strength and a warm blend of sound, which also lends itself well to the two movements from Duruflé's Requiem, two of Vaughan Williams' Mystical Songs and impressive performances of Stravinsky's Credo and Pater noster, and the well managed long opening phrase of Schoenberg's early Friede auf Erden [listen -- track 11, 0:00-1:24] which symbolizes the origins of this recording -- the choir's radio broadcast on 11 September 2002.

There is also a strong performance of the Ave Maria from Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces, and Psalm 23 from Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. The setting of Psalm 90 by Charles Ives is also a welcome addition, with its bell ringers and the notable contribution to the CD of organist Nancianne Parrella [listen -- track 4, 0:17-1:59].

A recording highly recommended for its repertoire and appealing sound quality.

Copyright © 2 July 2005 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Heaven to Earth - Westminster Choir

AV0046 DDD/SACD/DSD Stereo/Multichannel NEW RELEASE 62'02" 2004 Westminster Choir College of Rider University

Marisa Maupin, soprano; Gloria Justen, violin; Hanfang Zhang, violin; Maurycy Banaszek, viola; Jacqueline Watson, viola; Elizabeth Thompson, cello; Daniel Hudson, double bass; Douglas Haislip, trumpet; Heather Fetrow, soprano; Steven Brennfleck, tenor; James Neglia, Phyllis Bitow, William Trigg, James Musto, bells; François Suhr, treble; Joanne Hansen, harp; Adrienne Ostrander, percussion; Charles Robert Stephens, baritone; Nancianne Parrella, organ; Westminster Choir; Joseph Flummerfelt, conductor

Samuel Barber (1910-1981): Agnus Dei; Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986): Requiem aeternam; Kyrie (Requiem); Charles Ives (1874-1954): Psalm 90; Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): Psalm 23 (Chichester Psalms); Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971): Credo; Pater noster; Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): Love bade me welcome; The Call (Five Mystical Songs); Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901): Ave Maria (Quattro pezzi sacri); Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951): Friede auf Erden


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