<< -- 3 -- Malcolm Tattersall INFECTIOUSLY JOYFUL
Chávez' Arbolucu, te Sequeste (Tree of Sorrow) gives an Iberian folksong an effective modernist treatment
[listen -- track 7, 0:00-0:47],
while the others pair off: two quite conventional settings of Colombian songs by Rengifo and Reina, and two of Afro-American (-Colombian and -Brazilian, to be specific) songs by Rincón and Guarnieri
[listen -- track 16, 0:00-0:32].
They complement ideally the Ramírez pieces and contribute to the diversity-in-unity that helps make this one of the most happily programmed discs I've heard for some time.
This recording joins a dozen others currently available. That starring José Carreras may be the best known but has been widely criticised for misrepresenting Ramírez' vision of the work as a Mass of and for the people, by setting one performer so far above the others. Robert de Cormier successfully takes the opposite route, drawing his soloists from amongst his choristers. Counterpoint, formed in 2000, is a relatively new venture in De Cormier's varied and distinguished career. The group's sound is open and relaxed and its members sing with accuracy, confidence and enthusiasm.
The music is infectiously joyful and this is one of those rare discs which nearly everyone will like. It will make an ideal Christmas gift, but there's no need to wait until then to buy your own.