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Sacred treasures -
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'... certainly intoxicating.'

Sacred Treasures IV - Choral Masterworks - Quiet Prayers. © 2006 Valley Entertainment

Themed classical music compilations on CD are often a way for record companies to recycle indifferent recordings or tracks from poorly performing discs. But this disc, the fourth in the Sacred Treasures series, assembles some finely performed tracks from some very distinguished recordings.

Source record companies include Hyperion, BIS and Collegium with performers such as The Cambridge Singers, Corydon Singers, the Nordic Chamber Choir and Polyphony.

The subtitle of this disc is Quiet Prayers and all the music selected is prayerful, in various ways, and relatively quiet, but styles range from renaissance polyphony and Russian Orthodox to contemporary classical.

The first track is 'O Weissheit' from Arvo Pärt's Seven Magnificat Antiphons in a poised performance by the Chamber Choir Versija. The singing has the apparently effortless style which this music needs. It was recorded in the generous acoustic of a Scandinavian stone church, the result is certainly intoxicating. But I would have preferred less reverberation and more clarity [listen -- track 1, 0:00-1:01].

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Copyright © 29 January 2007 Robert Hugill, London UK


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