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The final choral piece on the disc is Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium. With his evocative harmonies and rich chords, there is a sense here of Lauridsen writing the same piece over and over again. But when the results are as moving as this and in a performance as luminous as the one from Stephen Layton and Polyphony, then who is complaining [listen -- track 10, 0:00-1:37]?

The final two tracks on the disc are both instrumental works by Arvo Pärt. Good though it is to have further Arvo Pärt, I would have preferred more choral music, perhaps from the Magnificat Antiphons. Still, Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe give a suitably prayerful account of Spiegel im Spiegel, though I must confess that Christoph Maria Moosmann's performance of Pärt's Pari Intervallo outwears its welcome.

I enjoyed this disc immensely, far more than I expected. Some of the performances are entrancing and the whole collection has been well put together with an interesting mix of styles and centuries. Do try it.

Copyright © 29 January 2007 Robert Hugill, London UK


Sacred Treasures IV - Choral Masterworks - Quiet Prayers

2-HOS-11116 Stereo FIRST RELEASE 52'13" 2006 Valley Entertainment

Chamber Choir Versija, directors Juris Vaivods and Raitis Grigalis (O Weisheit); KITKA - Women's Vocal Ensemble (Otche Nash); Voices of Ascension, directed by Dennis Keene (Jesu, Dolcis Memoria); Nordic Chamber Choir, directed by Nicol Matt (Contre Qui, Rose and O Nata Lux); The Cambridge Singers, directed by John Rutter (Fauré Benedictus and In Paradisum); Sofia Orthodox Choir, directed by Miroslav Popsavov (Cherubic Hymn); Corydon Singers, directed by Matthew Best (Duruflé In Paradisum); Polyphony, directed by Stephen Layton (O Magnum Mysterium); Vadim Gluzman, violin and Angela Yoffe, piano (Spiegel im Spiegel); Christoph Maria Moosmann (Pari Intervallo)

Arvo Pärt (born 1935): O Weisheit (Seven Magnificat Antiphons, rev 1991); Nikolai Kedrov Sr (1871-1954): Otche Nash (Our Father); Tomás Luis de Victoria (c1549-1611): Jesu, Dulcis Memoria; Morten Lauridsen (born 1943): Contre Qui, Rose (Le Chanson de Roses); Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Benedictus (Messe Basse); Dobri Christov (1875-1941): Cherubic Hymn No 4; Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986): In Paradisum (Requiem, final revision, 1961); Morten Lauridsen: O Nata Lux (Lux aeterna); Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): In Paradisum (Requiem); Morten Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium; Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel; Pari Intervallo


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