Saturday, January 28, 2012

Awards 2011 - Living composer - Vocal

Sven-David Sandström: "Nordic Sounds"
Swedish Radio Choir/Peter Dijkstra
Channel Classics

"The title of this superb disc is the only banal thing about it", says Martin Anderson in IRR. "the music, performances and recording are all phenomenally good. Happy the composer that has this kind of choir at his disposal... The singing... will leave you slack-jawed in amazement: control of pitch, dynamic, rhyth, blend, you name it, is perfect". On Classics Today, David Vernier calls Sandstrom an "original composer uninhibited by conventional views on what singers can or can't do. Of course, when you have a virtuoso ensemble like the Swedish Radio Choir performing your music, what's to worry?" He also notes "Although there are many moments that will stretch the familiar boundaries of comfort for a casual listener, there's nothing here that's gratuituously irritating, and there are some pieces - Es ist genug; A new song of love; Agnus Dei - that will literally prime you with the familiar while launching you headlong into the experience of choral music's newest frontier".

Miškinis: "Time is Endless"
Royal Holloway Choir/Rupert Gough

Penderecki: Credo; Cantata for Jagellonian University
Soloists' Warsaw Boys' Choir; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir/Antoni Wit

"Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Cappella"
Trinity College Choir, Cambridge/Stephen Layton

Dennehy: Grá agus Bás; That the Night Come
Iarla O’Lionáird; Dawn Upshaw; Crash Ensemble/Alan Pierson

This category had fewer than half as many entries as its instrumental counterpart, but noticeably better coverage by the British magazines. Again, a hard one always to predict, but it would be an odd Awards indeed if there wasn't at least one entry from Hyperion. Nice this year to see some Irish representation.

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