Sydney Chamber Choir
$23 (Australian dollars)
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|Nicholas Routley - director|
A collection of recent Australian choral music, mostly by younger composers. It's good to see that choral writing is alive and well in Australia. Each work make a strong statement, each with a variety of choral techniques and styles. "Logos" is a dramatic work written by the 2001 winner of the Paul Lowin Award for a Song cycle. The choir's director has contributed a short work in which the choir is accompanied by a solo vibraphone (Tim Paillas). "Memory Pieces" is a long piece based on a short piece of stream-of-consciousness prose by Ania Walwicz - it is a beguiling work. The title of this CD comes from Stanhope's work, which he conducts in this recording. It is a setting of poems of Michael Dransfield.
|Nicholas Routley||Sicut Lilium|
|Stephen Adams||memory pieces|
|Paul Stanhope||Geography Songs|
|The (mainly) non-professional chamber choir field is in impressively good health, with the best virtually indistinguishable from their professional colleagues. The Sydney choir is a good example and its repertoire of contemporary music from Australia worth collectors' attention, offering pleasure and satisfaction entirely comparable with leading instrumental ensembles.|
This selection boasts interesting sources. Full texts are provided, which is essential for music of this complexity and enhances listening pleasure at home.
Marcellino's multilingual text explores the Babel of today's worlds (verbal and musical languages). His Logos 'constructs itself until it is too confused'. Routley uses fragments from the Song of Solomon 'as triggers for memory' and has a vibraphone to increase the bloom on women's voices. Stanhope's Geography Songs depict 'a sense of space, whether the gutter or the rainforest' and explore 'spiritual qualities of the natural world'. Stephen Adams takes on Walwicz's free associations and interconnections of memory and his is a major work of compelling interest.
Fine music, given with total confidence and magnificently recorded. Not a new CD but, statistically, monthly releases tend to offer less of lasting value than the best from years past which tend to fail to get reviewed far beyond their countries of origin and are too quickly forgotten. You won't regret sampling the productions of Sydney Chamber Choir.
© Peter Grahame Woolf
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