Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gareth Valentine, London Oratory Schola Choir, Susan Bullock|
A moving work on an emotional subject
Andrew Marr | 06/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This requiem, premiered in 1993 at Southwark Cathedral, London, is a clearly a highly personal project. At the time of this premiere, the composer's partner was himself dying of AIDS. The topic is a highly emotive one that seems to require some musical gushes that cause heart throbs to those who are susceptible to that sort of thing. Yes, this setting does include some sweeping melodies that reach for the heart strings, but there is more to the work than that. The opening, for example, establishes a solemn tone that undergirds everything else. The music moves comfortably between several musical idioms without sounding self-consciously eclectic. A pair of lilting waltz tunes that flow from the chordal "requiem aeternum" seem to be at home in this piece, and so it goes. The most imaginative and most deeply moving movements, however, are the two for choir a capella. The tonality is attenuated a bit more than elsewhere and the music's elegiac quality takes on a slightly harder edge that I find even more heartbreaking than the more lyrical portions. They add much depth to the work as a whole.The choir's singing is everything any listener would want it to be, and is enough to wish they would make more recordings than they do. The trebles' tone has the body that usually comes from having several older boys in the choir. In the passages in the Sanctus scored for the upper voices, the boys are angelic. In the main, the adult soloists are good without standing out particularly. an advantage in this case. The brief treble solos, especially the brisk singing in "Recordare" is very fine.A moving performance of a work well worth listening to."