Promising concept, weak realization
C. P. Cooman | Cambridge, MA USA | 04/17/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In concept, this release is a wonderful idea: a disc of new holiday-themed music from a wide variety of living composers.
The result, however, is rather disappointing. Not only is the music of astoundingly variable musical quality (ranging from rather strong to unbelievably weak), but more significantly, the Ukrainian singers (both in choral and solo selections) have absolutely horrific English diction. This is not an issue for the few selections in Latin, but the majority of the works are choral or solo pieces in English by American composers, and the performances are both unintelligible and extremely unsatisfying. (The instrumental and orchestral playing is fine; some of the tracks are purely instrumental.)
ERM has generally done quite well in its extensive "Masterworks of the New Era" series (though the music also varies widely in quality). This album, however, is an unfortunate disappointment."