Fresh, invigorating interpretation of the folk mass!
H. Jones | 12/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I myself liked this recording so much that I have been prompted to write my first Amazon review, and would like to commend the Choral Society of Washington for its interpretation of the Criolla (haven't yet listened thoroughly to the Missa Luba portion of the recording, hence 4 rather than 5 stars). I'm not a professional musician, merely an avid choral singer, and the Carreras version which has been available for some time is widely disliked among my compatriots (a view which I share). Searching online for a newer recorded version I found this and just received it yesterday. An initial few listens reveal much to like and to fascinate. With the Carerras version one feels as if everyone is in a huge amphitheater and whatever the heck Jose is doing is miles away from the chorus... off synch and a quarter tone sharp, or maybe flat (it's been a while since I listened to it). This version can easily lead you to envision yourself in an intimate house of worship, with folk art hanging everywhere and a group of villagers gathered to celebrate in a spirit of empassioned reverence. It was impossible not to get up and dance around my Christmas tree while listening. The addition of harmonic singing to the solo parts with three tenors instead of one is incredibly invigorating and adds to the ensemble feel of the work; the instrumentation is bold and rhythmic; the feel of the whole thing is fresh and improvisatory. Personally, I adored it and will be recommending it to all my choir-geek friends still searching for a version of the Misa Criolla they can love! Looking forward to giving the interpretation of the Luba a good listen."