All They Said It Is -- And More!
Gene Barnes | Fairfax County, Virginia, USA | 07/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You may have been drawn to this CD by the breathless review in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the title track. I know I was. Well, Granados' "Song of the Stars" is the final track and the longest by far at 17-and-a-half minutes, and it is a gorgeous piece, no question. And probably every bit as important a discovery as we could hope for these days. Granados' "stars" sing about how they are "prisoners of love" and would like to "break the enchantment of love" and "visit new worlds," "overwhelmed by the insatiable fever of desire." Get it? Neither do I. But it's okay. It's quite passionate, and the music is beautiful beyond your wildest dreams.
But what you may find more interesting is the fact that the 19 shorter tracks preceding it are also very beautiful, from composers, all Catalan, who place glorious chords together for maximum effect, not giving a hoot about modernity or virtuosic complexity. In fact they have the effect of blunting the specialness of the "Song of the Stars." Hey, that's a good thing! But I'm just saying, if you think you might want to listen to the "Song" first and then do the rest of the CD, feel free -- there's no reason to play them in order.
The Voices of Ascension under Dennis Keene are all but perfect (a few admittedly tough exposed entrances could have been cleaner), and, yes, the perfection of Robert Shaw comes to mind. Five enthusiastic stars!"