The best early choral music recording I've heard!
M. Ramos | 07/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a stunning recording, including well-known and not-so-well-known works."
An eclectic program of glorious sacred music performed with
M. Ramos | 08/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dennis Keene and Voices of Ascension have offered during the years recordings of remarkable quality. This one is a varied collection of pieces from chant to Renaissance. The earliest pieces,'O virga ac diadema' and 'Ave generosa' are from Hildegard von Bingen, with solos of outstanding purity and skill by Kathy Thell. There are Mass parts chanted by the tenors and basses as well as a beautiful and meditative version of 'Ave verum corpus' by Susanne Peck. The rest of the material is for the full choir, with pieces from a diverse group of composers from Renaissance Europe. The pieces are from texts that are part of the Christian liturgical year and they seemed distributed in no particular order, even though there is a progression from track sixteen onwards to focus on music for Holy Week, with the final tracks reflecting the joy of Easter. Among the highlights of the polyphonic pieces are Byrd's 'Rejoice, rejoice'(a very short and difficult tour de force for the women section of the choir)and 'Sing Joyfully'; Lotti's 'Crucifixus'(the historically latest piece of this program, with impressive dynamics and expression, the second basses finishing with a stunning low C at the final chord); 'Ascendo ad Patrem' by Palestrina glows with clarity and precision. The final pieces by Weelkes bring the program to a triumphant conclusion. Conductor Dennis Keene is successful in bringing the proper balance between tempi in order to give justice to the texts and the ideas presented by the composers. There are very few groups in the music world today that can bring such masterful interpretations of this repertoire as Voices of Ascension. I hope that there are much more recordings of Renaissance music in preparation for this great group."