The Swedish Chamber Choir makes its debut on Chandos with this fascinating programme of works for choir, choir and solo voice, and for choir and violin. The founder and conductor, Simon Phipps, leads the choir in unaccompanied works by Swedish and British composers. Maria Forsstrom joins them in one of Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder, “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,” in a sixteen-part arrangement by Clytus Gottwald, and in Judith Bingham’s ‘The Drowned Lovers,’ a stark companion piece to Stanford’s ‘The Blue Bird.’ The violinist Jennifer Pike joins the Choir in Ola Gjeilo’s stunning ‘Serenity’ (a setting of O magnum mysterium) and Paul Drayton’s outstanding 2018 arrangement of Vaughan Williams’s ‘The Lark Ascending,’ for violin and chamberRead more choir.
This is a highly attractive and innovative programme of a cappella choral music which also makes use of solo instruments. The Swedish Chamber Choir, a beautifully honed sound with a versatile tessitura (and excellent English!), are directed by Simon Phipps, who brings a sympathetic set of interpretations to much of this inwardly melancholy repertoire.