Notes and Editorial Reviews
This release brings together 17 tracks from nine previous Gloria Dei Cantores CDs, concentrating on “works that capture a reflective and peaceful spirit.” It completes a trilogy ofsimilar re-release anthologies also including “Eternal Light” and “Joy and Gladness.”
The result is an unalloyed delight from beginning to end. Blend, intonation, and balance are fully on par with the best choral ensembles recording today. The men’s voices in the Russianrepertoire are satisfyingly robust; equally impressive is this group’s capacity for fortissimos that remain perfectly balanced without becoming the least bit screamy. Diction is not obsessively crisp, but more-than-adequately intelligible throughout.
The programming order sets up a nice rhythm between more restful, largely homophonic works and others somewhat more challenging from a harmonic or textural viewpoint. But within that overall concept, the serene homophony of Victoria, the lush Romantic harmonies of Rheinberger, and the piquant chromaticism of Brahms and Mathias are all rendered with equal and equally commendable aplomb.
The documentation does leave some small room for complaint: no program notes are provided, and while some instrumental and vocal soloists are credited, others are not—a particular disservice to those whose contributions are so critical in the Sviridov and Kedrov works. Further, listeners who are congenitally wary of electronic gimmickry may wish to note that “the dynamic range of this recording has been digitally enhanced to provide a more pleasurable listening experience.” Not having access to any of the original releases, I can’t compare the results to their previous incarnations, but I can report that my “listening experience” could hardly have been more pleasurable—and one that I look forward to repeating. Warmly recommended.
FANFARE: James Carson