Works by Gilbert, Viahul, Jennings,Rivera, Victoria, Castille, Hill, Scelsi,Hopkins & Van Ness

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Castille,Hill,Hopkins & Van Ness,Jennings,Rivera,Scelsi,Viahul,Victoria,Works by Gilbert
LABELS: Warner
ALBUM TITLE: Sound in Spirit
WORKS: Cor meum est templum; Night Spirit Song; In Winter’s Keeping
PERFORMER: Chanticleer
CATALOGUE NO: 2564 61941-2
Chanticleer, the distinctive

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California-based vocal ensemble

including adult male sopranos, here

offers an ecumenical feast of sacred

meditative music – or rather, with

such bite-sized pieces, a spiritual

smorgasbord. The Catholic tradition

is represented by a Victoria motet,

together with some plainchant and

one of the 13th-century Cantigas

de Santa Maria, in colourful

arrangements by director Joseph

Jennings; it’s also alluded to in the

Latin text of Patricia Van Ness’s

anodyne Cor meum est templum

sacrum, and transcended in Giacinto

Scelsi’s mystically microtonal Gloria.

There’s 19th-century Orthodox

chant from Romania, and an

imitation of Byzantine style in one of

Jan Gilbert’s NightChants.

Beyond Christianity, another

NightChant evokes Tibetan

Buddhism ritual, as does Carlos

Rafael Rivera’s Motet, while the

Japanese variety is reflected in

Jackson Hill’s luminous In Winter’s

Keeping. A third Gilbert chant and

Jennings’s Night Spirit Song summon

up Native American ceremonies;

Sarah Hopkins’s Past Life Melodies

introduces Australian Aboriginal

chanting and overtone singing.

Everything’s strung together into a

continuous sequence, with much use

of natural sounds, real and imitated,

and drones. The performances

are impeccably tuned and sound

consistently beautiful, though the

(studio-created?) cathedral-like

acoustic seems to have less to do with

the music than with the spiritual

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theme. Anthony Burton