Tavener, Rands, Stucky, Read Thomas, Sametz, etc

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: etc,Rands,Read Thomas,Sametz,Stucky,Tavener
LABELS: Teldec
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Colors of Love
WORKS: Choral works by Tavener, Rands, Stucky, Read Thomas, Sametz,
PERFORMER: Chanticleer
CATALOGUE NO: 3984-24570-2
What incredible blend this 12-piece group displays: it’s like a blown-up version of the King’s Singers, with twice the range and four times the sonority. And the tuning is quite exemplary: Steven Stucky’s Cradle Songs (from Brazil, Poland and Tobago) are lush and hypnotic, and use all the harmonic tricks of close-harmony arrangements. The danger could be that the performers can only sing slick, but they manage to find a much simpler style for John Tavener’s ‘Village Wedding’, with its Eastern melismas over a drone bass. They aren’t quite so comfortable in the more contrapuntal moments of Bernard Rands Canti d’Amor, but show that they can hit even the scrunchiest of chords with complete confidence, and, in Augusta Read Thomas’s ‘The Rub of Love’, make light of pitch problems in an atonal context. The two Chinese pieces are the least interesting, with Zhou Long going for dull convention, and Chen Yi using the sort of parallel harmony that would be called Chinoiserie if employed by a Western composer. Perhaps most remarkable is Steven Sametz’s ‘in time of’, which starts out very simply, and then proliferates to cover an enormous range – from sonorous bass to the extraordinary sound of male sopranos in full cry. Martin Cotton