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Two works are on this CD: Robert Stern’s oratorio Shofar, for soloists, choir and orchestra, and Ronald Perera’s Why I wake early. Stern’s text is taken from various translations of the Old Testament, depicting Creation and moving on to the golden calf and God’s relationship with his people. With music reminiscent of the English tradition of choral writing, this work’s strength is its creative orchestral writing, colouring the words effectively. I found the singing rather lacklustre and lacking authority: it’s very carefully performed, but from a 60-strong chorus one would expect more depth of tone. The same can be said of the performance of Perera’s Why I wake early. Mary Oliver’s

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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