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Built around the theme of loss, this contemplative programme provides an unusually uplifting, even positive, experience. While Jackson’s Requiem is the most substantial composition (it was commissioned by the group and the recording celebrates the composer’s 50th birthday), the smaller items by him, Tavener and Pott make their own significant impact, while Chilcott’s arrangement of Pachebel’s canon is far from a saccharine reworking using a text by Oscar Wilde. Backhouse and his Vasari Singers perform this music to the manner born, with gorgeous tone that rejoices in the rich harmonies and fluid part-writing. Pott’s Tomkins-inspired When David heard is a particularly effective reading, but it is to Jackson’s Requiem that this listener will return. Once again Naxos are to be congratulated for their support of British contemporary choral music.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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