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A brilliant syncretism of water’s role in different spiritual traditions, Aqua works a delicate network of reference to baptism, flood, ferrymen, religious thirst. The music is both salty and fresh, marked by Grau’s involvement in pop and world music as well as formal composition. The son of Venezuelan master Alberto Grau, he crunches styles with all the confidence of a Berklee graduate. The performers maybe don’t take full permission to sing out of academic character, but the results are consistently refreshing and different. Given the dependence on text, an English or a better style multilingual version of Maria Fernanda Palacios’s libretto would be welcome.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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