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Probably only three of these American composers will be familiar: the ever-popular Eric Whitacre with When David Heard and Sleep weaves his beguiling choral magic; David Del Tredici’s tuneful, dreamy setting of Acrostic Song from Final Alice – a device enjoyed by the text author Lewis Carroll; and Ned Rorem’s straightforward Motets for the Church’s Year. It is Abbie Betinis and Lee Kesselman who are left to deal with the smaller creatures, particularly bees giving scope for much effective buzzing! Stacy Garrop’s setting of Sonnets of Desire, Longing and Whimsy are contemporary, contrasted, complex pieces which this accomplished, professional chorus deals with easily. Paul Crabtree’s unusual Five Romantic Miniatures are musical sketches of characters taken from TV’s The Simpsons. Using snippets of texts from the show, Crabtree provides a more serious look at the characters: it’s an interesting concept.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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