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This extraordinarily beguiling CD from the all-male voices of the Sonux Ensemble presents no fewer than nine world premiere recordings, most of which were composed for the Ensemble and are therefore tailored to its strengths. In addition to several pieces by contemporary Lithuanian composers such as Mískinis, there are contributions from figures more familiar to British and North American readers, such as Paul Mealor and Eric Whitacre. The former’s I Saw Eternity sets Henry Vaughan’s poem, with the addition of a wind chime and a haunting soprano saxo- phone, and the results are mesmerising. On the face of it, the saxophone seems an unlikely instrument to work in this context, but with Stefan Kuchel’s expressive tone and obvious virtuosity its involvement makes sense in all the pieces that feature him. Of all the works here recorded, a particular favourite has to be Serbian composer Aleksandar Vujic’s Du bist min (2012), a 12th-century High German love song. Lustig, who conducted the premieres of all the works on the CD, draws alert performances from everyone and responds well to the overtly jazz-inflected Fragmente aus dem Hohelied des Salomons by Gregor Hubner.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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