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This cunningly contrived choral cream cake compilation competes with many in like vein: what sets it apart from the common crowd is the use of plainchant verses from the Stabat Mater as essential sorbet moments, cleansing a palate potentially cloyed with the dangerously delicious plangency of Byrd, Bruckner, Gesualdo, Stainer, Lotti, Duruflé et al. Warm yet pure-toned emotion pours from these 27 voices, and a fine corps of basses grounds the whole with exemplary gravitas. Occasional ensemble and blend issues are easily forgivable. Two interesting, testing, tartly-flavoured motets by Graham Ross receive premiere recordings.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica


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