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Evidence of the vitality of contemporary American choral writing comes in this enchantingly sung recital of works by Eric William Barnum (b.1979). The Minnesotan’s first appearance on disc is eloquently championed by the Robert Bode-led mixed-voice, semi-professional Choral Arts ensemble. In texts ranging from Wilde to Shakespeare and span- ning two centuries of American poets, Barnum’s signature is unfailingly lyrical with rich, luxuriously blended harmonies, warmly cosseting tonal colours and always sensitive word-setting – think Eric Whitacre without the neon-bright luminosity. Beautiful music (accented in places by Lee D. Thompson’s poetic piano accompaniment) in gorgeously realised performances. A glorious discovery guaranteed to please.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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