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This CD is an overview of sacred and secular choral music from Brazil from the 1950s to the present day. Adventuring into unchartered territory is a courageous step for both conductor and singers and proves to be well worth the effort. The listener is plunged straight into the unknown with Metaphors by Henrique de Curitiba, a sacred text performed to a background tape of sound from the Amazonian forest. It’s unique, with the singers having to imitate the bird cries, and the young soloists are outstanding. Apart from Villa-Lobos, most of the composers are unknown to me and they have an approach to text setting that is totally individual to that part of the world, the sacred settings the biggest surprise of all. Geoffrey Webber has featured composers coming from a variety of influences [see p.41] and the arrangements of the regional folk- songs are a sheer and utter delight. There are many talented choirs around and Gonville & Caius can be numbered among the elite. It is so refreshing to hear such uninhibited and skilled performances.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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