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The premise for what is in effect a rather unusual Christmas CD would seem to be the appropriation of existing material by later composers, whether that is music or text – or both. Sandström’s simply gorgeous, slow-motion riff on Praetorius’s Es ist ein Ros entsprungen shows off the beauty of the Rundfunkchor’s sound: well balanced, perfectly tuned and resonant. These qualities stand them in good stead elsewhere in the programme, notably in Lauridsen’s effective O magnum mysterium and Poulenc’s set of four Christmas motets. The major work on this too short disc is Respighi’s Lauda per la Natività del Signore, whose slight instrumental resources suggest it might be taken up more by any financially pressed choral society searching for something different. (The edition recorded is also published by Carus.) It receives a charming performance on this CD.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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