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Blending ‘folk’ voices with choral precision and tight harmony isn’t easy but Desmond Earley has a passionate stake in both and doesn’t put a foot wrong here. The majority of selections are for solo voices with choral/instrumental accompani- ment, recorded in the buoyant but forgiving acoustics of Castelknock College Chapel in Dublin. Too many highlights to list, but Ivo Antognini’s War and Peace (from which Eva Gore-Booth’s title image is taken) stand out, as do a lovely arrangement for tenor of Black Is The Colour and Earley’s own He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven (after Yeats). Stripped of couthy ‘Oirishness’, this is the kind of singing Yeats or Joyce might have enjoyed at a Merrion Square soirée or more spontaneously in the backroom of one of the brighter pubs.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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