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In an excellently devised programme by director of music David J. Smith, the young voices of the Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen, make this an unforgettable experience. The text is interpreted with great sensitivity, intelligence and breath-control, the outstanding soloists coming from within the choir. The featured composers are Tallis, Victoria, Weelkes, Purcell, Lotti, Stainer, Stanford and Tavener plus four composers associated with, and commissioned by, the university: Paul Mealor, Phillip Cooke and Americans John F. Hudson and Thomas LaVoy, the last three receiving premiere recordings of their works. Cooke’s opening reflective three motets are punctuated by a gentle disso- nance, and create the right atmosphere for the entire programme. Hudson’s setting of a Ukrainian carol tests the young basses with its pulsating low sound which they handle well, and LaVoy’s setting of Ave maris stella, with its lilting melody interwoven by the translucent textures of other voices, is striking. Bach chorale preludes provide contemplative interludes between the vocal works. Very much recommended.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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