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This choir of male voice lions from Vancouver make a glorious sound which is warm, rich, lush and perfectly blended. The theme of the programming is the cosmos and the featured composer is Eriks Ešenvalds. The CD starts with his atmospheric Stars, accompanied by water-tuned glasses, which not only captures the night sky but makes you feel you can reach out and touch the unknown. Other Ešenvalds works on the CD are his commissioned cycle of three evocative songs for Chor Leoni setting words of Canadian poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, and Long Road, in which he paints a soundscape with the help of bass recorder and wooden flute.

The choir’s performances are excellent, especially their breathtaking crescendos and diminuendos. Other highlights on the disc are Paul Mealor’s celestial I Saw Eternity, with wind chimes and soprano saxophone, and Morton Lauridsen’s Sure on This Shining Night, which creates the composer’s usual magic mix of harmonic invention. There is so much to enjoy here.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2017 - ©Rhinegold Publishing