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Michael Hurd’s Night Songs of Edward Thomas is the finest setting I’ve ever heard of that songful but somehow musically resistant poet. Thomas’s words call for very careful setting and singing, and the Vasaris do both composer and poet proud. There is a Missa brevis, too, which fills out the middle section of a recording bracketed by shorter and lighter pieces, including a delightful ‘parley’ of Suffolk owls, which might reinforce a suspicion that Hurd is all crepuscular and minor-key. Not at all. The music soars and swoops in clear sky and the singers sound positively sun-kissed, even on the nocturnes.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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