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We are living through a period of incredible a cappella singing. The five performers who make up Ensemble Perspectives, which include director Geoffroy Heurard, are no exception. They have excellent voices that blend beautifully, and demonstrate first-class musicianship and impeccable attention to detail. The aim of the ensemble is to ‘combine tradition and modernity by letting new works co-exist with established classics…’ So why did I end up feeling so frustrated? This could have been an exceptional disc. In its efforts to make everything fit together, the interpretation of David Bowie’s Life on Mars? is given the same type of treatment as Tavener’s ubiquitous The Lamb, as is Sullivan’s The Long Day Closes – and so it continues throughout the programme. It wasn’t until Jacques Brel’s Bruxelles that the group showed it can really let its hair done with a show-stopper performance, followed by Marco and Paulo Valle’s jazzy Batucada. This is an interesting programme, though, and worth exploring.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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