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The Magritte cover image is obvious enough, but something by James Ensor might have been more appropriate, for this is a generous Dead Rat Ball of a programme, open-ended, stylistically various to the point of cheerful oddity and slightly devil-may-care in delivery. One feels for a choir having to deal with so many premiere recordings in one session. There’s a curiously English emphasis: two Blake settings (by Roland Coryn and Kurt Bikkembergs) and Maarten Van Ingelgem’s evocation of Hampstead Heath, along with three pieces – two and one respectively – by English-born Alan Charlton and Toby Wardman. Which means, rather perversely, only one representation of composer-in-residence Jan Moeyvaert, who has helped to reshape the BCC’s repertoire around the choir’s 10th anniversary. They sing well, though the altos need stiffening or confidence, or both. A fascinating programme, but chaotic and best used as an introduction to the individual contributors.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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