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Roderick Williams admits his writing is influenced by whatever he is working on as a professional singer. This CD presents a variety of influences which also show different stages of his composi- tional development. Williams’s music is tuneful and accessible to choirs, but there is also much here to put singers on their mettle. Under Ralph Allwood, the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Choir meets the challenge with ease and dexterity. As the CD progresses, the music gets more creative and interesting, including one of the most striking concepts of O Adonai I have come across – it’s haunting. Williams’s most recent commission for the choir poses the question Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? His jerky, modern response to the text is thoughtful and unsettling. There are original 21st-century reimaginings of Byrd and Tallis, and the fun side of Williams’s personality comes to the fore in two arrangements of African-American spirituals.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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