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The pairing of Frank Martin with James MacMillan makes for an enticing programme. Whereas Martin believed his own ‘expression’ of religious belief was an introspective one between himself and God, MacMillan’s journey is more outward-looking and he reacts to events happening in the world, often with anger but also with great sorrow. His writing is imbued with delicate nuances which for singers need careful handling. Sonoro was founded in 2016 and bring to the choral scene a rich tapestry of sound which occasionally works against them. The singers can scale down, as shown in a very pleasing performance of Martin’s lovely Mass for Double Choir. MacMillan’s works include Cecilia Virgo, his dramatic Miserere and Data est mihi omnis potestas. Where Sonoro excel is in the performance of Bring us, O Lord God, harnessing its powerful sound to great effect; where they come unstuck is in Hymn to the Blessed Sacrament, in which MacMillan’s delicate fusing of oboe and viola with the vocal parts is completely swamped by the voices.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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