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Papagena is an a cappella group of five voices performing a diverse repertoire of music from across the centuries written specifically for female voices. This disc partly draws on folk tradition in some stunning arrangements of traditional melodies from Ireland, Germany, Ukraine and Norway. These mature voices are free from any vibrato and blend together with elegance, coupled with a fine technique. This winter programme includes music by John Tavener, Oliver Tarney and US composer Don Macdonald, whose Fusion enterprisingly dispenses with words altogether, instead using arrangements of syllables. The harmony is flawless throughout the CD and the ambience is reflective and restful – there could be more variety of mood and tempo.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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