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Merton’s new choral foundation aimed to combine tradition with bold innovation and they pull that off here with some daring. The programme alternates post- minimalist work by David Lang with more familiarly Anglican material by another contemporary Nico Muhly, including the wonderful The Revd Mustard His Installation Prelude, written for a London friend. There’s another Muhly organ piece but the surprise of the set is an arrangement for organ of the Conclusion to Act 3 of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, which sits very logically within Lang’s soundworld and serves as a wonderful pediment to his sleeper’s prayer, a stark, self- written version of the American childhood ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’ prayer, but done with chastened maturity. The Merton singers are in great voice and Merton Brass could dep for the angels. The set includes a work apiece by Libby Larsen, Abbie Betinis, Stephen Paulus and an arrangement by Gerre Hancock, but these feel like makeweights.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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