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Founded in 1995 by Robert Simpson, the Houston Chamber Choir here offer beautifully presented accounts of all of Duruflé’s choral music. The famous Requiem is obviously the centrepiece and is given here in its version with organ accompaniment, with the baritone solos delegated to the choir’s baritones – a perfectly legitimate approach, though this appears not to have been brought to the attention of the author of the otherwise excellent liner notes. Recorded in warm, though not too reverberant acoustics, the choir’s tone is open and bright, and they and their conductor are sensitive to Duruflé’s demands. While they can be dramatic when needed, nothing is ever overstated – a temptation in this work, where there is little variety in tempi. The four unaccompanied Gregorian motets show offthe choir’s strengths to their best advantage.

Organist Ken Cowan is a sensitive player, with well-chosen and characterful registrations in the Requiem which consistently add to the pleasure of this disc.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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