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Successful commissioning choirs often suffer from an embarrassment of riches, accumulating bundles of new work that eventually need the seal of a recording. These can be bitty affairs, eclectic to a fault, but important as documentation. So it is with Saint Louis Premieres. The best is very good indeed. Judith Bingham’s Ceaslessly weaving your name is the reunion of Odysseus and Penelope, told from the distaff(literally) side. It sits well alongside Clare Maclean’s That I did always love and Ēriks Ešenvalds’s On Friendship (one of two fine pieces by the Latvian), but the remainder is much more various in quality as well as style. Robert Walker’s The Ale Songbook, while a giftfor all beer drinkers, doesn’t quite belong here, plonked straight after Jon Garrett’s Drink to me only with thine eyes. The energy and commitment of the choir holds it all together, though, and they redeem the day with the closing Suite Remembrance by Melissa Dunphy.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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