Mass of the Dreaming
Australian Sacred Choral Music
Brisbane Chamber Choir ē Graeme Morton, director
$23 (Australian dollars)
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|It is truly amazing that we've waited until 2016 for an Australian choir to record a CD of Australian sacred choral music. Yes, this is the first!! |
It's well worth the wait. A lot of this music was commissioned by the choir. Specially mention must be made of Ross Edwards' Mass of the Dreaming, a substantial work that will definitely be included among the pantheon of Australian choral works in the future. It's the largest work on this disc and one of the most engaging.
The Brisbane Chamber Choir sings these works with skill and passion, ably directed by Graeme Morton.
The Choir has also commissioned the cover art from Kangaroo Valley-based artist Githa Pilbrow, who was inspired by the 2016 Vivid! exhibition in Sydney. Her work Cathedral Light makes a lovely cover.
|Paul Stanhope||Ubi caritas|
|Joseph Twist ||Lamentation of Jeremiah|
|Keren C. Terpstra||Arise my love, my fair one|
|Matthew Orlovich ||Communion of Reparation|
|Andrew Schultz ||Magnificat|
|Andrew Schultz ||Nunc dimittis|
|Stephen Leek ||Sanctus|
|Stephen Leek ||Agnus Dei|
| Exultate Domino|
|Ross Edwards||Mass of the Dreaming|
|At first hearing, the 10 pieces on this album, billed as ďthe first recording of Australian sacred choral music to be recorded by an Australian choirĒ, sound remarkably similar. Itís the sort of glorious sound we have come to expect from the English cathedral tradition: mellifluous, serene, glowing, ruminative and restorative. Itís also the signature sound of this impressive choir, another jewel in Brisbaneís lustrous choral crown. They sing in the rich resonance of St Johnís Cathedral, where conductor Graeme Morton has been director of music for many years. This recording captures the reverberant glow of the cathedral and the texts, mostly Latin and liturgical in origin. Much of the music was commissioned by the choir, including the Mass of the Dreaming (2009) by Ross Edwards. More contemplation than celebration, the composer admits, this is a heartfelt and deeply moving work that deserves to be taken up by choirs the world over. Surprisingly, the most advanced-sounding work on the album is also the oldest, the Exultate Dominum (1961) by the 26-year-old Nigel Butterley, its Stravinskian throbbing delivered in perfect rhythmic unison by the 20 young choristers. Pairs of liturgical settings by Andrew Schultz and Stephen Leek call for novel touches, including Tibetan overtone singing. The works of younger composers Joseph Twist and Keren Terpstra indicate talents still in progress, whereas short pieces by Paul Stanhope and Matthew Orlovich are deeply satisfying in their originality as well as their functionality. This is a recording that rewards repeated listening. You donít need to be a believer in a supreme being. Itís enough to believe in the extraordinary power of music to calm and purify the mind.|
19 November 2016 The Australian
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