The American male vocal ensemble Chanticleer has, over the years since its founding, commissioned and premiered many new vocal works. Several of these are represented on COLORS OF LOVE, which is also an excellent sampling of the ensemble's talents. With twelve male voices--and not just tenors and basses--Chanticleer presents a shining, effortless sound which serves them well in repertoire ranging across five hundred years.
In the Steven Stucky pieces the sounds of the words are as important as the music and the meanings of the words, creating an additional, unusual musical layer in each work. John Tavener's "Village Wedding" blends Byzantine sounds--chant-like melodies over drones--with dancing, madrigalesque sections. And so the program continues, each work a gem of contemporary-yet-tonal 20th-century music. All but one of the pieces on the disc were written in the 1990s, and the program represents a broad range of composers: American, British, Chinese, male, female, young, old. An excellent compilation of "new" music.