Vancouver Chamber Choir

Due West: Music of Stephen Chatman

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AllMusic Review by

This is a well-performed clutch of choral works by Stephan Chatman entitled Due West. As the title suggests, the music has a frontier atmosphere, hardly avant-garde but consistently pleasant. The performing ensemble is the Vancouver Chamber Choir, directed by Jon Washburn, a group that has garnered awards from around the world, and is clearly on top of the material on this disc. Every one of the 13 works is delivered with sumptuous grace and flawless technique. Washburn has sculpted each piece carefully so that no throwaway renditions mar the product. The sound quality is also excellent, recorded at the ensemble's hometown in 2000 with excellent digital technology. Chatman's choral writing is a convincing mix of practical, hammer and nails colonial singing material with a dash of the experimental Old World, so that the singers deal with a rustic sound much of the time, with the occasional, energy inducing, post-functional harmony. There is not a great deal of musical mystery to the works, but they also have a genuine feel for the Untamed West, from the Klondike to Southern California. What listeners can count on is flawless delivery, making this recording a must-hear for all lovers of choral music

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Due West, for chorus
1
1:27
2
2:33
3
1:25
4
1:56
5
2:21
6
4:13
Rossetti Songs (2) for chorus
7
3:45
8
3:05
9
1:41
10
2:17
Elizabethan Summer, for SATB a capella
11
1:50
12
1:56
13
1:25
14
5:07
Canadian Folksongs (5) for chorus
15
2:44
16
2:13
17
2:42
18
2:24
19
1:25
20
6:01
21
3:05
22
2:29
23
4:21
Songs of a Prospector, for 3 part (or 4 part) chorus
24
1:13
25
2:05
26
1:11
27
2:44
28
1:21
blue highlight denotes track pick