The small all-male English group the King's Singers has made dozens of recordings, many of them with fresh programming concepts that mix music of different periods and genres. This 2012 release makes as good a place as any to start with the group, at least unless you want to hear them add pop music to the mix. The balance between Renaissance and contemporary choral music seems to flow unusually seamlessly here, and that may be due to the strength of the overall concept: "a choral reflection on the Lord's Prayer." Naxos is to be commended for including the texts, with English translations, in the CD version of this release, for this is music with a strong direct appeal that would be interfered with by the necessity of going online to retrieve what is being sung about. To hear this music is to realize the centrality of the Lord's Prayer, which comes from the Sermon on the Mount, in Christian tradition. The King's Singers mix settings of the prayer itself, from chant (which pervades the whole) to Stravinsky and Leonard Bernstein, with settings of texts that reflect the language or concepts from the prayer. These vary in distance from the original, and perhaps some of the connections might be a bit debatable, but it's likely that even theologians would at least find them worth discussing. As for the singers, their polyphonic clarity is as impressive as ever, and few other groups can distinguish the harmonic shadings of Lassus' music as well as they. The acoustics of Nashville's small, basilica-style Cathedral of the Incarnation prove unusually well suited to the aims of this recording. A very fine entry in the King's Singers' catalog.
Pater Noster: A Choral Reflection on the Lord's Prayer
Pater Noster: A Choral Reflection on the Lord's Prayer Review
by James Manheim
|Missa Papae Marcelli|
|Quatre Petites Prières de François d'Assise|