Britain's Rodolfus Choir, whose members are all adults under the age of 25, has a bright, rich sound unlike that of ensembles older and younger on the age spectrum. It's beautifully deployed here in a collection of pieces loosely organized around the theme of time. There is a mixture of sacred and secular pieces and of Romantic-to-contemporary and Renaissance ones, with a preponderance of the former in each case. The theme is general enough that it provides only a slender unifying thread; the gruesome and gorgeous traditional tune The Three Ravens, in an arrangement by Edward Chapman, is pushing the boundaries, as is the "Incarnatus" from Bach's B minor Mass that rather incongruously concludes the set. But the musical sequence of events is satisfying indeed. The Renaissance pieces by Tallis, Byrd, Victoria, and Gibbons function as points of repose against which the lusher pieces take flight, and the young choristers convey a real sense of engagement with the texts as they excel in the soaring lines of the Romantic pieces (sample the lovely The Evening Watch, track 15, by the youthful composer Benjamin Rowarth, born in 1992). There is a hypnotic musical line tying the program together, and it is only intensified by the engineering work in the Church of St. John the Evangelist in London's Upper Norwood district.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|7 Poems by Robert Bridges|
|Mass in B minor|