Folk songs performed with classical technique can sometimes have an uneven effect. The classical vocal ensemble Chanticleer avoids the pitfalls on WONDROUS LOVE, preserving the vigor of traditional arrangements in their adeptly nuanced and textured style.
Chanticleer's material comes from all over the world: Ireland, China, Russia, Cuba, Germany, Brazil, Ecuador and beyond. The arrangements are naturally more complex than the traditional arrangements, providing the strong voices within the group the opportunity to explore.
Several examples of American folk songs are included, including an eight-minute medley featuring "I Ride an Old Paint" and "Cumberland Gap." However, the most fascinating moments come from overseas. Opening with "Dulaman," a rousing Gaelic ditty, the album quickly shifts gears to an Asian motif with "Fengyang Ge."
Throughout WONDROUS LOVE, the songs change tempo and style but the consistently remarkable performances and arrangements hold the album together as a unit. It is an excellent addition to any collection of vocal, classical or world music.