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CD Review

Morten Lauridsen

Mid-Winter Songs

  • Les chansons des roses
  • Nocturnes
  • I will lift up mine eyes
  • come let us sing unto the Lord
  • Ave dulcissima Maria
Andrew Lumsden, organ
Morten Lauridsen, piano
Britten Sinfonia/Stephen Layton
Hyperion CDA67580 65:17 DDD
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This CD comes fast on the heels of Hyperion's first Lauridsen issue (CDA67449) which was nominated for a Grammy award and is as arresting as its forerunner. Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) is at present considered to be the brightest star in the American choral firmament and rightly so. He is a perfectionist who commands an outstanding technique, and is able to create elegantly-finished works of art that radiate with the glow of what is truly right and inevitable.

The composer's craftsmanship further leads to an amazing balance between the contemporary and the timeless. Doubtless this disc also attests to Lauridsen's superb ability to write for choral voices while creating those atmospheric sounds which bring a feeling of inner peace to even the most unwilling ear.

In this recording, the composer uses predominantly secular texts, emphasising most strongly his passionate devotion to poetry and the performances are no less riveting. Stephen Layton marshals his choral and orchestral forces to telling effect and both singers and players display that austere discipline which is so vital to produce a blended and cohesive sound and do justice to Lauridsen's harmonic language. Sound, presentation and annotations are as usual, of the highest standards.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech