Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Album Review: The Sixteen - Exclusive Sampler

Is there any choral ensemble with as broad a command of repertoire as the Sixteen? The Sixteen’s mastery of nearly 500 years of choral music is presented on this specially priced Ariama exclusive sampler featuring music from England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

This eclectic collection is a superb exploration of musical styles and a tribute to the Sixteen’s versatility.
The album is very well programmed. The trumpets, drums and choir make Handel’s Zadok the Priest a stirring program-opener, and it’s a masterstroke to follow this high Baroque splendor with the warm Romanticism of Brahms’ gentle Wie lieblich sind deine wohungen (How lovely are thy dwellings) from his German Requiem. Renaissance works are well-represented with music from the Eton Choirbook (a Sixteen specialty), works by a host of English composers, and dramatic music of Victoria (another specialty of the choir). The Sixteen are also strong advocates for 20th and 21st century music and works of Britten, Tippett, O’Regan and MacMillan represent this vital part of their repertoire.

The music on the sampler is drawn from performances of the past decade and it’s a testament to the excellence of the ensemble, and their director Harry Christophers, that the Sixteen’s trademark sublime choral blend and tonal sweetness are constants on every track. This is essential choral listening.

No comments:

Post a Comment