Esenvalds - Northern Lights - Choir and Organ



Latvian composer Ä’riks Ešenvalds goes from strength to strength, if the evidence of this exemplary recording is anything to go by. Two years as a Fellow-Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge (2011-13) coincided with a development of his musical language towards greater simplicity, with diatonicism and homophonic textures dominating. The Choir of Trinity College and director Stephen Layton give us a beautifully performed programme. The 16 works include O salutaris hostia (one of the composer's most celebrated pieces, here recorded in its arrangement for full choir) and (my particular favourites) his setting of the poet Sara Teasdale: The New Moon with its shimmering accompaniment of tuned wine glasses and chimes, and Only in sleep. In the brilliant Trinity Te Deum-a ceremonial Anglican-style setting-Layton's well-drilled singers are joined by brass, organ and percussion to thrilling effect. Another delightful feature of the CD is the many singers who step out from the choir to take a solo.

The disc is an excellent place to become familiar with Ešenvalds's attractive output.

Philip Reed

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