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Ivo Antognini - Choral works -

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“Among the composers contending for the status of successor to John Rutter is Ivo Antognini, who is neither English nor American but has experienced success in both places with this release, which hit classical best-seller lists in the spring of 2023. Some of the texts are in English, and others are well-known Latin motet texts. Antognini’s music is essentially tonal, but he adds expressive dissonances and close harmonies that set off details of the texts beautifully. Consider the opening Come to Me, which gives the album its title and sets a poem by Christina Rossetti. It was composed for the choir at a historically Black church in Alabama, and one would love to hear that group record it. Here, however, conductor Stephen Layton wisely steers the (mixed-gender, adult) Trinity College Choir, Cambridge, away from the traditional English collegiate sound in favor of a bit more texture, and the results are richly appealing. Antognini’s boundary line between sacred and secular exists but is highly permeable, and his Magnificat-Nunc dimittis pair, here presented under the title Trinity Service, has a fine sense of avoiding the encrustation of tradition. Hyperion’s engineers offer a skillful treatment of the idiomatic and appropriate Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Salle, Norfolk, and all the texts are nicely intelligible. To devote an entire album to Antognini, in an environment where anthologies are the rule, was a bold move on Layton’s part, but it is one that has paid off.”

James Manheim

Ivo Antognini - Choral works
Hyperion Records CDA68425