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Rutter: Gloria; Bernstein: Chichester Psalms; Poulenc: Quatre Petites Prières de St. François d'Assise ()

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The primary interest of this collection of mid-twentieth century sacred choral music lies in the reduced orchestration version of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, with harp, percussion, and organ replacing the orchestra. The transparency of this version is revelatory; it's possible to hear its richness of the harmonies of the choral parts with such refreshing clarity that the orchestra is not missed at all. The vigor of the percussion gives the piece an excellent sense of momentum and drive, and the gentleness of the harp heightens its exquisite lyricism, particularly in the second movement and the second part of the third. Bernstein preferred having all-male choirs sing the piece, and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, led by Timothy Brown, fills the bill beautifully, with a sensitive but warmly spirited performance and a gorgeous choral blend. Male alto Lawrence Zazzo takes the part usually sung by a treble, and the purity of his sound and the security of his intonation (something that can't... Hide synopsis

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