Northern Lights & other choral works

The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge  •  Stephen Layton

Hyperion Records, 2015

Gramophone Awards 2015 Shortlist
Gramophone Critic's Choice 2015
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The intensely practical choral music of the young Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds is steadily gaining appreciation across the world. The works on this new album owe their genesis to commissions from the United States, England and northern Europe and encompass ethereal expressions of uniquely arctic phenomena (listen for wine glasses turned—and tuned—to wondrously simple but devastating effect within the choral texture), American ballads and several works in the ‘Anglican tradition’, the fruits of the composer’s recent residency at Trinity College Cambridge.

Trinity College Choir Cambridge here returns the compliment, as it were, with superlative performances of these varied and engaging works, all recorded under the watchful eye of the composer and conductor Stephen Layton.

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‘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 disc is an excellent place to become familiar with Ešenvalds's attractive output.’ (Philip Reed)

‘…a collection that in terms of imagination and aural allure is beyond anything I have heard since the halcyon age of the young Benjamin Britten. The collection is full of small gems.’ (Richard Osborne)

‘Some of the music here dates from Ešenvalds's recent stint as Fellow Commoner at Trinity, including the abstemious Psalm 67—where there's more solid solo work from bass Michael Craddock—and the Te Deum, where the trombones and trumpets of Trinity Brass buffet the robust choral writing.’ (BBC Music Magazine)

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