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Reviews: Julemesse - Sølvguttene

Reviews: 1

Review by threerandot May 9, 2007 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a unique disc which I think will appeal to many lovers of choral music, and maybe even to those who are not familiar with it.

2L have produced this recording of a Christmas Mass, but the difference here is that the chants are written by several different composers. Composers include Edvard Grieg, Wolfgang Plagge, Michael Praetorius, Cesar Franck and Benjamin Britten, amongst many others I am not familiar with. There are also traditional Christmas Carols added.

Highlights include the peaceful "Et lite barn så lystelig" by Eyvind Alnæs, "Julefantasi" by Ellen Sejersted Bødtker, an enchanting and colorful harp solo which dances across the front speakers. "Silent Night" is performed with an opening organ solo and then the choir enters shortly afterwards. "Ave Maris Stella" by Edvard Grieg simply sparkles with emotion as the choir is accompanied by organist and harp. The "Agnus Dei" by Antonio Lotti features adult male voices that will inspire. "Panis Angelicus" by César Franck is a boy's solo accompanied by the choir, organ and harp that is truly uplifting. Track 19 is an inspiring organ solo based on the "Deilig er jorden" by Arild Sandvold featuring one of the best recordings I have ever heard of an organ in my life with colorful and life-like sound and deep, deep bass. Although I have no subwoofer, I can easily see how impressive this would be with such a setup.

The sound here is very impressive, recorded in the Uranienborg Church and Oslo Cathedrals in Norway. Choir voices come mainly from the front speakers with the rears presenting plenty of ambient sound for added depth. Although there is a great deal of depth here, it is never out of control, but has plenty of focus.

Sølvguttene or "Silverboys" is the Norwegain Broadcastings' Boys Choir which was founded in 1940. These boys are top notch choir singers and sing with one strong voice. They are also accompanied by Kåre Nordstoga (organ) on a few tracks. There is also one piece performed here as a solo by the organist and one on solo harp by Ellen Sejersted Bødtker.

This disc will add spirituality to your holiday or to any day of the year if you like. The emotion is very palpable and immediate with the feeling of a very large church being brought into your living room as there is plenty of depth. If you are looking for a disc that will enhance your holiday season, look nor further. This disc, along with 2L's "Christmas Variations" by Wolfgang Plagge (2L32SACD) will make great discs for the busy and stressful Christmas season. This will appeal to lovers of the Mass or anyone who enjoys choral music. Very highly recommended.

(This review refers to the MCH portion of this disc.)

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