Review by threerandot September 28, 2007 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
|2L have put together another remarkable disc of vocal recordings, this time by Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg. Although Grieg is not generally recognized as a composer of Choral music, this collection should remedy that.
The Grex Vocalis once again show their stunning skill and talent as choral singers in these spirited and exuberant performances. Listen to the light-hearted tunes in the Album for Male Voices, (Op.30) and the Seven Children's Songs (Op.61), mixed together to form the first 40 minutes of music in this collection.
The Album For Male Voices, (Op.30) features several light and sprightly tunes. The singers sometimes create the rhtythm of the song using only basic syllables. The Seven Children's Songs (Op.61) is sung by female voices only, creating a nice contrast to the Op.30 tracks. Listen for the antiphonal effects across the front speakers in some of the tunes from Op.30.
We are then treated to three very beautiful songs, including Last Spring, Op.33, Whitsun Hymn and Ave Maria, Stella. The Last Spring is surely one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard and is certainly a highlight in this collection. The tune has great depth of feeling and is practically worth the price of this disc alone!
The remainder of this disc concludes with The Four Psalms, Op.74, which form Greig's very last compositions. I personally found these Hymns required the most listening to be appreciated, but they are surely some of the most sublime music that Grieg composed and form an admirable close to the composer's career.
Grex Vocalis sing with one, strong, focused voice and the DXD sound only makes these recordings all the more immediate. This is a most impressive sounding recording. The DXD sound brings the Grex Vocalis right into your living room in a warm and enveloping sound. The recording is so accurate and detailed that the breath of the singers can sometimes be felt by the listener. Vocal crescendos are very dynamic and impressive. The sound is not overtly reverberant which helps maintain the clarity in the voices, although I do wish the sound was just a tiny bit smoother, but the depth is just right. I wouldn't be surprised if this disc gets a Grammy nod like the Immortal Nystedt disc did. In fact, I would say this disc, as well as the others by 2L have deepened my appreciation of Choral Music a great deal.
The disc also features notes on the music and the sung texts in three languages in the accompanying booklet within an attractive digipak. These spontaneous and inspired performances can easily be recommended to all lovers of Choral music. This disc can only further enhance 2L as one of the leading labels to produce exquisite choral recordings on SA-CD and will surely solidify the reputation of Grex Vocalis and their leader Carl Høgset as one of Europe's leading choral groups. Highly recommended.
(This review refers to the MCH portion of this disc.)
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