Schubert sonatas

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Floating Senses: Sanctuary: "Refuge"
Canterbury [5.30]; 2 Refuge [5.57]; Introduction to Antiphon [1.03]; Antiphon [3.21]; Adoro Te [3.41]; Lament [4.35]; Passio [8.41]; Vigil [6.28]; Blue in Green (Miles Davis) [3.16]; Surrender [5.00]; Introduction [0.47]; When I Fall in Love (Ed Heyman) [2.57]
Sanctuary: Peter Togni, organ; Christoph Both, cello; Jeff Reilly, bass clarinet
Recorded at St. Maryís basilica, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 2003
Notes in Deutsch, English, Français, Castellano. Colour photos of Iona Abbey, Scotland
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 98.451 [51.12]


This is meditation music much in the "New Age" ethic but with a Roman Catholic focus. Organist Togni (track 1) was official organist for the Papal Visit to Vancouver, Canada in 1984. The other instrumentalists achieve very smooth, sweet sonority and make use of long sustained notes interacting harmonically, or textures, or rambling phrases somewhat in the style of instrumental plainchant. Clarinettist Reilly certainly has Herculean breath control to achieve such long controlled lines and attains considerable variety in the sounds and textures of his instrument. Cellist Both likewise plays very expressively and with a variety of tones and textures (Track 6).

Numbers 1, 2, 5, and 8 are based on actual plainchant, with Numbers 9 and 12 based on popular tunes (track 12). There are no natural sounds, such as rain or running water, and almost no motion, harmonic or otherwise.

I must confess that although I am not hostile to this sort of music, or to the idea of background music in general, and in fact recently reviewed very favourably David and Steve Gordonís "Garden of Serenity II" this disk did not impress me. For me the best thing about the whole album was the very artistically done photographs of the Scottish abbey. My thought is that if you had attended a live Sanctuary concert this disk would make a nice memento, but it is difficult to approach this music "cold" without the setting and concert ambience.

Paul Shoemaker



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