Collegium are best known for their Rutter discs. This is Collegium's first
new disc for five years and it bodes well for the future as well as representing
a very attractive choral anthology in its own right.
This is a varied selection of unaccompanied choral music spanning plainchant
to Ligeti and exploring the theme of light. There are 18 pieces ranging in
duration from Rautavaara's 2:35 Evening Hymn to Ligeti's Lux Aeterna
(10:02); the latter usually associated with the Stanley Kubrick film
2001: A Space Odyssey.
Rutter's Hymn to the Creator of Light is suffused with great crashing
waves of light and sound - extremely attractive and memorable among many
fine tracks. Holst's ethereal Nunc Dimittis reminds us that Holst
was an inspired choral writer.
These are all luminous pieces, soft-toned and caressing. The recording and
the deliciously sensitive singing convey a wondering spatial sense. The choir
includes both male and female voices and they give the recital a chastely
beguiling sensuality. Their legato is honeyed (not treacled) by the acoustic
whose echo-decay is enough to add warmth without blur.
A good booklet is provided with full notes and texts (English only).
I expect this well-filled disc to do well in the choral lists. The market
is a tough one but this classic collection is, deservedly, likely to burn
bright, steadily and long in the catalogues.