Sarah Vaughan recorded extensively for Mercury/EmArcy during the 1950s and 1960s. Through much of that time, Vaughan's operatic voice was matched against overripe orchestrations or arrangements more suitable to a pop icon than one of the most versatile instruments in history.
As a composer of sacred music, Bob Chilcott has found his own niche by writing accessible choral works that speak to contemporary sensibilities. As has been noted frequently, his Requiem evokes Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé, mostly through its gentle feeling and serene melodies, though without imitating their style or content. Rather, it has its own mix of somber harmonies and fluid, chantlike lines, and the expression of the work is a little cooler and darker. Chilcott's music admits occasional and mild dissonance, though the orientation is strongly modal and the harmonies always feel like a natural result of the counterpoint. Chilcott's Salisbury Motets, Downing Service, and three shorter pieces share the same modern Anglican style, which is approachable and easy to follow. The Wells Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Matthew Owens, sings with a pure tone and clear diction, and the sound of the recordings is quite resonant, thanks to the responsive acoustics of the Cathedral of St. Andrew.
One of Australia’s most cherished singer/songwriters is back with a brand new sound. The inimitable Sarah Blasko returns with Depth Of Field’ her 7th full length offering, featuring lead single ‘Phantom’. Jam packed with boisterous piano chords, soaring strings, and lush instrumentation blending the worlds of amplified and acoustic music like only Sarah can, with her unique, storied vocals front and center. A brilliant new chapter in the book of Blasko.
The chamber works on this recording encompass a variety of instrumental groupings and a range of moods from the humour and lightness of the Serenade to the serious magnificence of the Piano Quintet, a five-movement ‘memorial’ developing the tradition of so great a work as Shostakovich’s single-movement work for this combination. The Three Madrigals set a three-language cycle of miniature poems by Francisco Tanzer, poems which themselves encapsulates much that is distinctively Schnittke through their epigrammatic atmosphere of cryptic completeness.