One of the most important missions of the work of the 441 Hz Chamber Choir is performing and promoting contemporary choral music. On a daily basis, the ensemble, under the direction of Anna Wilczewska, carries out a busy concert schedule, performing mainly contemporary music repertoire. This album is a presentation of contemporary choral music originating from countries of the North, mainly from Scandinavia. The album is filled with the diversity of creative inspiration, free references to the folklore, customs and savage northern nature, and originality of the compositional techniques. All this contributes to a broad musical panorama constructed from the works of eleven composers, which, despite this fact, constitutes a coherent, homogeneous whole, which is brilliantly performed by the ensemble.
Although ‘Quit the Curse’ is Anna Burch’s debut album, the Detroit-based singer/songwriter has already established her talent by cutting her teeth playing with Frontier Ruckus and Failed Flowers. Now signed to Polyvinyl in the States and Heavenly in the UK, many more people are going to be left spellbound by the combination of angst-ridden confessions, slyly dark humour and gorgeous pop hooks on these nine songs.
As beautiful as Kate & Anna McGarrigle's first two albums were, they were something less than radio friendly – a bit too openly emotional, a little short on glitter – and their third, Pronto Monto, was an only partially successful attempt by producer David Nichtern to give their work a bit more pop polish…
George Fenton delivers on his soundtrack for Anna and the King with an instrumental score that deftly mixes sweeping orchestrations with ethnic percussion. The main theme "Arrival at the Palace" begins with a very exotic violin solo that quickly blossoms into an epic orchestral movement seemingly ready to crescendo at a moment's notice (and it does!). Shorter cues such as "Letter of the Week" and "The House" are passages that perfectly convey the movie's exoticism and its melancholic moods. Throughout, Fenton's music seems to balance between excitement and sadness–the perfect sonic interpretation of The King and I's classic tale. Obviously, many folks will turn to this soundtrack for Joy Enriquez's Babyface-produced single "How Can I Not Love You," included at the very beginning of this disc. One hopes they'll stick around long enough to enjoy the film's score, one of Fenton's very best.