Charpentier, Harmony Of Voices, Fredrik Malmberg - Sacred Choral Music

Published Tuesday 20th July 2004
Charpentier, Harmony Of Voices, Fredrik Malmberg - Sacred Choral Music
Charpentier, Harmony Of Voices, Fredrik Malmberg - Sacred Choral Music

STYLE: Choral
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Proprius PRCD2031

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Let us start with the good news: Harmony Of Voices is a new ensemble from Sweden, featuring 14 singers, all of whom are active soloists. They sound superb and collectors of vocal music will want to investigate. With this disc we are in 17th century France where Marc-Antoine Charpentier lived and worked at the fringe of the court of Louis XIV. The texts are Latin with an English translation supplied in the booklet. Some are predictable, including a Stabat Mater and a Te Deum, and others are extracts from some of Charpentier's many oratorios. The singing is first class throughout and the attention to detail commendable. The Stabat Mater, for example, was recorded in a different church to the remaining pieces because of the longer reverberation in Oscarskyrkan, Stockholm. But was it worth it? To this reviewer, sadly not. The music is fine and I enjoyed listening but, at the end, nothing has remained in my mind at all other than that most unhelpful of words: "nice". The singing deserves at least nine squares but the content is a mere "Fair" so let us say.

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