Musica Sacra - Of Eternal Light

Thursday 1st December 1994
Musica Sacra - Of Eternal Light

STYLE: Choral
RATING 4 4 4 4
LABEL: BMG 09026618222

Reviewed by John Irvine

The only instrument to be found on this disc is the combined 24 voices of Musica Sacra, a professional choir founded in 1968 as part of the ministry of the Central Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue in New York City. The group champions contemporary choral music, especially that by American composers, unsurprisingly. Included are Messiaen's brief communion anthem "O Sacrum Convivium" and Ligeti's "Lux Aeterna", both breathtaking performances. Also included are some stunning compositions by American composers: Ricky Ian Gordon's "Water Music" and Robert Moran's "Seven Sounds Unseen" were particularly outstanding. Overall, however, I found this disc to be a bizarre mixture of the sacred and the New Age. It's worth remembering that the average punter in search of 'spiritual' or 'other-wordly' classical music can't tell the difference between Messiaen's genuine Catholic devotion in "O Sacrum Convivium" and Meredith Monk's New Age inspirations ("Return To Earth"). Interesting music nonetheless.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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