Lauridsen: Choral Works (O Magnum Mysterium/O Nata Lux/ Madrigali/ Mid-Winter Songs) (Elora Festival Singers/ Leslie De'Ath/ Noel Edison/ Norbert Kraft & Bonnie Silver) (Naxos: 8.559304)
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Morten Lauridsen is America's pre-eminent composer of choral music. Characterized by long, arching and highly expressive lines, his works are enjoyed by performers and audiences worldwide. O nata lux, perhaps Lauridsen's most popular work, is a serene evocation of heavenly light, while the searingly intense and technically demanding Madrigali inhabit a more feverish and earthy realm.
The refined Les Chansons des Roses employ a design reminiscent of the formal gardens, filled with roses, found in the grounds of the great French chateaux. The unforgettable final movement is the now-famous 'Dirait-on.' The Mid-Winter Songs for chorus and piano are a stunning example of compositional virtuosity.O magnum mysterium, for a cappella chorus, is a setting of a Christmas text that has inspired composers from Victoria to Poulenc.
\It would be difficult today to be a choral singer and not be familiar with at least one or two works by American composer Morten Lauridsen, whose sumptuously mellifluous creations are beloved by choirs for their eminently singable lines and vibrant harmonic structures that tend to envelop the whole ensemble in soul-satisfying resonance. Audiences love it too, for the varied visceral and emotional effects that flow from music that can warmly, gently caress or fill even the largest space with a crescendo of shimmering sound." Classics Today"