EŠENVALDS There will come soft rains

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Signum Classics

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: SIGCD603

SIGCD603. EŠENVALDS There will come soft rains

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
O, She Doth Teach the Torches to Burn Bright Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Richard Nance
Long Road Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Richard Nance
Spring Rain Richard Nance
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
In My Little Picture Frame Richard Nance
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
A Soldier's Mother's Lullaby Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Richard Nance
Amazing grace Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Richard Nance
Northern Lights Richard Nance
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Stars Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Richard Nance
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose Richard Nance
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Only in sleep Richard Nance
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
The new moon Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Richard Nance
There Will Come Soft Rains Richard Nance
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Evening Richard Nance
Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Rivers of light Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West
Richard Nance

The Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977) is noted for the wide range of his compositions, which span opera (The Immured of 2016), through the large-scale choral and orchestral (Passion and Resurrection of 2005, the St Luke Passion and the Nordic Light multimedia symphony), to the more intimate part-songs and shorter choral works featured on this disc. As a singer he writes with a pleasing assurance; there is little here that will scare off the unsuspecting listener.

He is renowned for his imaginative response to nature and folklore. Six of the pieces recorded here set texts by the American lyric poet Sara Teasdale (1884-1933). How evocative they are. In Spring Rain Ešenvalds perfectly captures its essential homespun melancholy, lifted further by the delightful guitar-duet accompaniment and mid-Atlantic pronunciation.

Although he favours predominantly homophonic textures, Ešenvalds manages to achieve sufficient variety through the addition of tuned percussion and solo instruments to sustain interest. The bass flute in Long Road lends an especially haunting facet. Rivers of Light quotes from two Sámi yoiks or folk songs, enhanced by a Jew’s harp. The score of Stars includes wine glasses and Tibetan singing bowls, though the latter are omitted here. Other attractive highlights include In my little picture frame (with its stratospheric wordless soprano obbligato from Ally Atwood) and Evening – a glowing, harmonic melting pot.

Despite some overlapping of programme with Trinity College’s Ešenvalds disc ‘Northern Lights’ (Hyperion, 3/15), this new release can stand proudly against all rivals. Richard Nance has polished his Pacific Lutheran choristers to perfection. Balance and tuning are beyond reproach, with superb control of a full dynamic range. The soloists’ contributions are another great attraction.

The disc closes with a deliciously ‘floating’, close-harmony arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’, inspired by Whitney Houston, no less.

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