Where are you? Pieces from Warsaw
The proMODERN Sextet, new to me, is a highly accomplished group of young singers specialising in contemporary Polish music, and their biography lists a number of composers with whom they collaborate regularly, including the four represented on this disc. Of these, only Łukaszewski's music was familiar to me but I am very pleased to have made the acquaintance of the work of the others.
In many ways the most original work here is by Andrzej Borzym Jnr. His Agnus Dei, the opening of which is particularly striking, works through a wide range of textures and techniques into a cumulatively impressive work that the group hopes might become part of a complete setting of the Mass. I hope so too. Also remarkable is his Mors Laocoontis, to a lengthy text from Virgil, which again displays a remarkable understanding of vocal texture.
Not all the music here is so immediately impressive but ukaszewski’s dark-hued O vos omnes and gently pulsing Nunc dimittis are also highlights. This last was originally written for the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, and is sung here in a new arrangement that makes the most of proMODERN’s bright timbre and agility, and their ability to place chords with tremendous precision. The sound they make is in many ways actually a very English one – think of The King’s Singers with added female voices – but that does not mean that it lacks passion; quite the reverse. I look forward to hearing much more from this splendid group, and much more in particular from Andrzej Borzym.