Though there is somewhat of a sameness to the mood of this beautifully performed and recorded album of choral works that span centuries, that uniformity of message is the creative force for this survey of music by various and varied composers. The works were selected to provide a parcel of time away from the noise outside the spirit, a place for meditation and solace so desperately needed today.
Harry Christophers conducts the inordinately talented Sixteen singers with support where indicated from early instruments ensemble, The Symphony of Harmony And Invention, in an organic, crystalline, seamless range of songs from the Renaissance to the present. Works include Monteverdi, Tallis, Byrd, Palestrina, Allegri and travel through time to Bruckner, Poulenc, Taverner, Gorecki, and Barber. Each work is lovingly rendered in perfect intonation and control, setting aside the 'individual' for the sonorous, anonymous, other-worldly sound only found in the great choral works through the ages. Christophers' tempi tend toward the languorous - the 'Agnus Dei' Samuel Barber set to his famous 'Adagio for Strings' has to be the slowest on record! - but this tendency further creates a sense of spaciousness found in the great old cathedrals of Europe.
For quality of sound and polish of performance this recording has already won awards. For the food for the soul that it provides there can be no greater 'award' than successfully fulfilling its promise as being Music for Inner Peace. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, August 05