Schnittke: Choir Concerto & Minnesang (CD Review - BBC Music Magazine, 2002)

Performance *****
Sounds *****

No longer need Alfred Schnittke's daunting and often overwhelming Choir Concerto be seen purely as the provenance of those supernaturally adept Russian choirs. In both the most uplifting of block harmonies and the most anguished of laments, Layton and the Holst Singers impress me even more than the assured yet still English cathedral-choir-like Corydon Singers' award-winning Rachmaninov. For Voices of Nature, shimmering vibraphone melts in to perfectly intoned women's voices after the velvet, bass-bolstered resonance of the Concert's final bars, and the 52-part textures of Minnesang, amore acquired taste, are effortlessly sculpted.

David Nice 

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