Please wait...

Hyperion Records

SACDA67449 - Lauridsen: Lux aeterna
SACDA67449

Recording details: Various dates
Various recording venues
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: March 2005
Total duration: 66 minutes 7 seconds

GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATION

'Layton and company have here produced the finest I've heard among several excellent collections of Lauridsen's work. None are quite as exquisitely nuanced or sung with such glowing vocal sheen as this. Clear and shimmering sound, plus Hyperion's usual complete and user-friendly booklet, make it all the more attractive. No committed choral fan or singer will ever regret letting Lauridsen into his life' (American Record Guide)

'Stephen Layton's feel for the inner line and structure melts the heart, as does the impeccable, unforced singing of Polyphony. Their music-making remains in heavenly realms throughout the virtuoso Madrigali: pure choral gold' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This Hyperion release is superb and the disc is a must. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have' (Classical Music Web)

'It's not often I have to brush away the tears when I'm reviewing a recording, but I will happily confess that on this occasion Lauridsen got me again and again. I can't give this disc a higher recommendation than that. Run out and buy it as soon as you can' (Fanfare Magazine, USA)

'a flawless, perfectly balanced performance from the British choral group Polyphony, directed by the gifted Stephen Layton, and ably assisted by the Britten Sinfonia. If you love choral music, if you appreciate compositions that lift you from the mundane, you should not miss Lux Aeterna' (St Louis-Post Dispatch)

'Conventional choral wisdom suggests that the American Morten Lauridsen is a one-work wonder and certainly O magnum mysterium is wonderful, with vocal lines that arch out like fan vaulting. With this new recording Stephen Layton and Hyperion are clearly out to prove that Lauridsen's gifts are not just for Christmas but for all seasons too … now the jury is back: the choir and Layton have acquitted Morten Lauridsen. Here's a three-, perhaps four-work wonder!' (International Record Review)

'The music has freshness and an affecting emotional pull to it that explains its popularity with singers and audiences across the pond. Stephen Layton's Polyphony, whose recent recordings of Pärt, Tavener and others have been revelations of choral singing, brings a comparable firmness, tonal opulence and refinement to this new repertoire, which will undoubtedly gain new admirers as a result' (Daily Telegraph)

'Above all, these performances by Stephen Layton's Polyphony are breathtakingly beautiful, powerfully expressive without trace of forced sentimentality. Hyperion's Disc of the Month for March should become one of the year's classical hits' (Musicweek)

'Every one of the works on this mesmerising Hyperion release is deliciously lyrical and harmonically sumptuous, but spiced with delicate dissonances that are Lauridsen's signature … Every performance here is delivered with liquid perfection' (The Scotsman)

'This is compelling and challenging music that deserves wider performance. The world-class ensemble Polyphony has made many first-rate recordings, and this is another—and it will be an immediate acquisition for this composer's growing legions of fans … if you love choral music, Lauridsen's work is required listening' (www.classicstoday.com)

'exquisitely sung by Polyphony with strong support from the Britten Sinfonia under Stephen Layton' (Observer)

'The sound is very clean, very focused and detailed, and has remarkable sound-stage depth. Even more so as an SACD … The bottom line is, if you aren't familiar with Lux Aeterna, your life is the poorer for it. You do need a recording of it' (Stereophile Magazine, USA)

Lux aeterna
Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia, Stephen Layton (conductor) Super-Audio CD Deleted  

This new disc from the multi-award-winning choir Polyphony is something rather special. At once genuinely original and yet reassuringly accessible, the music of Morten Lauridsen has achieved something of a cult status in his native America (O magnum mysterium currently being the top-selling choral octavo in the country – the number 2 spot is also a Lauridsen work), and Stephen Layton draws from his musicians some of the most ardently lyrical performances of recent years.

Lux aeterna was greeted by The Times after its London premiere thus: ‘a classic of new American choral writing … in this light-filled continuum of sacred texts, old world structures and new world spirit intertwine in a cunningly written score, at once sensuous and spare’. Were a comparison to be sought, it would perhaps with with Fauré’s Requiem, but this new work surely stands as unique.

The Madrigali, subtitled ‘Six Fire Songs on Italian Renaissance Poems’, are phenomenally challenging unaccompanied choral works, very much in the tradition of Monteverdi and Gesualdo. Yet the technical difficulties they present to the performer are disguised from the listener by a seamless sense of purpose which unites the cycle into a whole of stunning effect.

Occupying a similarly opulent sound-world to Lux aeterna, the three Latin motets which conclude this disc are truly modern masterpieces in the traditional motet genre.

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch