This album is a tribute to three composers making a big splash on the contemporary choral scene, as well as three works that were created for the 40th anniversary celebration of the King’s Singers in 2008 —Bob Chilcott’s High Flight and A Thanksgiving, plus Eric Whitacre’s A Stolen Child. All three are joined by the Concordia Choir of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, an ensemble that enjoys a quite sophisticated recording career in the United States. The choir also gets two solo outings, Whitacre’s Cloudburst, written when he was only 22, and Lauridsen’s wildly popular O Magnum Mysterium. They are a fine group that do credit to these oft-recorded pieces.
The rest of the works here are taken by the King’s Singers solo, and represent a decent and vital cross-section of these composers. Lauridsen and Whitacre are well known, but Bob Chilcott is probably unknown to most choral aficionados. He needn’t be—his work stands head to toe with both of these others, and his melodic proclivities even surpass them. Chilcott is also a former long-standing member of the King’s Singers (he left in 1997) and is responsible for many of the arrangements they sing.
The venues for this recording were London and Minnesota, but Signum’s recording disguises any significant differences between the two, both vibrant and full. An easy recommendation.