Philip Reed
Choir & Organ
March 2015

Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds goes from strength to strength, if the evidence of this exemplary recording is anything to go by. Two years as a Fellow-Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge (2011-13) coincided with a development of his musical language towards greater simplicity, with diatonicism and homophonic textures dominating. The Choir of Trinity College and director Stephen Layton were chosen and beautifully performed programme. The 16 works include O salutaris hostia (one of the composer's most celebrated pieces, here recorded in its arrangement for full choir) and (my particular favourites) his setting of the poet Sara Teasdale: The New Moon with its shimmering accompaniment of tuned wine glasses and chimes, and Only in sleep. In the brilliant Trinity Te Deum— a ceremonial Anglican-style setting—Layton's well drilled singers are joined by brass, organ and percussion to thrilling effect. Another delightful feature of the CD is the many singers who step out from the choir to take a solo.

The disc is an excellent place to become familiar with Ešenvalds's attractive output.