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Listening Post; A cappella vocal music by Voces8


“Lux: Music by Tallis, Elgar, Tavener, Allegri, Rachmaninoff and others” by Voces8 (Decca). Well, sure, one has no difficulty whatsoever with the repertoire of a celestial eight-voice British vocal group like Voces8 including the likes of Tallis, Elgar, and Allegri as well as a bit of Rachmaninoff’s heavenly all-night Vesper. Stretch it and of course, it will be easy to include such spiritual contemporaries as John Tavener. But wait a minute. How about Massive Attack’s “Teardrop?” And Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest?” (“I don’t get many things right the first time/In fact I am told that a lot!/Now I know that all the wrong turns/and struggles and falls brought me here.”) Postmodern ensembles like the Kronos Quartet have been making such all-era, “high” and “low” omni-recitals possible for decades now but you won’t find many at the moment that are are more beautiful and gracefully put together than this one from the U.K. Voces8 is a young vocal ensemble of two sopranos, two counter tenors, two tenors, one baritone and one bass led by Barnaby Smith. A stunning disc of a cappella choral music.  (Jeff Simon)

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