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Better known as a jazz pianist, Lutz has a parallel career as a composer of sacred music. The two come closest on the title piece here, an English setting of Emil Aarestrup’s ‘Der er en Trolddom paa din Læbe’ (shouldn’t it be ‘there is witchcraft in your lips?’), in which the poet’s oddly clinical eroticism is applied to the twin arts of verse and music and rendered in an edgy blend of tonal and modal harmonies. Something of the same dual character emerges in Lutz’s Stabat Mater, which has romantic sweep but also a physical intimacy absent from most canonical works in the form. Fine as the singers are, Andersen particularly, they’re perhaps too declarative and impassioned to sustain the mysterious atmosphere Lutz creates with vibes, woodwind and cello. An unusual work, confidently advocated by Toft and CAMERATA, and thoroughly accessible, but somehow lacking in unity or cohesion.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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