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Like a good single malt whisky, this is a disc to be savoured with pleasure. The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus is a group of beautifully blended, very talented singers who perform under the inspired direction of Philip Barnes. Of the eleven works here, ten are SLCC commissions. Inventive and diverse, these pieces require technical ability and sensitive musicianship, and this group never falters. These composers have a creative way of using a text or an amalgam of texts. Taking Psalm 23 as a starting point, Trevor Harvey addsto it the words of Veni Creator Spiritus, while Clare Maclean introduces Emily Dickinson and John Bunyan into her setting, both composers creating poignant and haunting music. Bob Chilcott is at his most imaginative in Before the Ice, and Judith Bingham’s 14-minute cantata Solomon and Love was a revelation. If you are seeking something away from the usual choral programming, there is much to enjoy here.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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