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Explore new repertoire with these two excellent recordings. On The Mystery of Christmas - O Magnum Mysterium [Harmonia mundi HMM 905305], inspired by our ‘second Golden Age’ of choral music, the ORA Singers commission new works and combine them in programmes with medieval and renaissance composers. This vibrant collection includes works by Lauridsen, MACMILLAN and Weir, and is worth acquiring to hear new pieces by Roderick Williams, Adrian Peacock, Fredrik Sixten and Steven Sametz. There is keen and expressive singing, and many musical surprises. Christmas with Sonoro [Resonus RES 10226] presents yetmore new and proven repertoire, with exemplary singing from Sonoro, directed by Neil Ferris. Characterful solo voices combine in a powerful yet delicately blended ensemble (17 voices in total), mixing a cappella and organ- accompanied repertoire. Writing by Michael Higgins, Fintan O’Caroll, Becky MCGLADE and Gareth Treseder are among the new arrivals here and complement works by Howells, Warlock and others in an innovative and inspiring offering.

MATTHEW POWER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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