Notes & Reviews:
This Pentatone release was recorded in the grand acoustical environment of St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD by an ensemble whose typical performance is never less than sublime, the first-rate South Dakota Chorale. Sacred Songs of Life and Love features some of the most beautiful work in contemporary Scandinavian and Baltic choral music, including Arvo Pärt's Sieben Magnificat Antiphonen, selections from Knut Nystedt's Prayers of Kierkegaard, Sven-David Sandström's Four Songs of Love and Algirdas Martinaitis' Alleuia. "We hope that this collection will take you through a full range of human emotions. This music is full of peace, joy, hope and love, and we hope it will fill your heart and ears with much of the same". - Brian A. Schmidt, SD Chorale Conductor and Artistic Director
American Record Guide, July/August 2015
If you don't believe that the USA is a country that sings, here is a top-notch professional choir of 32 headquartered in - ahem - Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Their founding conductor, Brian Schmidt, also directs the choir of the Duke University Chapel in North Carolina.) Maestro Schmidt's South Dakotans sing the music of Arvo Part very nicely indeed. Their clear, dry-eyed approach brings out the austerity and harmonic contrasts of the writing in a vivid and satisfying way. You also have to love the 'Bogoroditse Djevo', the bounciest, happiest minute-and-13 seconds Part ever came up with.
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