Notes & Reviews:
St. Basil Chapel's sublime acoustics matched with architect Philip Johnson's dynamic and contrasting forms have created an extraordinary place for sacred music. David Ashley White's hauntingly lyrical Canzona for Oboe and Organ receives its recording premiere on this disc. The University Singers is an auditioned ensemble that is comprised primarily of undergraduate and graduate music majors. It also includes a few auditioned non-music majors, as well as a small number of University of Saint Thomas music alumni. In addition, depending on repertoire demands, the ensemble sometimes adds a small group of professional and highly skilled amateur musicians. Clearly, flexibility is key. The music on this release, appropriate for traditional Roman Catholic and Anglo-Catholic worship, and carefully chosen for these specific acoustics, is a sampling of some of the repertoire included on chapel concerts over the past decade. The recording also exploits the tremendous orchestral flexibility of the two-manual Schoenstein organ, designed by jack Bethards.