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Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna, etc / Layton, Polyphony, et al

Album Summary

>Lauridsen, Morten : Lux aeterna
>Lauridsen, Morten : Madrigali, 6 Fire Songs on Italian Renaissance poems, for chorus
>Lauridsen, Morten : Ave Maria, for chorus
>Lauridsen, Morten : Ubi Caritas et Amor
>Lauridsen, Morten : O magnum mysterium
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"The smooth and sensual beauty of Lauridsen's writing comes in part from his study of plainchant and the Renaissance masters. The same influences inform his sophisticated, yet unforced use of canonically-derived counterpoint. His love of poetry is heard in his natural and sensitive treatment of language, drawn here from sacred Latin sources that emphasize the theme of eternal light." - Koob, American Record Guide

'Layton and company have here produced the finest I've heard among several excellent collections of Lauridsen's work. None are quite as exquisitely nuanced or sung with such glowing vocal sheen as this. Clear and shimmering sound, plus Hyperion's usual complete and user-friendly booklet, make it all the more attractive. No committed choral fan or singer will ever regret letting Lauridsen into his life' (American Record Guide)

'Stephen Layton's feel for the inner line and structure melts the heart, as does the impeccable, unforced singing of Polyphony. Their music-making remains in heavenly realms throughout the virtuoso Madrigali: pure choral gold' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This Hyperion release is superb and the disc is a must. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have' (Classical Music Web)

'It's not often I have to brush away the tears when I'm reviewing a recording, but I will happily confess that on this occasion Lauridsen got me again and again. I can't give this disc a higher recommendation than that. Run out and buy it as soon as you can' (Fanfare Magazine, USA)

'a flawless, perfectly balanced performance from the British choral group Polyphony, directed by the gifted Stephen Layton, and ably assisted by the Britten Sinfonia. If you love choral music, if you appreciate compositions that lift you from the mundane, you should not miss Lux Aeterna' (St Louis-Post Dispatch)

'Conventional choral wisdom suggests that the American Morten Lauridsen is a one-work wonder and certainly O magnum mysterium is wonderful, with vocal lines that arch out like fan vaulting. With this new recording Stephen Layton and Hyperion are clearly out to prove that Lauridsen's gifts are not just for Christmas but for all seasons too ... now the jury is back: the choir and Layton have acquitted Morten Lauridsen. Here's a three-, perhaps four-work wonder!' (International Record Review)

'The music has freshness and an affecting emotional pull to it that explains its popularity with singers and audiences across the pond. Stephen Layton's Polyphony, whose recent recordings of Pärt, Tavener and others have been revelations of choral singing, brings a comparable firmness, tonal opulence and refinement to this new repertoire, which will undoubtedly gain new admirers as a result' (Daily Telegraph)

'Above all, these performances by Stephen Layton's Polyphony are breathtakingly beautiful, powerfully expressive without trace of forced sentimentality. Hyperion's Disc of the Month for March should become one of the year's classical hits' (Musicweek)

'Every one of the works on this mesmerising Hyperion release is deliciously lyrical and harmonically sumptuous, but spiced with delicate dissonances that are Lauridsen's signature ... Every performance here is delivered with liquid perfection' (The Scotsman)

'This is compelling and challenging music that deserves wider performance. The world-class ensemble Polyphony has made many first-rate recordings, and this is another - and it will be an immediate acquisition for this composer's growing legions of fans ... if you love choral music, Lauridsen's work is required listening' (www.classicstoday.com)

'exquisitely sung by Polyphony with strong support from the Britten Sinfonia under Stephen Layton' (Observer)

'The sound is very clean, very focused and detailed, and has remarkable sound-stage depth. Even more so as an SACD ... The bottom line is, if you aren't familiar with Lux Aeterna, your life is the poorer for it. You do need a recording of it' (Stereophile Magazine, USA)



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Works Details

>Lauridsen, Morten : Lux aeterna
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Britten Sinfonia
  • Running Time: 25 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>Lauridsen, Morten : Madrigali, 6 Fire Songs on Italian Renaissance poems, for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Polyphony
  • Notes: Temple Church, London, England (07/31/2003/08/01/2003)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1987

>Lauridsen, Morten : Ave Maria, for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Polyphony
  • Notes: Temple Church, London, England (07/31/2003/08/01/2003)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>Lauridsen, Morten : Ubi Caritas et Amor
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Polyphony
  • Notes: Temple Church, London, England (07/31/2003/08/01/2003)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999

>Lauridsen, Morten : O magnum mysterium
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Polyphony
  • Notes: Temple Church, London, England (07/31/2003/08/01/2003)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1994