Lauridsen: Nocturnes (CD Review - The Seattle Times, 2007)

The Northwest-born composer Morten Lauridsen, renowned for his choral music, is the subject of this sumptuous CD by the English vocal ensemble Polyphony, under the direction of Stephen Layton. Their glorious sound and subtle interpretations do complete justice to Lauridsen's scores, including the "Mid-Winter Songs," "Les chansons des roses" and the brand-new, rapturous "Nocturnes," of which this disc is the premiere recording.

The Polyphony performances make it clear why Lauridsen is today's preeminent choral composer; you'll hear every nuance of voicing and harmony, enveloped by a choral sound that is shaped by a masterly hand, with quicksilver changes and contrasts. The Britten Sinfonia is featured in the "Mid-Winter Songs"; the other works are a cappella, sung here at a standard against which all subsequent choral recordings should be judged.

Melinda Bargreen

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