Lauridsen: Lux aeterna (CD Review - The Manchester Evening News, 2005)

He's the thinking choristers' John Rutter, highly regarded in the USA and noted for bringing the multi-voice polyphonic style of the great Renaissance masters into the present. More than that, he has a way of writing melodies of graceful shape and great beauty. So choirs love to sing his music, and really it needs the best among them. In Polyphony, on this disc, it gets one such, and sounds magnificent.

The music of Lux Aeterna (1997), from which the disc takes its title, is almost like an extension of Fauré's Requiem at first hearing, but there is much more to Lauridsen than this. His 1987 settings of Italian poems, entitled Madrigali, are full of dissonance and as much a challenge to the listener as the singers. But I think of all the music I most enjoyed the three shorter, liturgical pieces with which the CD ends: Ave Maria, Ubi Caritas Et Amor and O Magnum Mysterium. They are glorious.

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