Change; A Farewell to Arms; A Good-Night; Missa Brevis; Five Carols;
What Sweeter Music; Puer Nobis – The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter
director – Collegium multichannel SACD CSACD 901, 74:28 ****:
I tend to confuse the Britisher Richard Rodney Bennett with Richard
Russell Bennett, the American composer and arranger. The former was
originally a serial composer who eventually switched to the
more-accessible style heard here. It’s not difficult music, but it’s
not cheaply obvious or simple-minded. Repeated listenings reveal
subtleties not heard the first or even second time. Of the pieces here,
my favorites are Sea Change (which is more a study in texture than melody or harmony), and Lullaly Mine Liking, an exquisite Christmas carol.
The recording is a bit distant, but not sunk in reverberation;*
individual voices are distinct and easy to follow. If you like choral
music, this disk is highly recommended.
* = The availability of discrete ambience
channels seems to have encouraged producers to stop dumping huge
amounts of amibience (usually synthetic) into the main channels.
– William Sommerwerck