Thursday, April 5, 2012

Arvo Part, Creator Spiritus; Paul Hillier, Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen

When Paul Hillier turns to the choral music of Arvo Part, one anticipates the results with expectation. Maestro Hillier has a way with Part's music; the idiosynchratic modern-early music amalgam that is so much a part of Part finds an ideal interpreter in Hillier. A new volume of choral works, Creator Spiritus (Harmonia Mundi 807553), will be out in a few days. Paul Hillier, his choral ensembles Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Cophenhagen team with the NYYD Quartet and organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent for a program of mostly brief works covering all stages of the composer's career.

Much of the music has the upward-reaching cosmic sacredness for which Part is known and revered. Other than the beautifully open 26-minute "Sabat Mater" they are in miniature form. "My Heart is in the Highlands" stays on the mind as a haunting re-creation of an old folk song, in English and German versions. But it's all a welcome addition to the Part cannon.

The vocalists and instrumentalists sound heavenly. Paul Hillier works his magic. It is most definitely worth seeking out. The album will be available on April 10th and thereafter. You can pre-order a copy at Amazon by copying and pasting the following URL into your browser window:

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