There are Monday mornings when I wonder why I do what I do. Such was this one. But then I put Coro Allegro's Awakenings (Navona 5878) on my player as I begin to write up today's reviews and I am reminded forcefully that I do this for the music, the artists, the composers.
Coro Allegro is a choral group for members and friends of the gay community and they are very good. The disk features two major works by contemporary composers from Massachusetts (Coro Allegro work out of Boston): Robert Stern's "Shofar, an Oratorio in Four Parts" for soloists, chorus and instrumentalists; and Ronald Perera's "Why I Wake Early: Eight Poems of Mary Oliver for Mixed Chorus, String Quartet and Piano."
Both works are well wrought, somewhat eclectic, and performed with vivacious zeal. They show two composers well worth hearing, very comfortable working in the choral genre, soloists of world class ability, and a choral group of superlative skills. Bravo Coro Allegro. Bravo Artistic Director David Hodgkins.