Gregory W. Brown's vocal music has a good bit of the influence of early polyphony and folk-archaic strains, but reshaped to his own personality, with the tang of the modern to remind you that this is music of today. This is not music that follows strictly or consistently the pre-Palestrinian or Palestrinian rules of counterpoint yet has beautifully fashioned part writing that evinces some of the aura of earlier times.
The "Missa Charles Darwin" performed by New York Polyphony and the "Vidi Aquam" by the Crossing are high points in the early-in-the-late mode, very convincingly wrought. "Three American Folk Hymns" makes use of old American vernacular and shape-note hymns redone with real charm. "Entrai, Pastores, Entrai" is based on an old Portuguese Christmas carol. "Spring" has as its text a translation of an Ancient Greek text by Anacreon. "Five Women Bathing in Moonlight" sets the poetry of Richard Wilbur, depicting a seaside excursion in the 1940s.
The performances are exemplary, the sound excellent and the compositions show us that Gregory W. Brown takes to vocal writing as a natural. The music has eloquence, verve and old-in-new panache.
I find the music uniformly delightful. It will appeal to those who respond to contemporary choral music and no doubt also to those who might prefer early music. There is enough to thoroughly engage and please both camps, and those in the middle.
Very enjoyable and nicely done!