Monday, May 25, 2020

James Primosch, Carthage, The Crossing, Donald Nally

The vocal ensemble known as the Crossing sound so beautiful that any composer no doubt is delighted to be performed by them. There is another album of theirs out recently featuring the music of James Primosch, Carthage (Navona 6287), There are six a capella works presented, including the title work and the "Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus." Much of it was composed  recently, 1998-2019 in all.

Everything has that made-for-voices-hanging-together sound, with the subtle spice of modern harmonic movement and a widely hovering declamation of those gorgeous voices.

Each of the compositions has presence and memorability. The Mass and its five movements is the more lengthy but all show a remarkable natural part writing brilliance that the Crossing bring to life with great beauty, now lyrical and evocative, now expressive and dramatically surging forth. Not surprisingly the Mass is the most informed by a old-in-new contrapuntal melisma but nonetheless a pronounced contemporary edge.

It is all worth hearing, worth having, a thorough immersion in choral acuity. Kudos Donald Nally and the Crossing. Kudos James Primosch. Most heartily recommended.

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