Santa Fe Desert Chorale takes us on a beautiful journey through America’s deep choral heritage with richly expressive, blended singing. Simple Shaker songs from the mid-19th century are performed in both their original, pure forms—introducing some terrific solo voices—and in sumptuous arrangements by Shawn Kirchner, whose warm-hearted “Angel Band” takes full advantage of the choir’s wide-ranging sonorities. Jake Runestead’s “Reflections,” commissioned by Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Morten Lauridsen’s “Mid-Winter Songs” represent the best of contemporary American choral music while the final three works, including Stephen Paulus’ “The Road Home,” remind us of the folk-song roots of jazz, gospel, and bluegrass.
Anyone with even a passing interest in the sultry, enigmatic and sensual music of Sorabji needs to have this set. It is a most thoroughly engrossing anthology from a brilliant pianist who is a veteran in Sorabji terms. He has lived with and reflected on this music for approaching forty years. Time and again while listening to this set I was struck by his loving attention to detailing, voicings and speeds. The music communicates Sorabji's striving after transcending the limitations of keyboard, of mechanical action and of the pedestrianly objective.
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (born Leon Dudley Sorabji; 14 August 1892 – 15 October 1988) was an English composer, music critic, pianist and writer. He was one of the 20th century's most prolific piano composers. As a composer and pianist, Sorabji was largely self-taught, and he distanced himself from the main currents of contemporary musical life early in his career. He developed a highly idiosyncratic musical language, with roots in composers as diverse as Busoni, Debussy and Szymanowski, and he dismissed large portions of the established and contemporary repertoire.