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Choir & Organ
5 Stars
'The performances are first-rate throughout and how refreshing it is to have a choir with such excellent diction.'
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'Here is a valuable extension to our knowledge of Charles Ives (1874-1954) and a uniquely enjoyable one.'
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The Sunday Herald
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St Olaf Choir - Ives: The Celestial Country - Inverness Courier

08 August 2003
Inverness Courier
Jim Love

Written 100 years agowhen the composer was 25, the yearning melodies of this sacred oratorio are reminiscent of the parlour songs that were popular at the time. Accompanied by organ and string quartet, the American choir bring an impressive warmth and richness of sound to the text. The filler, variously entitled "Silence Accompanied" and "Silence Unaccompanied" (I tend to the former), was selected and orchestrated by other hands to form a song cycle. Short and impressionistic, it draws from the beginning and end of the composer's career and his later spikily dissonant works do not always sit comfortably alongside such serene melodic radiances as the early "Christmas Carol". The extremes of tempo make considerable demands on the singers and the choir acquits itself better than the soloists.
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St. Olaf Choir with Chamber EnsembleSt. Olaf Choir with Chamber Ensemble
Ives: The Celestial CountryIves: The Celestial Country