A Bridge of Dreams
27 November 2011
This is one for the choral hard nut, real "singers music" – hugely challenging and absorbing for the performers but not necessarily for the listener. Paul Hillier's curious collection features composers and poets from China, Japan, California, New Zealand and Australia. Lou Harrison's Mass for Saint Cecilia's Day is in plainchant but uses scales reflecting gamelan and Chinese music and decorated with delicate harp figurations. Jack Body's Five Lullabies occasionally employ bracing parallel seconds while Ross Edwards's Sacred Kingfisher Psalms introduce us to Aboriginal bird chants. But it is Anne Boyd's As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams that really grabs the attention. Based on the whole-tone scale, the music moves very slowly in deliciously textured, monumental chords that show this world-class choir at its best.