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Reviews - Coro Cervantes

Coro Cervantes

Nuestro Director

BBC Music Magazine (
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Robert Maycock

Followers of London's professional Spanish-repertoire choir will be pleased that its debut CD (released two years ago) has a successor. So will other who go exploring this attractive collection of short, mostly unaccompanied works -often serene, sometimes dramatic- by Catalans, Basques, Spaniards and the Argentinean Alberto Ginastera.

Ginastera's Lamentations of Jeremiah, the first and longest item, is also the most exciting and is brilliantly performed, before its quasi-Baroque tailing-off. A clash between the small choir's vibrant style and the spacious acoustic turns out to be temporary, and the predominant quieter music has a glow that complements the singers' sensitivity. Highlights include Pau Casals at his most fervently eloquent, Ernesto Halffter's quirky, striking Oratio, an a freshly harmonised Agnus Dei by Javier Busto which culminates in a epigrammatic six-part pile-up on "Dona nobis pacem" and creates an appetite for the Missa Brevis from which it is taken.

Mompou, Rodrigo and Montsalvatge (in a spiky organ solo) make their appearances among 19 pieces of which ten are premiere recordings. Outstanding among those are Jesús Guridi's hymn-like Tantum ergo and vivid, Widor-meets-Saint-Saëns Final for organ; also, honourable mentions for Antón García Abril's varied textures and the suave, deceptively simple O Iesu mi dulcissime by Padre Donostia.