Ola Gjeilo: Voices Piano Strings

Ola Gjeilo: Voices Piano Strings—Tenebrae, Voces8, Ola Gjeilo, piano; Chamber Orchestra of London; Matthew Sharp, cello (Decca 24646)

This is a rising composer’s debut release on a major label, and important because now the ethereal and accessible music of Norwegian Ola Gjeilo (“YAY loh”) is available to all.  He draws on influences from his Nordic background to conjure modern choral music of exceptional beauty. Radiant vocal textures are enhanced by piano (performed by the composer himself) along with lush strings and acoustic guitar.  Gjeilo’s style is at once contemporary and familiar. His concentrated harmonies and rich textures combined with graceful, engaging melody contain echoes of Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, and film scores. He describes his music as “a lyrical mix of improvisation and classical”, and others often describe it as “cinematic… evocative, lush, story-telling…” Two notable English choral ensembles are featured—Tenebrae and Voces8—and you’ll find two pieces that are quickly becoming 21st century choral standards, Ubi caritas and The Ground, along with other pieces well worth discovering.

Featured Tue 5/3, Thu 5/12, Mon 5/23 

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