CD Review. Peter-Anthony Togni: Sea Dreams

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Peter-Anthony Togni: Sea Dreams.

Luminous Voices Chamber Choir/Timothy Shantz. Katie Partridge (soprano), Sarah Han-Scinocco (flute), Sarah MacDonald (flute), Tova Olson, Victor Cheng (percussion), Jeff Reilly (bass clarinet)

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Leaf Music LM236

Total Time: 61:39

Radiant and/or relaxing choral recordings are not exactly in short supply. There is always room for another. Here the Calgary-based and accurately self-descriptive Luminous Voices under their music director Timothy Shantz make an ­admirable case for the sacred scores of the Nova Scotia composer Peter-Anthony Togni. We start with a calmly uplifting and mostly consonant Totus Tuus addressed to the Virgin. The simple texture of a Requiem et Lux is gently animated by subtle dynamics. Dissonances are so purely rendered by these singers (31 are listed in the booklet) they project a paradoxical stasis. A setting in French of Psalm 98 turns the words “chantez au Seigneur” into a lively ostinato figure. The ­three-movement title composition opens with an alluring flute duet and swells nicely. The treatment of the T.S. Eliot text is as much devotional as ­maritime. Seas are predominantly calm but there are flickers of spray and sunshine. “Getting into a boat or on a ship is a kind of leap of faith,” says the composer. “We can only pray and trust that the journey will be successful.” This one is.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Arthur Kaptainis has been a classical music critic since 1986. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Musical Toronto. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto. From 2019-2021, Arthur was co-editor of La Scena Musicale.

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