Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – All Things Common (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – All Things Common (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 58:57 minutes | 926 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Yarlung Records

The music of composer Tarik O’Regan is determinedly eclectic, with British, North African, and American sources of various kinds. Among its uniquely fascinating aspects is that he draws on the British choral tradition in which he was trained without being fully part of it. This collection of choral pieces gives a good idea of the variety of his style, and the performances by California’s Pacific Chorale under director Robert Istad add a new dimension, with a fine, warm acoustic. The program consists of religious works and pieces, drawn from various kinds of poetry that might be called spiritual. O’Regan has a strong ear for poetry like John Rutter, but his tonal palette is both more diverse and more bracing. Some of the pieces here are short, lyrical works of a transparent vein; try “I Listen to the Stillness of You,” a lovely D.H. Lawrence setting excerpted from a larger work for an ideally stable conclusion. Ecstasies Above, a setting Edgar Allan Poe, has a complex texture, including two vocal quartets and a string quartet that seems to draw on American folk music or bluegrass. The Magnificat and Nunc dimittis is an entirely different kind of piece, although it’s recognizably the music of the same composer. The work includes spoken passages and various kinds of choral treatments, including polyphony, chant, and minimalist passages, as well as a solo cello. The singers, a 24-person group extracted from the larger Pacific Chorale, are challenged with a quiet high C and execute it perfectly. A consistently interesting program and beautiful singing make this one of the strongest American choral releases of 2020.

1. Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – All Things Common (05:02)
2. Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – Blessed Are They (Version for Chorus & String Quintet) (04:47)
3. Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – Magnificat & Nunc Dimittus (14:58)
4. Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – Turn (04:56)
5. Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – Facing West (05:43)
6. Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – The Ecstasies Above (19:38)
7. Pacific Chorale & Robert Istad – Mass Observation: No. 10, I Listen to the Stillness of You (03:51)


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