RAMSAY: Sacred Vocal Works; Kristi Vrooman, soprano; David Kravitz,baritone; Lori Everson,violin; chorus/ Heinrich Christensen
Albany 1304—56 minutes
"Graham Gordon Ramsay’s choral works are written in a lush romantic style with a mildly modern flavor suggesting sometimes Bruckner, sometimes Poulenc. This program, called “The Sacred Voice,” includes settings of familiar Old and New Testament texts written as commissions and dedications: an ‘Ave Maria’ setting inspired (according to the notes) by another ‘Ave Maria’ setting of Harvey Burgett; the St Stephen Mass; and several Psalm settings. Everson offers energetic and sometimes florid violin accompaniment to the otherwise solemn and slow-paced Three Psalms. The longest and most imaginative work is Obedience, a 12-minute setting of biblical verses in eight movements for soprano, baritone,and organ that seeks to depict the human struggle “to be compliant with God’s commandments.”... A choir of 16 Boston-area singers was selected for the recording, conducted by Christensen, music director at Boston’s historic King’s Chapel and long-time advocate of Ramsay’s music. Their well-balanced singing is expressive and sumptuous. Recorded at Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, the sound is warm and spacious. You can see and hear samples of these works at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uUASpq38Bw
Notes, texts, and translations."