Vespers CD, Fanfare Magazine

We’ve made it into Fanfare twice: first in Peter Burwasser’s 2009 Want List, and then Carson Cooman writes it up in the regular reviews:

Smith’s Vespers (2008) is a magnificent achievement: it draws on the contrapuntal and textural idioms of Renaissance and Baroque music to create a fresh, vibrant musical statement in a contemporary harmonic language. The many instruments of the Piffaro Renaissance band are employed in myriad delightful combinations—from gentle, pastoral recorders with harp to a blazing chorus of shawms, dulzians, and sackbuts.

Like his Lutheran predecessors in the Renaissance and Baroque era, Smith bases many of the movements upon traditional chorale melodies. These prove fertile ground for his own harmonic explorations, and the whole work bursts with the invention that characterizes the best music (from any era) of this sort. The performance is excellent—Piffaro has distinguished itself through many records of period music, and The Crossing is a recently created choir (brainchild of conductor Donald Nally) that performs contemporary choral music exclusively.

Read the entire review here.


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