Houston Chamber Choir's DURUFLE: Complete Choral Works Receives Accolades
Houston Chamber Choir's newly released recording of Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, produced by Grammy Award winning producer Blanton Alspaugh for Signum Records, has received accolades from two world-renowned choral professionals, Dale Warland and Simon Carrington.
On Apr. 13, Warland penned a review of the Houston Chamber Choir's latest recording, noting its superiority among Duruflé works. He begins by saying, "This latest CD from Robert Simpson and his versatile Houston Chamber Choir is just what we've come to expect from them: beautiful, artistic singing and thoughtful, sensitive music-making at every turn." He had high praise for "Messe Cum Jublio," praising the men of the Choir for hitting their mark immediately, along with the 90-second "Notre Père," calling it "stellar."
Warland goes on to note that "It is the Houstonians' account of the "Requiem," a masterwork universally acknowledged, that will echo in my memory. Here is an inspiring instance of uncompromising craftsmanship married to heartfelt spirituality." He concludes his review by saying, "Undergirding the admirable technical work exhibited in this recording are a sincerity and sense of commitment that, subtly permeating the entire disc, raise it several notches of inspiration above all other realizations of Duruflé that I know."
As a choral conductor, composer and educator, Dale Warland has made an indelible impression on contemporary choral music, nationally and internationally. In a quarter-century with the Dale Warland Singers, he shaped an all-professional a cappella ensemble lauded for its exquisite sound, technical finesse, and stylistic range. From that platform, Warland not only offered stunning performances of traditional repertory but also commissioned and premiered some 270 works from composers around the globe.
In an earlier review, Yale University professor emeritus and King's Singers Founding Member and original Musical Director Simon Carrington stated, "I have listened to many recordings and performances of Durufle's glorious choral music over the years, but this sumptuous new release captures its unique qualities better than any - with wonderfully radiant and flexible singing from the Houston Chamber Choir under their director Robert Simpson. Ken Cowan's fluid playing, his colourful registrations on the magnificent organ at Rice University, the warm but not overly reverberant acoustic, the fine, vibrant vocal soloists, Norman Fischer's superb cello playing and the refined and elegant singing of the choir combine in a superb recording to be treasured."
Carrington has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the United Kingdom, and later in the United States and around the world. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a 24-voice chamber choir which he brought to national and now international prominence. During his Yale tenure he led the introduction of a new graduate voice degree for singers specializing in oratorio, early music and chamber ensemble, and, with his faculty colleagues, he guided two Yale graduate students to their first prize wins in consecutive conducting competitions at American Choral Directors Association National Conventions.
The CD is now on sale for pre-order for $15 with autographed copies for $20. Visit
https://houstonchamberchoir.org/durufle-complete-choral-works to order now. Links to the reviews can be found at https://houstonchamberchoir.org/dale-warland-durufle-review and https://houstonchamberchoir.org/simoncarringtonduruflreview.
The Houston Chamber Choir continues to be recognized for its outstanding work. In 2018, the organization received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America, the advocacy, research and leadership development organization that advances the choral field. Most recently, the Choir was invited to participate in the prestigious World Symposium on Choral Music 2020 (WSCM2020), to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2020, where 24 of the best choral ensembles in the world will perform. The festival, held every three years in different locations across the globe, received a record 179 entries this year. This is the first such invitation for the Houston Chamber Choir.
For more information about Houston Chamber Choir or to purchase tickets for concerts, visit us at houstonchamberchoir.org.