Album Review

Posted: Thursday 11th November 1999
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Kodály: Choral Works – Classic CD

Here is a useful compilation of Zoltán Kodály’s major works for chorus with organ accompaniment, along with two a cappella pieces – Este Dal (Evening Song) and Este (Evening). Both of these are sung in Hungarian, the first based on a folksong, whilst the second is a youthful setting of a poem by one of Kodály’s teachers. It is in these unaccompanied compositions that the Vasari Singers are heard to their best advantage, with limpid singing, sensitive phrasing and good blending within and between parts.

With the presence of the organ, whether as a result of balancing or other difficulties, the choir seems less at ease, with individual voices obtruding, and a number of the more forceful passages sounding under-powered. The Missa brevis is the longest work included here, and there is much competition on disc, not least from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, on EMI. But the performances, overall, are committed and responsive.

Timothy Bell
Classic CD