Eventide (Deluxe Version)
Both traditional and contemporary choral strains can be heard in the exquisitely arranged and sung performances on Voces8’s Decca debut, Eventide. The eight-member British ensemble achieve a sublime vocal blend that combines technical precision with vivid emotion. Drawing on works from the late medieval period through the modern era, the group render their selections with subtle use of counterpoint and harmony. While most pieces are offered a cappella, saxophonist Christian Forshaw, cellist Matthew Sharp, and harpist Lavinia Meijer provide tasteful accompaniment on a number of tracks. John Williams’ elegiac “Hymn to the Fallen” (from the soundtrack to Saving Private Ryan), Eric Whitacre’s haunting “The Seal Lullaby,” Karl Jenkins’ reverent “Benedictus," and Anton Bruckner’s otherworldly “Os Justi” rank among the standouts here. The group’s most compelling moment may be their version of Ola Gjeilo’s “Second Eve,” a grandly sweeping work of unusual complexity and texture.