Rave reviews for Exsultate Deo!
Rave reviews for the new CD recorded by the Choir of St. Barnabas and Organist and Choirmaster Wesley R. Warren
The late-2012 release of the first full-length compact disc recorded by the musicians of St. Barnabas, Ottawa has inspired many – whether musicians themselves or appreciative listeners – to share their comments.
Respected organist and conductor Frances Macdonnell has this to say: “Congratulations on the new CD. It's a lovely combination of pieces which show off your choir's capabilities so well. ... I was so glad that you put in a work in French. Beautifully produced - congratulations all around!”
Alys, quick to say that she is not a musician, nevertheless appreciates music and is enthusiastic about Exsultate Deo: “Fantastic choral sound, and well-chosen repertoire. It pleases me to know that a little choir from Ottawa can produce such beauty with such skill. Also, I do not often hear pipe organ solo works, and to hear the instrument played so masterfully is quite an experience. These musicians should make more CDs!”
Stuart Mulder, a graphic designer and saxophone player from the UK, thinks that the choir has an “amazing big-choir sound from such a small choral group. When I listened to the organ solo piece by Howells, it took me back to memories of the dawn breaking over the English countryside. This CD is as good as anything I’ve heard from the big English church and college choirs.”
“[It’s] a great CD,” says Lynda Dredge, a chorister at All Saints’ Westboro. “I am also really impressed with the booklet. Everyone did a superb job.”
Lisa Zanyk, a theatre artist and arts administrator, congratulates St. Barnabas on an “excellently organized and executed collection of church music.” She likes the ‘through-the-year’ approach to the selection of pieces, with a balanced selection of choral, accompanied and a cappella works: a mix of familiar and off-the-beaten-path. “Precision and blend of sound elevates this CD from the standard-issue collection of recordings from colleagues and family who sing at church, to a stand-out recording by a superbly rehearsed church choir,” she says, adding that she appreciates the “sparsely poetic and succinctly illuminating liner notes”.
What might you say about the new CD? Your own copy of Exsultate Deo awaits you.
by Laurel O’Connor