Pitch perfect but passionless Strauss

Sentiment and nostalgia tinge the ravishing atmosphere of the main work, the mighty German Motets on this recording by Laurence Equilbey’s Accentus and the Latvian Radio Choir

Composer: Strauss
Repertoire: German Motets; Der Abend, et al.
Artists: Accentus, Latvian Radio Choir/Equilbey
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Vocal
Label: Naïve V 5194

Strauss wrote the piece for the chorus of Berlin’s court opera in 1913, creating a landmark composition in 20 real parts to challenge the technical and musical abilities of the finest choristers. Laurence Equilbey’s Accentus choir here joins forces with the Latvian Radio Choir and four young soloists to deliver an immaculate yet emotionally cool reading of Strauss’s complex score. For my money the two professional choirs project their eloquent best in Der Abend, expertly negotiating its melting harmonic shifts and shimmering textures.