Choral ensemble shine with unmemorable songs

The Schola Cantorum's radiant, crisply nuanced choral sound is wasted on fluent but forgettable works

Composer: Whitacre, Dyrud, Christophersen, Lauridsen, Rehnqvist
Repertoire: Choral Works
Artists: Ave Sandbakken (vla), Schola Cantorum/Dahl Schola
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Vocal
Label: 2L61SACD

Whitacre’s Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine is proof of that: ricocheting from the opening ‘tutti’ chord, sub-groupings of variously shaded female voices are revealed like ever smaller Russian Dolls, an effect few choirs could nail with such precision. A pity this technical genius is allied to such so-so music – Torbjørn Dyrud and Morten Lauridsen write idiomatically but unmemorably, although Bjørn Morton Christophersen redeems himself with a thornier narrative about the breakdown of painter Edvard Munch.