Requiem recordings hit the high note

Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson’s professional chamber choir give a rich, warm performance of major Requiem works.

Title: Requiem
Repertoire: Music by Howells, Whitacre, et al
Artists: Conspirare/Craig Hella Johnson
Rating:   4/5
Genre: Vocal/Chamber
Label: Harmonia Mundi HMU 807518

Can art change the world? The question quietly reverberates through this recording, suggested by its programme of songs of mourning and remembrance. What emerges, perhaps by way of an answer for our times, is the power of an individual artist’s response to death to challenge the collective madness of armed conflict and pitiful violence. The Requiem settings by Howells and Pizzetti, complementary in many ways, suit the tonal richness and warmth of Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson’s professional chamber choir. The American ensemble is at its eloquent, accomplished finest in two of Whitacre’s Three Songs of Faith. Recommended.