Northern Lights: Choral works by Ola Gjeilo recorded by Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix Chorale
Date: February 7, 2012
Choir type: Professional Choirs
An album of choral music by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo ("yay-lo") featuring the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale, conducted by Charles Bruffy, is being released by Chandos Records (http://www.chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHSA%205100). The recording is titled "Northern Lights," and features five premiere recordings of Gjeilo's music (published by Walton Music, Gunilla Luboff, owner), including three that were commissioned for the Phoenix Chorale. Also featured on the disc are the Harrington String Quartet, Emmanuel Lopez (cello), Alison Chaney (soprano), Ted Belledin (tenor saxophone), and the composer playing piano on several of the tracks.
It is available starting today on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/gjeilo-northern-lights/id497727481) and on Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006O51CF2) and also availabe on the US Amazon (http://amzn.com/B006O51CF2) for pre-order before the official US release date of Feb. 28th.
Here's a video interview of conductor Charles Bruffy (including stills and video from the recording sessions--I'm seen at the back left at about 1'30"), describing his first encounter of Ola Gjeilo's music (which at an ACDA event):
My personal review:
First, a disclaimer: I am one of the singers of the Phoenix Chorale, so obviously, I can't be very objective. That being said, this is one of the most gorgeous, transcendent, and spiritual choral recordings I've ever heard. From my vantage point, I think this is largely due to the synthesis of Ola Gjeilo's unique compositional "voice," the musicians' (both singers and instruments) enthusiasm for and comfort with the musical material, and the interpretive creativity, sensitivity, and attention to detail of conductor Charles Bruffy. This combination resulted in an extremely high-quality collaborative outcome, on many different levels. I could go on, but I'll leave it up to the lovers of beautiful choral music to listen and decide for themselves!