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Lindsay Koob
American Record Guide, March 2013

Performances, whether from the singers or players, are admirably well crafted, with no appreciable weaknesses. Choral textures and sound are typically English: bright and clear, with cool, yet committed spiritual sincerity. Naxos, as usual, has seen to excellent sound quality as well as a complete and useful booklet. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

William Hedley
International Record Review, December 2012

Rizza is a composer with a voice of her own…The Gaudete Ensemble is very much more than [an amateur group], and the composer will surely be thrilled to hear her music sing with such skill and sensitivity. The instrumental playing is faultless too, and the whole is ably held together by conductor Eamonn Dougan… if ‘contemplative and spiritual’ is your think…this will fit the bill. © 2012 International Record Review

Terry Blain
BBC Music Magazine, December 2012

Sweetly consolatory and reassuring. © 2012 BBC Music Magazine

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2012

Born in the UK in 1929, Margaret Rizza has worked in the field of singing, both on the stage and as a teacher at London’s Guildhall School of Music. She was almost fifty when she was first asked to write a piece of vocal music, and since that time she has become involved in sacred works very much linked to her involvement with Christian contemplation. The present disc contains fifteen pieces composed over eleven years, the earliest, Fire of Love from 1998, eventually arriving at two scores from 2010, O sapientia and Christ be near. They would largely fall under the general heading of mystical tradition, the stylistic basis coming from music of the 16th century. To this long established church tradition she has added horizontal layers of harmonies from the 20th century. Those of a Christian disposition will find the titles self-explanatory, some are traditional, while others have been adapted by Rizza from previous writings. The result has that comforting feel of having come down a well-trodden path of church music brought into the present time, some tracks unaccompanied, others using a mix of strings and woodwind. I gather from the disc’s booklet notes that the Gaudete Ensemble has, over the years, appeared under different guises, and here it is entirely populated by professional singers, some of their names familiar from other UK groups. They have that tonal quality and confidence we now come to expect from such British groups, and with Rizza listed among the discs record producers, the performances have an added provenance of composer satisfaction. The sound is of very high quality. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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