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Steve Holtje
Culture Catch, January 2016

Best Classical Albums 2015

…I gotten used to loving fairly staid renditions, and thus was this disc a bit startling for the greater emotiveness of Edison’s interpretations. And, yes, they get the notes and dynamics right, and in Naxos’ usual excellent sound. The staid interpretations do seem more coolly French in character, but it’s great to have this beautiful alternative. © 2016 Culture Catch

Barnaby Rayfield
Fanfare, September 2015

…beautifully sung by the Elora Festival Singers, their tone pure and clean with crisp diction to match. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, September 2015

The Elora ensemble is one of Canada’s best professional choirs, and when you hear their Poulenc you won’t have any trouble figuring out why. Their sound is rich and clear, and they are engaged emotionally from start to finish. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, June 2015

…the Elora Festival Singers, under the direction of Noel Edison, sing splendidly throughout the disc. The sopranos have an especially gorgeous sound, but altos, tenors and basses are also quite impressive. Actually, not only is there no significant fault in any performance, but all the work here is excellent. …the sound is quite clear and well balanced. Choral and sacred music enthusiasts may well want to consider acquiring this excellent Naxos CD. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, June 2015

…Noel Edison and the Elora Festival Singers…do a commendable job with music that strains tessituras towards the upper limits, requiring the performers to adjust to rising (and destabilizing) semitones, unexpected chromatic passages, and urgent staccato exclamations. © 2015 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Geoffrey Norris
Gramophone, June 2015

…finely tailored and buoyantly expressive [performances]. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, May 2015

…the Elora gives a consistent and open-toned account, which is always airy and bright. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Dianne Wells
The WholeNote, April 2015

Noel Edison leads the Elora Festival Singers adeptly through these varied and difficult ranges of character and emotion with enviable accuracy of pitch and perfectly nuanced expression. © 2015 The WholeNote Read complete review

David Vernier, April 2015

Noel Edison and his singers have made perhaps their finest recording to date, a reference for choirs who follow and for listeners who want an important and enduring addition to their choral music library. © 2015 Read complete review

Fiona Maddocks
The Observer (London), April 2015

Characterised by ethereally high soprano lines, dense harmonies and fearless chromaticisms, the work presents extreme challenges to the a capella choir. The Elora Festival Singers…cope expertly under the direction of Noel Edison… © 2015 The Observer (London)

Brian Wigman
Classical Net, April 2015

Noel Edison is one of the best living choral conductors, and he knows exactly what sound he wants and how to get it. The Festival Singers follow his every whim, and are captured in top quality sound. Every single Elora album is worth getting, and this proves no exception. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review, March 2015

The CD as a whole offers a perspective on 20th-century choral music…and shows the ways in which recent choral music is both beholden to the past and a step beyond it. © 2015 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2015

Two deaths, almost twenty year apart, were to have a profound effect on Francis Poulenc’s life and of his music, particularly in the field of religious choral works. The first, in 1917, was the loss of his father, and Poulenc’s rejection of Christianity. Then in 1936 the death of his close friend and composer, Pierre-Octave Ferroud, found him seeking consolation with a return to Roman Catholicism. There followed the Sept Chansons each one making reference to a part of the body we rely upon, and was a reference to the decapitated torso of Ferroud found after his car accident. By turns surreal and erotic, it is thought by many to be his most perfect unaccompanied choral score. Completed in 1936, it was soon followed by the Mass in G minor, a very belated memorial in memory of his father, its harmonies remaining in touch with his previous years as a provocative member of the group of composers known as Les Six. As such it requires perfect intonation to create unusual harmonies, the final Agnus Dei quietly ethereal, though it leaves the high sopranos with some difficult entries. Here I would complement the Canadian-based Elora Festival Singers, though they seem to find the following Four Motets for the Season of Lent more of a challenge, and by 1952, the year of the Four Motets for the Season of Christmas, Poulenc was really testing the quality of any choir. Beautiful music, directed with affection by Noel Edison, and well captured by Naxos’s Canadian recording team. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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