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David Vernier, October 2017

It’s easy to see what would attract Elora Singers director Noel Edison to these scores: they are expertly crafted for singers, tonal, easily listenable, set to profound and moving texts—a collection of pieces that are sure to have appeal to a wide audience while also offering ample opportunity for the choir to shine. © 2017 Read complete review

Chris Bye
The British Music Society, August 2017

Heavens above! Every self-respecting music fan knows that British choral music and religion go hand-in-hand. This prayer-like collection proclaims biblical verse and holy lyrics which are skilfully set to genteel, persuasive harmonies that gently drift into an ethereal paradise.

The dreamy music of Patrick Hawes really does get under the skin. Even that very familiar invocation, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, here gets a welcome breath of renewed life. The sublime voices of the Elora Singers, acutely marshalled under the tender and thoughtful direction of Noel Edison here emphasise that point in no uncertain way.

This is the latest release to capture that infectious and mystical mood so typical of the choral works of Patrick Hawes. The highly disciplined voices of the Canadian Elora Singers, delivers a lovely litany of emotive pieces ranging with engaging titles from simply ‘Peace’ to ‘Let Us Love’. What a way to forget the world’s current troubles and relax under the reassuring sway of blissful lyrics.

…this certainly is a truly pioneering recording that will calm any troubled waters. © 2017 The British Music Society

Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, July 2017

Lindsay Koob and I have admired this Canadian chamber choir in the past, and they are fine here. They gave the world premieres of Revelation and Beatitudes and sing the music like they own it. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Pwyll ap SiƓn
Gramophone, April 2017

…Revelation—settings of the Biblical text in seven short sections, bookended with a prologue and epilogue—demonstrates the scope of Hawes’s musical style. His direct and immediate response to the text from the Book of Revelation produces moments of vivid word-painting, such as the doom-laden descending line at the end of ‘Fallen is Babylon the Great’. Stark contrasts are set up between beginning and end in the Epilogue, ‘The Alpha and the Omega’. Hawes explores more distant tonal relationships in ‘Coming with the Clouds’. He shows how inventive he can be with harmony in ‘From the Throne’—moving lines in contrary motion to create crunchy dissonances—then cleverly melds mellifluous modal melodies with bright tonal interjections in ‘A Great and Wondrous Sign’. Noel Edison and The Elora Singers do much to bring the music to life in a wonderfully resonant and energetic performance. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Dianne Wells
The WholeNote, March 2017

The Elora Singers deliver a pure and flawless performance in this collection of heavenly works. © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review

Review Corner, March 2017

This is a tranquil and calming album, despite the title (Revelations featuring blood, mountains of fire, bottomless pits and destruction).

It’s a weighty topic delivered with a light touch; the nine pieces that make up the album are inspired by the Book of Revelation and its imagery. A second work, Beatitudes, is a collection setting the eight Beatitudes of Christ from the Gospel of St Matthew. Quantia Qualia is a bonus piece that the performers, The Elora Singers, wanted to perform after its reception at a live concert. © 2017 Review Corner Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, March 2017

There need be no reservations whatsoever about the performances. I’ve heard several discs by Noel Edison and his fine choir of professional singers—incidentally, The Elora Singers used to sing under the name of the Elora Festival Singers. In the past I’ve been consistently impressed by the quality of this ensemble’s singing. This latest disc is fully up to their usual excellent standards and I imagine that Patrick Hawes must be thrilled at this expert advocacy for his music. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review, March 2017

A new Naxos CD featuring the elegant, well-balanced sound of the Elora Singers under Noel Edison includes seven world première recordings of pieces composed as recently as 2016—plus a non-première recording of a very effective 2014 piece, Quanta Qualia. The words that Hawes chooses for these works are so well-known, at least to those with a conventional religious inclination, that the pieces almost invite a kind of sing-along approach, especially since Hawes is inclined to build substantial works by assembling a collection of very short elements. Many of the works lie high in the performers’ vocal ranges—the sopranos occasionally seem to strain to reach the top notes—but the basic musical structure here is as straightforward as the texts, and the disc will please listeners who enjoy contemporary choral music as well as ones seeking religious uplift through traditional means. © 2017 Read complete review

Dean Frey
Music for Several Instruments, February 2017

Every release from Noel Edison’s Elora Singers is to be treasured; they’re Canada’s most accomplished choir. Their new Patrick Hawes disc shows the 22 voice group in fine form, obviously lifted up by the very fine music of British composer Patrick Hawes. Nearly all of the music on this well-filled disc is brand new… This is music with varied and distinguished precursors, from the Tudor composers to Vaughan Williams, Geoffrey Burgon and Ennio Morricone. This ecstatic, soaring music is a fitting climax to a satisfying program of serious music which provides solace and enhances contemplation. It’s well-timed to provide relief from the lunacy and danger the past few months have brought to the world.

Besides the repertoire and the singing, there’s another major plus here: the husband and wife production team of Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver deliver a living, breathing choir without apparent artifice. And what a choir! © 2017 Music for Several Instruments Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2017

In the world of commercial choral music, Patrick Hawes, has, over the past decade, emerged as one of today’s most successful English contemporary composers. Gathering together eight works all composed in our three most recent years, Revelation and Beatitudes take their words from the Holy Bible, and to those of a religious persuasion they will be well-known, some having already been set to music. Both scores are for mixed choir used in different permutations, Beatitudes, having a piano accompaniment which might well sound more persuasive on the organ. The numerous sections of each score are quite short, but form quite extended works, the remaining tracks given to stand-alone pieces including a new version of The Lord’s Prayer. Basically they are for choral groups, both professional and amateur, and will give instant appeal to performers and audience. Great minds think alike, and Noel Edison was establishing The Elora Singers at much the same time—in the 1980’s—that the celebrated group, The Sixteen, was being formed in England, and surprisingly they ended up very much with the same basic sound. I do worry here for the vocal chords of the sopranos who give their all, but they bring that ‘tingle factor’ audiences look for and enjoy. Add an excellent and perfectly balanced recording from Naxos’s Canadian team, and the Elora will have another major success. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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