O Rising Dawn

J. F. Weber, Fanfare, September, 2000

[Opus 7] makes a difference by concentrating on a cappella choral music of the last two centuries in its professional concert programs. The disc runs the gamut from Kodály’s Veni, veni Emmanuel and Britten’s Boy was Born (only the opening section) to a local composer, John Muehleisen. His settings of the seven “O” antiphons for Advent, commissioned by the group, start with the chant setting of each antiphon, leading into a modern elaboration on each text. Like these pieces, all the selections adopt the themes of Advent and Christmas. Included are a couple of arrangements of carols. The singing is skillful and the acoustics of St. James are captured spectacularly in a recording of clarity and depth… Unusual repertoire, beautifully sung and recorded.

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