Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In review--Simple Gifts, Real Treasures

That Eternal Day
Independent release

I’m not a religious person, but I enjoy some choral music especially when it’s sung a cappella as it is on Cantus That Eternal Day. The Twin Cities (Minnesota) nine voice men’s choir has already been lauded with praise by Fanfare and for good reason. The men sing perfectly calibrated harmonies delivered with contagious enthusiasm—think African American gospel (listen to the driving Run On),  and Shaker songs. Think Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring rendition of Simple Gifts which appears also appears on this disk.

Listening to this collection of songs ranging from African American spirituals, to Sacred Harp Hymns, and Shaker tunes, you can hear the love and research that went into this project. From American colonial composers to Goin’ Home by Antonìn Dvořàk and Bobby McFerrin’s The 23rd Psalm, Cantus pulls many colorful threads together into a musical quilt. The album can be viewed as a music history document, a collection of relaxing songs, or support for religious worship. Regardless of how you listen to That Eternal Day, you’ll find that the simple gifts on this album fall under the category of real treasures.


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