Melly Still’s production of Dvorák’s Rusalka, recorded at Glyndebourne in 2019 got rave reviews and, judging by the audience reaction on the recording. was enthusiastically received in the house. Unfortunately I don’t think it works all that well on video despite some rather stunning stage pictures and generally strong performances.
I’ve previously enjoyed both choral music and song from Scott Perkins so I was very interested to get hold of a disk of his sacred choral works which is anchored by his A New England Requiem. In the modern fashion this mixes text from the liturgy with poetry from various sources. It’s quite ethereal music and distinctly churchy; more Tavener than Elgar (though really nothing like either)! The theme is definitely “peace and rest”. There’s no Dies irae or anything like that! The scoring is imaginative and good use is made of the organ’s lower ranges. The singing is very beautiful as is the playing which comes from the sixteen players plus organ and twenty six voices of the Da Capo players & Choir with Tom Mueller on the organ and Brett Allan Judson conducting. A soprano soloist from the choir, Jasmine Gish is used in places. She has an almost vibratoless sound which suits nicely.