‘Prelude’ is a beautiful release from the Norwegian female choir Oslo Vocalis, presenting a great selection of both well-known repertoire from Holst, Fauré and Grieg and also new classics from composers including Sandra Milliken and Ola Gjeilo.
‘Ave Maria’ is a lyrical piece by the young Gustav Holst, in fact it was the first work he ever published. Graceful is also Fauré’s ‘Messe basse’ (short mass) for female choir and organ, written in 1881. Grieg’s ‘Ved Rondane’ is something of a Norwegian national icon, and Geir Tveitt’s ‘Velkomne med Æra’ – this time arranged by Linn Andrea Fuglset from Trio Mediaeval – is among his best known works.
The title track of the album is written by New York based composer Ola Gjeilo, who also opens the disc with the gregorian chant inspired ‘Ubi Caritas’, his first piece for choir. Another Norwegian is Frank Havrøy, whose ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ will be a welcome discovery for listeners. Australian composer and choral conductor Sandra Milliken is very active in the field, and her ‘Fanfare of Praise’ also receives a great performance of Oslo Vocalis on this recording.
Formed in 1988, Oslo Vocalis is 25 female singers with had great success in both national and international choir competitions, including Arezzo, Sligo and Athens. They do concerts all over Europe in repertoire ranging from jazz, evergreens, folk music and church music.