by Mike Telin
This week Steven Plank, the Andrew B. Meldrum Professor of Musicology at Oberlin College, will celebrate his 25th anniversary as director of the Oberlin Collegium Musicum, when over 70 of his former singers gather for a reunion concert on November 7 at 8:00 pm in Warner Concert Hall. Read more about the event here. In a recent compilation CD, CANTEMUS II: Music of the Oberlin Collegium Musicum, Plank leads his top-notch ensemble in stellar performances of seminal works of sacred music from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
The CD’s thirteen tracks are comprised of performances given by the ensemble in the acoustically pleasing Fairchild Chapel between 2011 and 2104. From the first note to the last, Plank consistently draws a full-bodied, well-blended, pitch-perfect sound from his young singers. There is a sonic richness in every note.
Some standout performances include Orlando Gibbons’s O Clap Your Hands, Palestrina’s Hodie Christus natus est, Christopher Tye’s Sanctus from Missa Euge bone, and John Browne’s O Maria Salvatoris mater. The concluding Salvator mundi of John Sheppard, leaves you wanting more.
The real beauty of the recording is that it wonderfully serves many listening purposes. For students of this music, it’s a great addition to any reference library. It can be equally enjoyed with a glass of wine and good meal.
Plank’s informative jacket statement offers just enough information about the music and sends a clear message that this is a CD to be enjoyed by all.
With excellent mastering by Paul Eachus and Andrew Tripp, the recording’s sound quality wonderfully captures the Chapel’s ambiance.
CANTEMUS II: Music of the Oberlin Collegium Musicum will be available for purchase at Saturday’s concert. It can also be purchased through Conservatory Audio Services by calling 440.775.8272 or by email at ConAudio@Oberlin.edu.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com November 3, 2015.
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