Elektra Women’s Choir;
Morna Edmundson & Diane Loomer
Independent EWC0901 (www.elektra.ca)
Independent VSR 1002
Two Canadian choral releases arrive on the scene at the same time as natural companions: one, an ensemble of all men’s voices, the other, all women’s. The Victoria Scholars are an all-male Toronto group led by Jerzy Cichocki. Their new CD features works by Canadian composers, both secular and sacred. The Elektra Women’s Choir, is based in Vancouver and co-conducted on this recording by Morna Edmundson and Diane Loomer. Their new recording features secular songs from around the world with largely Canadian arrangements.
`Elektra’s tone is light and playful, featuring arrangements of English, Hebrew, Finnish, Spanish, and French selections with some interesting settings of folksongs and poetry. The choir sings with an airy and child-like tone very suitable to the chosen repertoire.
`“Distant Voices” finds its sweetness in Srul Irving Glick’s settings of The Song of Songs, gorgeously enhanced by David Hetherington’s cello. The choir shines in introducing its dark and mystical element with the dramatic title piece by Tomas Dusatko, a 14-minute journey from chaos to reverence. Commissioned by the choir, the skilful execution of this piece is no mean feat. Although also admirably performed, I felt that Imant Raminsh’s Ave verum corpus loses some of its natural shimmer without the full range of male and female voices, though interesting to note is that Elektra has performed this work in its SSAA version.