Choral Music by Matthew Brown

though love be a day

Though Love be a Day
Matthew Brown
Antioch Chamber Singers, conducted by Joshua Copeland
Acis Records CD

A couple caveats about this CD’s sound: it is awash in too much reverb and sports a tubby-sounding piano. But one gets past this quite readily because of two simple counterweights: the material and performances.

Matthew Brown’s polymodal and cluster chord infused choral music is truly lovely. The program here is inhabited by gentle, unassuming, and supple pieces. Brown isn’t interested in crafting works that push at, or even approach, any stylistic boundaries. However, he certainly knows how to write for the voice. The Antioch Chamber Singers, led by Joshua Copeland, display considerable timbral sweetness and purity of intonation, and a lack of fear for the works’ sometimes demanding tessitura.

Another small quibble: one wishes that “True Colors,” a Cyndi Lauper cover arranged by Brown, had been omitted; it is a competent arrangement, but jars with the rest of the composer’s music on the disc.

-Christian Carey

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