KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Crossing, The – “Voyages” – [Innova Recordings]

Medusa of Troy   10/16/2019   A Library, CD

The Crossing is the artist, in this case, a professional choir that specializes in performing new classical music. Donald Nally is the conductor. Voyages is the title of the album, the two works that make up this album, and the underlying 6-cycle poem, composed in 1921–1926, as a paean by the poet Hart Crane to his lover, a Danish sailor. Robert Convery is the composer of the album’s first half, the choir singing his 1994 arrangement of Crane’s words a cappella, poems intact. Benjamin C.S. Boyle composed the second half of the album as a cantata, where stanzas are plucked from the underlying poem and the choir is accompanied by its in-house string ensemble, with soloists emphasizing particular passages. The first six songs, Convery’s a cappella arrangement, are sweet and melancholy and faint enough that you may want to pay close attention and have the poem in front of you to make out the words. In Boyle’s half, the strings tend to be dramatic, undergirding the emotion in the words and forcing the soloists to be more emphatic.

But which, if any, should you play? Convery’s “Voyages” is good for quiet but deep listening. Boyle’s “Voyages: Cantana No. 2, Opus 41” provides more obvious peaks and valleys for the listener. Neither quite reach the delirious, dizzying sweep of words and feeling as an out and proud statement of queer desire from a time where such a thing was punished by law and society. However, both compositions, and the album as a whole, are lovely.

you heard it 24 times on kfjc! most recently:
  • 292 days ago, Kimbrosia played Cantata No. 2, Op. 41: IVa. Aria: This Tendered Theme of You
  • 295 days ago, Avakhov played No. IV
  • 296 days ago, Cousin Mary played Cantata No. 2, Op. 41: III. Pairings: and Yet This Great
  • 297 days ago, Kimbrosia played Cantata No. 2, Op. 41: II. Seascape: Above The Fresh Ruffles
  • 302 days ago, Merk played Cantata No. 2, Op. 41: IVa. Aria: This Tendered Theme of You
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