Enchanted Isle—Voces8 (Decca 29601)
Voces8 is the a cappella octet from the United Kingdom that has been wowing audiences since 2005. The music on Enchanted Isle is reminiscent of rolling hills, green valleys, rugged mountainsides, and sleepy villages, a landscape on which the composers, arrangers and artists on this CD cast a contemporary eye. The program features reimagined pieces originally written for film or television (like Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Harry's Game), new arrangements of Scottish and Irish melodies, and compositions set to texts by great English poets. Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei, the choral version of his Adagio for Strings, seems natural in this setting, as does John Tavener’s Song for Athene. Choral sonorities—enhanced at times with flute and cello—recall watercolor vistas or carefully chiseled sculpture, conveying a sense of both longing and of profound belonging.