RECEIVE 10% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO OUR EMAIL LIST
Sensation, the 10th album by Irish choral ensemble Anúna, brings together a wide assortment of music, all of it arranged or composed by its conductor, Michael McGlynn. While McGlynn's treatments may rankle purists, who, for instance, only want to hear Hildegard von Bingen performed by unaccompanied women's voices, when taken on its own terms, his cross-pollination of musical styles is never less than intriguing and is most often beguiling.
McGlynn's sophistication as a composer accounts for much of the album's appeal. The title track, featuring a speaker reciting an idyllic Rimbaud poem, accompanied by violin, harp, and women's chorus singing a sensual, impressionistic setting of the same text, vividly captures the serenity and eroticism of Rimbaud's imagery. McGlynn's setting of the medieval text "Maid in the Moor Lay" is disarming in its folk-like simplicity and purity. His "O Maria" is harmonically and texturally complex, but never sounds "difficult," and conveys an otherworldly and enveloping serenity. Other pieces, such as "Silver River" and "Shining Water", bring a new age sensibility to the Irish folk tradition.