Waco, Texas may once have been the site of an apocalyptic-style tragedy, but it is also the site of Baylor University, whose fine a cappella choir probes the ever-present question of whether good can triumph over evil. This they do through an eclectic program of often little-known works centred around Herbert Howells’ Requiem , the endearing prototype for his larger Hymnus Paradisi .
There’s no doubting the youthful zeal the singers bring to their task. Tapping into the rhythmic outer shell of Wolfram Buchenberg’s Erbarme dich unser , they articulate an admirable precision to the impassioned plea for mercy and enjoy the plush close harmonies of Alexander L’Estrange’s Oculi Omnium whose harmonic style suggests an elegant cocktail bar might be a stone’s throw from the choir’s chapel. First recordings of works by Enrico Miaroma and Susan Labarr confirm the generous warmth and careful intonation of the ensemble.
Director Brian Schmidt elicits much that is polished and moving in the