Classical reviews

> Eve de Castro-Robinson: Releasing the Angel. NZ Symphony Orchestra. Atoll CD.

Five works by this interesting New Zealand composer are well played by the NZSO under conductor Kenneth Young.

Cellist David Chickering is soloist in the title work nicely based on the image of a sculptor with stone. Peregrinations pianist Tzerika Dianova is an impressive soloist.

These Arms To Hold You, commissioned for the Plunket Society centenary, is the most recent work (2007), using a children's choir with orchestra.

Other Echoes, commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia in 1999 as a century fanfare, conjures up bird cries of endangered kokako and extinct huia.

But the greatest hit for me was the way another fanfare styled Len Dances (2002) used the sounds of two Len Lye kinetic sculptures (Blade and Trilogy) to great effect.

Highlight: exciting New Zealand compositions.

> The Very Best of Karl Jenkins. EMI 2 CDs.

About 161 minutes of music by the "most performed" living composer in the world is enshrined in 34 tracks in this set orchestrated, produced and conducted by Jenkins.

It includes pieces from best-selling recordings Adiemus, The Armed Man, Requiem, Gloria, Stabat Mater, Palladio, Stella Natalis and Quirk.

The Armed Man "a Mass for Peace" (excerpts on disc 1) is his most performed work, having been performed more than 1000 times since its world premiere at London's Royal Albert Hall in April 2000.

"Benedictus" from The Armed Man comes in two versions, one for cello and choir, and the other for four hands on piano.

Hear Kiri Te Kanawa sing "In Paradisium" from Requiem, and Hayley Westenra "I'll Make Music" from Gloria.

Highlights: Bryn Terfel in In These Stones Horizons Sing.

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