"A Bridge of Dreams presents a loosely grouped set of pieces by composers who director Paul Hillier has encountered over the course of his career. Composers are linked by Pacific Rim geography—Australia, New Zealand, China, California—and the incorporation of Aboriginal or Asian musical materials. However, the recording uses Western-trained voices and their associated diction, production, and tone colors. The disc’s most eclectic work is Hillier’s narration of the Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer to music from Liu Sola’s The Afterlife of Li Jiantong, played by Andrew Lawrence-King on the psaltery... Ars Nova Copenhagen transitions impressively between Western tonal pieces and the more eclectic styles on the disc. It is a very good recording, and one to be recommended."
Fred Kiser - Choral Journal - November 2012
"The Harrison work is rather the stunner in this recording...this one falls easy on the ears and almost unpredictably conformist in the way it all-too-well fits the traditional form of the Latin mass. While plainchant-style in tone, it still challenges the ear with its harp, psaltery, and hurdy-gurdy accompaniment that relies heavily on almost Byzantine-like isson drones. It is surprisingly beautiful and quite captivating.Perhaps the most engrossing piece on this disc is the Sacred Kingfisher Psalms, using Psalms 1 and 130 along with the recitation of names of twelve birds native to his Australia folded into music of aboriginal descent and modal usage that has as its constant a repetitive, minimalistic-like rhythmic impulse. The energy and excitement continue to build with this brilliant strategy in a work of propulsion and great verve."
Steven Ritter - AudiophileAudition.com - July 2012
"...this is a delightful release full of worthy music and performances that bring it alive with infectious joy."
Philip Greenfield - American Record Guide - March 2012
"Anne Boyd’s As I crossed a bridge of dreams ... with its rapt sostenuto, steals the show. Almost endlessly sustained, immaculately imagined, and—like everything else here—admirably performed."
Peter Dickinson - Gramophone magazine - February 2012
"Curious and delightfully captivating ...[Hill’s] ability to cope with challenging contemporary repertoire ...leaves no doubt about his extraordinary musicianship ... Harrison’s and Edwards’ works appear to practice some kind of musical alchemy and do so with the skilful formulation of Ars Nova’s choral ingredient."
Alex Baran - The WholeNote - February 2012
"The mass is a beautifully expressive, immediately engaging piece that reveals a fresh facet of the composer’s brilliantly expansive imagination. Australian composer Anne Boyd’s As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams is an immensely impressive work for wordless chorus. Boyd creates a mesmerizing dreamscape that’s essentially static harmonically but that’s continually shifting densities and textures and is never less than sonically gorgeous. Ars Nova Copenhagen sings with chaste but warm tone, smooth blend, tonal precision, and alert musicality under the leadership of Paul Hillier. This is an album that should be of strong interest to fans of new choral music from off the beaten path."
Stephen Eddins - Allmusic.com - December 2011
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