January 26, 2020 the Estonian Choral Music Association awarded the album “A Black Birch in Winter” with the Estonian Best Choral Album of the Year 2019 award.
The album brings together choral songs by young Estonian and American composers, such as Gregory W. Brown, Kile Smith, Evelin Seppar, Maria KĂµrvits and PĂ¤rt Uusberg. Music was performed by Voces Tallinn and conductor David Puderbaugh.
At the same day the choir announced that the chamber choir Voces Musicales’ has changed it’s name to Voces Tallinn. Choir’s artistic consultant Risto Joost told that collective has ambitions for bigger professionality.
“A Black Birch in Winter” (Voces Musicales, David Puderbaugh, 2019) was published under the US record label MSR Classics.
“… smoothly manicured sound… the 24 singers producing a richly blended, beautifully balanced sound, undeniably, appealing to all but the most jaded of ears… Fine sound, fascinating disc…”
Guy Rickards, Gramophone [February 2020]
â€ś… is a singularly lovely disc. The general mood here is contemplative. Most of these works are slow in tempo, but what keeps us interested is the variety of choral textures and colors, and a high level of inspiration… Throughout the program the relationship between text and music is very strong, and one is grateful to MSR for providing English texts. The choral singing could hardly be betteredâ€”beautifully balanced, perfectly in tune, and intense in its concentration. [The recording] is suffused with the warm glow and resonance you would expect from a church setting, but it is balanced with real clarity. I can recommend this release with enthusiasm to any lover of choral singing.â€ť
Henry Fogel, Fanfare [January/February 2020]
â€ś… a fascinating program of music… this is a bautifully engineered disc, capturing the balanced sound of twenty-four expert voices… The ensemble comprises excellent voices that have been trained to blend seamlessly… here is prtoof that the famed Estonian choral tradition remains vibrant and flourishing.â€ť
Philip Barnes, ACDA Choral Journal [January 2020]
“Gorgeous, transcendent, resonant, radiant and transfixing… [This album] is destined to thrill a listener to the core just when [they thought] beauty has been totally drained out of the world… this international recording is a welcome reminder that is not the case… If your mind is full of thoughts, visions and desires and you set this CD to play, you may find yourself completely absorbed, mesmerized, as I was, listening to the choir in deep meditation, piece after piece… The vocal range and harmonious quality of the chorus contribute to the quality of the effort inspired by the outstanding poetry that has been set.”
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [November 2019]
“The world premiĂ¨re recordings performed by the Voces Musicales chamber choir…provide an opportunity to explore less-familiar vocal territory… The very smoothness of the chorus tends to lull a listener to this CD… the choirâ€™s singing [is] even and well-balanced.”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [November 2019]