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Directed by Craig Hella Johnson
Talented 34-mixed voice, Austin-based Conspirare Company of Voices, directed by renowned conductor Craig Hella Johnson, bring us a fine, varied collection of 17 pieces that range from Stephen Foster's 'Hard Times Come Again No More' and the lovely spiritual 'Deep River' to Eric Whitacre's 'Sleep,' Donald Skirvin's 4-part 'Alchemy' and the Gaelic Hymn 'Spirit Seeking Light and Beauty.' Also very fine are Rautavaara's 'With Joy We Go Dancing,' Paul Ayre's 'Ruth,' Wm. Averitt's spirited 'Afro-American Fragments' (some piano), Jean Sibelius' deathless 'This Is My Song-Finlandia' and Jon Nordal's sweet 'Mavinir fagrir.' The songs, from varied times and traditions segue easily into one another because of the arrangements, some by Johnson, and the poised, confident talent of Conspirare. Beautiful, colorful liner notes have the complete lyrics, and tell us, for instance that the 'green fuse' is from a poem by Dylan Thomas.