Soft Blink of Amber Light is the Houston Chamber Choir’s fourth commercial release on the MSR Classics label, and presents performances of commissions and premieres by some of the nation’s leading composers: Christopher Theofanidis, David Ashley White, Jocelyn Hagen, Dominick DiOrio, and Wayne Oquin.
The album’s title work, soft blink of amber light, by Minnesota composer Jocelyn Hagen, is an introspective and colorful meditation on poetry by Julia Klatt Singer, written for choir and a small instrumental ensemble of flute, clarinet, piano, and marimba. Other works on the recording include Christopher Theofanidis’ Messages to Myself, a dynamic collection of a cappella settings of poetry by Whitman, Rūmī, Kirsten, and Yeats; David Ashley White’s The Blue Estuaries, a collection of expressive settings of poetry by Louise Bogan; and Wayne Oquin’s setting of O Magnum Mysterium. The album closes with Dominick DiOrio’s virtuosic work for choir and marimba A Dome of Many-coloured Glass. Written as a cantata-concerto, DiOrio’s work sets to music poetry by Amy Lowell.