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CD Review: Divine Redeemer

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Divine Redeemer (music by Bach, Franck, Gounod, Reger, et al.), C. Brewer, P. Jacobs

(released on September 11, 2015)
Naxos 8.573524 | 61'22"
Charles T. Downey, Divine Redeemer: Christine Brewer, Paul Jacobs
Washington Post, February 3
A new album of Christian devotional pieces by a major opera singer, while part of a long tradition, might turn off some listeners. On her new disc, “Divine Redeemer,” the celebrated soprano Christine Brewer, together with the equally celebrated organist Paul Jacobs, moves beyond cliche with a varied selection of music that she approaches with a sincerity that reflects her start singing in church in her Illinois home town.

There are only a couple of pieces that might set off chestnut alarms. César Franck’s “Panis angelicus” is offered, thankfully, in a version closer to its original form, in the “Messe à 3 voix,” than the schmaltzy arrangements with oohing chorus often heard now. Jacobs plays the organ arrangement in a way that recalls Franck’s original scoring for cello, harp, and organ, with the cello melody on a solo stop and the closing arpeggios rendered in a harp-like way... [Continue reading]
Divine Redeemer (music by Bach, Franck, Gounod, Reger, et al.)
Christine Brewer (soprano) and Paul Jacobs (organ)

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