The Richmond Symphony and Chorus and Steven Smith’s Mason Bates: Children of Adam; Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem recording is a December Opera News Critic’s Choice!
“Richmond Symphony’s new album pairs works by prominent contemporary composer Mason Bates and twentieth-century master Ralph Vaughan Williams. Brimming with vitality, the performances of the orchestra and the Richmond Symphony Chorus, led by conductor Steven Smith, deftly reflect the strength of both composers’ choral writing while establishing a connection between the two. … From the outset, the sound quality of these live recordings leaves an indelible impression. … the recording captures the vibrant energy of the musicians in a warm and engaging sonic environment. … In some ways, the pairing of these works feels like a big musical metaphor—a symbolic passing of the torch from a twentieth-century titan of choral and symphonic literature to an emergent twenty-first-century composer whose creative decisions may well help to shape the future of the repertoire. If this sparkling recording is any indication, the future is in good hands with Bates.”—Daniel J. Kushner, Opera News