Glasgow Herald

Here’s a fine debut album by the City of Glasgow Chorus and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, featuring the first recording of Sir Malcolm Arnold’s rousing cantata, The Return of Odysseus, a cleverly and audibly unified choral cantata (amazingly the only one of its type by the veteran British composer). It’s a fun piece, drenched in seascapes. Surging climaxes, hugely melodious and catchy, and with some oompah moments to its marching rhythms. Graham Taylor gets the best out of his Glasgow Chorus, who rise to the occasion with a knock-out climax to the piece – a typically Arnold radiant sunburst of sound. Perhaps even better sung, however, is the touching and beautiful performance of Vaughan Williams’s lovely early cantata, Toward the Unknown Region, while the Scottish Opera Orchestra give a very stylish account of Darius Milhaud’s unmistakeably Gallic Suite Française, a jolly, rumbustious work stamped by characteristic touches of astringency in the slower movements. ****

—Michael Tumelty