The Scotsman

MADRIGALI: Fire and Roses is a golden blend of a cappella repertoire, both ancient and modern, sung by the fresh voices of Aberdeen’s Con Anima Chamber Choir under its director Paul Mealor. Mealor’s own music is featured in the juicy atmospherics of his short choral cycle, Now sleeps the crimson petal. So are two beautifully crafted works by the American composer Morten Lauridsen, including the disc’s title track Madrigali, vivid modern settings of Italian Renaissance poems that harness echoes of Monteverdi. Genuine Renaissance madrigals by the stylistically anarchic Gesualdo, John Wilbye and others, including Monteverdi himself, are complemented by more recent settings by Holst and James MacMillan. Rating: ****

—Kenneth Walton