The latest release for the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale on the British label Chandos Records peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart and No. 5 on the U.K.-based Gramophone chart.
“Northern Lights” is “still the best-selling Chandos title of 2012 in the United States,” said Mitzi Matlock, senior marketing manager of Naxos of America.
Featuring the Phoenix Chorale under the direction of Charles Bruffy, the recording also features The Harrington String Quartet, saxophonist Ted Belledin and the composer himself, Ola Gjeilo, on piano. Northern Lights includes five world premiere recordings and three pieces which were either commissioned, composed, or dedicated to the Phoenix Chorale.
YouTube Playlist for Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo:
What reviewers are saying about Northern Lights:
“The Phoenix Chorale is a wonderful ensemble. It has just the right creamy sound for this music and I cannot imagine it sounding better.” – Fanfare
“Given the way director Charles Bruffy shapes and blends the velvety vocal textures of the fabulous Phoenix Chorale (formerly The Phoenix Bach Choir), his [Ola Gjeilo’s] plush and ecstatic music is well-nigh irresistible.” – American Record Guide
“The 27 professional voices of Arizona-based Phoenix Chorale under Charles Bruffy paint limpid washes of sound with polished intonation, ensemble and balance.” – Choir & Organ Magazine
“The Phoenix Chorale are on top form here, clearly fully at home with their new composer’s music and delighting in every magnetic moment. Charles Bruffy’s vastly-experienced direction is as usual sensitive and technically assured. I am trying not to be too effusive here, because this music (and its singing) had a considerable emotional effect for me. Gjeilo’s poise, depth of humanity and root simplicity comes across in every bar, making this a very memorable experience.” – SA-CD.net
“Ola Gjeilo is one of those discoveries that Chandos and Hyperion have been making recently of young composers who write choral music in an approachable idiom… The quality of the performances has clearly contributed to the success of the recording and the sound is excellent…” – MusicWeb-International.com
“If it was in question before, Ola Gjeilo is now officially a rising star, thanks to the release of the album Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo.” – Houston Press
“The music is wonderful, the performances could not be bettered. Engineering richly captures the choral textures. If you enjoy choral singing and unusual repertory, don’t miss this!” –ClassicalCDReview.com
”…I can’t imagine any music lover not being enchanted with this superbly sung album, recorded in spacious Super Audio sound that is simply riveting. Highly recommended!” – Audiophile Audition