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north sea radio orchestra - North Sea Radio Orchestra
Here's a curiosity for you. North Sea Radio Orchestra are a London-based collective who showcase works by new composers in the field of contemporary chamber music. The key difference between this group and fellow neo-classical ensembles like Clogs is the idiosyncratic bombast of the Orchestra's chorus section who set works by the likes of Tennyson and Yeats to cartoonishly baroque melodies. It's how you respond to the unbridled eccentricity of the choral presence that will determine whether you'll love or hate this album. When the chorus takes a break there's a marked change in tone. Pieces like 'Rhymes' or 'Hole In The Sky' reveal the orchestra's considerable performance skills and elegant arrangements, whereas the otherwise sublime string swells of 'The Skylark' are overshadowed by the multitude of voices hollering Thomas Hardy's poem 'Shelley's Skylark' at you. A fairly surreal experience all round.