Two more great reviews for Missa Charles Darwin
> Sequenza 21/ [6th paragraph]
…a strong work overall … and in particular Brown is the only contemporary composer I can recall who crafts vocal lines that have the same sense of independent harmonic rhythm and expressive freedom that makes the madrigals of Monteverdi and the like so powerful.
Brown’s musical idiom is striking, honoring the hallowed conventions of liturgical polyphony with consistently elegant counterpoint and energizing his spare modal textures with just enough dissonance to keep the listener’s attention engaged. In the way that Arvo Pärt’s choral music alludes to late medieval harmonic practice without falling into mere pastiche, so Brown evokes the complex counterpoint of the early Renaissance master Josquin des Prez, yet always manages to cadence in the present century.
In festivals and music conventions over the last two decades, I have heard a surfeit of contemporary sacred music, and no composer has impressed me more than Gregory Brown.