The singers' spot-on rhythmicity and impeccable intonation lent authority to a performance whose contour was shaped brilliantly by their conductor, Robert Simpson.
—Marguerite L. Brooks, Associate Professor of Choral Conducting, Yale University
…the choir's performance was nothing short of divine, with superhuman pitch accuracy, clear diction and angelic musical phrases that resonated and echoed endlessly in the cathedral's abyss.
—Joel Luks of CultureMap
One could feel [the conductor’s] and the singers’ involvement in the passion of the music. Soloists were gorgeous—their contrasting timbres blended beautifully. I couldn’t be more pleased and thrilled.
—Anne Schnoebelen, Mullen Professor Emerita of Musicology, Rice University
Robert Simpson’s group sang with impeccable choral blend and musicality. His work with the Houston Chamber Choir had produced a brilliant ensemble and one capable of amazing dynamic range, clarity, and a beauty of sound.
—Marilyn Jean Keiser, Chancellor’s Professor Emerita of Organ, Indiana University, Bloomington
…an elegant choir with faultless intonation.
—Bob Chilcott, composer, conductor and former member of The King’s Singers
Robert Simpson's Houston Chamber Choir is an ensemble of consummate artistry and it was a joy for me to have the opportunity to make music with them.
—Joseph Flummerfelt, conductor, Musical America Conductor of the Year
Beautiful, lithe, well-honed sound…the ensemble is a formidable one that performed with dexterity, grace and excellent unanimity.
The Houston Chamber Choir must be one of this country’s leading ensembles. They maintain the highest standards of choral discipline while producing a distinctive and beautiful sound. It was a delight to work with them.
—Peter Phillips, The Tallis Scholars
…compelling, fascinating, engrossing, profound and thoroughly entertaining…one of the best concerts of the year…
Your concert was fabulous. Interesting program and beautifully prepared.The best on our series this year.
—Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Charleston, S.C.
The singing was silken-toned, finely balanced and sensitively molded.
—The Dallas Morning News
Ravishingly Russian The Houston Chamber Choir, under the direction of Robert Simpson, has produced a sparkling new CD that showcases the little-known area of Russian secular choral music. That the secular choral music of Russia receives less attention from performers than its sacred counterpart can be explained by the fact that sacred titles outnumber the secular by a ratio of approximately 80 to 20. Yet many of the composers who are best known for their sacred choral works, e.g. Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Kalinnikov, and others, wrote lovely secular part-songs as well, as this CD demonstrates. Others, such as Arensky, Cui, Dargomyzhsky, and Taneyev, are known primarily for their secular choruses, which deserve a great deal more attention than they've received to this time. Finally, the CD taps the unexplored wealth of Soviet-era choral songs (represented by Salmanov, Falik, and Gavrilin), written during a time when sacred music was severely suppressed. The Houston Chamber Choir's achievement is formidable, reflecting a depth of exploration and an intelligent interpretation of a foreign culture's choral repertoire that clearly demonstrates a great deal of love and enthusiasm on the part of the director and his singers. The musically convincing results offer a great reward both to the performers and the listener. To choral conductors, this CD will offer a wealth of programming ideas, while to lovers of beautiful, first-rate choral singing, it will provide a most enjoyable and enduring listening experience.
—Vladimir Morosan, Musica Russica