Cover art and liner notes included
is pianist and composer 's fourth recorded encounter with the English metaphysical poet's work. The first was on in 1990, followed by in 1999 and in 2008. has found a lifelong inspiration in , and here, more so than on the earlier volumes, it is illustrated with the command and vulnerability it deserves. is accompanied by percussionist and noted tenor saxophonist (formerly of ), who makes his debut recorded appearance as a tenor singer after three years of opera study. Fleshing out these musical settings is the under the direction of . This recording is the work's premiere performance at the Oslo International Church Festival in March of 2012. employs the full breadth of 's writings to create this passion. The poet lived a full and dramatic life; it was spent mostly in poverty and indulging as many carnal pleasures as spiritual devotions. Famous poems such as "Thou Hast Made Me," "Death Be Not Proud," and "Farewell to Love" are offered alongside lesser known works to reveal the complexity of the poet's psychology, and his generation of meaning amid the most turbulent emotional and spiritual states in everyday living. While largely a work of classical crossover, 's trademark tenor and flute soloing add just enough of the unruly and expressive spontaneity of jazz to add complexity and texture. His beautiful evocation of in "Thou Hast Made Me" is a gorgeous juxtaposition to the choral voices. The other side of his persona can be heard in the vocal solos on "A Fever" and "A Valediction, Forbidden Mourning," which are among the more bracing selections here. There are three instrumental interludes separating each section, the first of which finds 's spacious, flowing phrasing and granular tone atop an elegant, athletic -esque piano melody. The pace and intensity increase as the entire trio erupts into spirited improvisation. "A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day" is the set's hinge piece. The saxophonist's tremulous solo atop 's melodic statement introduces, alternately, the male and female sections of the chorus in trading verses. Elliptical piano and stately tom-toms add weight, with the saxophonist using tongue-slapped multiphonics for textured tension in its conclusion. "Since She Whom I Loved Hath Paid Her Last Debt" is an elegy performed a cappella by the chorus, though the harmonic setting makes it a near hymn to resurrection in expression. The languid "Oh, To Vex Me, Contraries Meet In" is emotionally transcendent, carried out by melodic improvisation between pianist and saxophonist. Ultimately, is not only a celebration of the poet's life and work, but a major entry in 's canon. It displays his gifts of restraint, elegance, and melodic invention without unnecessary indulgences, while simultaneously offering the full weight of aesthetic exposition and emotional depth.