Mission Road
(Warner Classics)


Mission Road is “one of Chanticleer’s most interesting albums” in years, said James Manheim in All Music Guide. San Francisco’s all-male vocal ensemble has always made progressive music choices. In recent years, other early music ensembles have dabbled in the “fascinating repertory of Mexican Baroque.” But Chanticleer started working with this material years ago, and reaches new heights with Mission Road. Recorded live at San Francisco’s historic Mission Dolores, it evokes sounds of the 18th and 19th centuries from Northern California all the way down to Latin America. This “reverent tribute to an undersung facet of our country’s musical heritage” reveals the range of sounds that pervaded New Spain, said Mary Kunz Goldman in The Buffalo News. While the music ranges in style from Renaissance to early Romantic, the harmonies are laced with Spanish and indigenous folk threads. “Kyrie” could be minor Mozart while “Misa en Sol” is an uplifting spiritual experience. Chanticleer “moves confidently” through the Old and New Worlds, said Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times. Fervidly sung, Mission Road is a “revelation of the West Coast spirit.”