Album: Muhly, A Good Understanding (Decca)

Born in 1981, American composer Nico Muhly has been fast-tracked to ubiquity with a string of high-profile commissions.

Though influenced by Herbert Howells, his own choral style is one of peppy, syncopated wonderment, as though addressing an eccentric (and deaf) ancient relative. The strongest work here is the Walt Whitman triptych "Expecting the Main Things from You", the weakest "Senex puerum portabat". Under Grant Gershon, the LA Master Chorale and Children's Chorus sing with dynamic control.