This is a masterpiece and not at all what I had expected.

Profound and melancholy and always entirely approachable without being kitsch or obvious - with an edge as well, but one that never gets in the way of direct communication with the listener's heart. There are choral sections here that I can well imagine will be approached with enormous gratitude by scores of amateur choirs looking for something that is meaty and that will still engage audiences, and some solo spots that are just gorgeous.

Also, blessedly free of bombast and full of the under-statement that made The River so splendid. Only the quasi-MOR song (track 17) is less than a success. It breaks the mood and achieves very little - just what programmable CD players are made for!

I thought La notte was very disappointing - glad I stuck with KB, because this is one I'll be enjoying for years.