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Ward Swingle

Arranger

Ward Swingle

Ward Swingle was the product of an unusually liberal musical education. In his hometown, Mobile, Alabama, he grew up with the sound of jazz and played in one of the great Big Bands before finishing High School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cincinnati Conservatory and studied piano with the celebrated Walter Gieseking in postwar France. In Paris in the sixties he was a founding member of the fabled Double Six of Paris, then took the scat singing idea and applied it to the works of Bach, hence The Swingle Singers, whose early recordings won five Grammies.

When the Paris group disbanded in l973, Ward Swingle moved to London and formed an English group, expanding the repertoire to include classical and avang-garde works along with the scat and jazz vocal arrangements. The 2003 touring schedule of the Swingle Singers (who are now celebrating their 40th anniversary as a vocal group!) will include trips to Europe, North America and the Far East.

In l984 Swingle returned to live in America. Though he remained as Musical Advisor for his London-based group, he devoted most of his time to workshops, guest conducting and the dissemination of his printed arrangements through his publishing company, Swingle Music.

His pioneering ideas in new choral techniques have produced invitations to conduct The Stokholm and Netherlands Chamber Choirs, The Dale Warland Singers, The Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir, the BBC Northern Singers and the MENC National Honors Choir at Kennedy Center. Over the last ten years he has given a long series of workshops and seminars at outstanding universities in both Europe and North America.

In March of l994 he and Mrs. Swingle moved back to France, where he continues his work in arranging, composing and guest conducting. He has recently written a book called "Swingle Singing" in which he tells the story of the French and English groups, his own story, and defines 'Swingle Singing' techniques with illustrations from his arrangements and compositions.

On February 20th, 2004, he was named "Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture and Information.

Songbooks and Collections (See Individual Arrangements)

Displaying 1-15 of 15 items.


Ward Swingle : Swingle Singing : Video : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Singing

Review: Ward Swingle was the product of an unusually liberal musical education. In his hometown, Mobile, Alabama, he grew up with the sound of jazz and played in one of the great Big Bands before finishing high school. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cincinnati Conservatory and studied piano with the celebrated Walter Gieseking in postwar France. In Paris in the sixties he was a founding member of the fabled Double Six of Paris, then took to the scat singing idea and applied it to the works of Bach, hence The Swingle Singers ("The Mod Squad of Baroque Music"), whose early recordings won five Grammies. In this video Ward Swingle shares his world-renowned 'Swingle Singing' methods by conducting an a cappella master class with eight talented singers from the San Francisco Bay Area. With his instruction, guidance and example they learn and perform four of his arrangements, giving the at-home viewer practice and insight into these techniques -- techniques that have made Ward one of the most influential figures in vocal music in the Twentieth Century.

Songlist: Breathing, Scat Syllables, Mike Techniques, Unisons, Syncopation, High Notes and Low Notes, Phrasing, Pronunciation, Special Effects

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4810v | Video $12.98 add item to cart Vocal Jazz Instructional


Ward Swingle : A Cappella Jazz for SSAA : SSAA : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : A Cappella Jazz for SSAA

Review: Here's a collection of arrangements by Ward for unaccompanied women's voices. This arrangement of the old Irving Berlin standard "I Got Rhythm" evokes a Dixieland combo while Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" swings with a fun opportunity for some voices to scat. "It Was a Lover and His Lass" also has a lot of scat-like syllables (e.g. "hey-ding-a-ding") while "Reeds of Innocence" has a strong rhythmic element in the writing, with vocal imitations of flute sounds. It goes along at rather a moderate pace and is not difficult to sing. This is a fun collection for singers and for audiences alike.

Songlist: Don't Get Around Much Anymore, I Got Rhythm, It Was a Lover and His Lass, Reeds of Innocence

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7686b | Sheet Music $9.95 | SSAA add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements


Ward Swingle : Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Mozart : SATB : Sheet Music : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ward Swingle : Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Mozart

Review: Here are the four movements of Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nacthmusik," which Ward Swingle has arranged for voices with the hopes that groups will perform the piece in its entirety. For the Swingle Singers this offered a change from the succession of 2- or 3-minutes pieces typical of many of their programs. Rondo is a good exercise in fast, intricate scat singing and Menuetto is often used in Ward's seminars to introduce the whole "vocal-instrumental" concept.

Songlist: Menuetto , Rondo , Allegro , Romance

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9014b | Sheet Music $8.50 | SATB add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements


Ward Swingle : Johann Sebastian Bach Vol 1 : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Sheet Music : Johann Sebastian Bach : VJ1299

Ward Swingle : Johann Sebastian Bach Vol 1

Review: "Gigue (Suite in C Major)" is a movement from one of Bach's unaccompanied Cello sonatas, arranged here for tenor and bass. It has a fast 3/4 jazz feeling, with some tricky dove-tailing between the voices, the object being to make it sound like on instrument. The Swingle Singers have often used this "Organ Fugue BMV 578" as a concert opener. The challenge in singing without a rhythm section is to make the piece swing without the help of the instruments.The "Bourree" has probably been the most widely performed of all Ward Swingle arrangements. This is an a cappella version using three different styles: child-like "la-la-la's," gently swinging "oo" sounds and rather brassy "ah" sounds.

Songlist: Organ Fugue, Bourree, Gigue, Gavotte

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9047b | Sheet Music $6.95 | Mixed 5-8 Parts add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements


Ward Swingle : Johann Sebastian Bach Vol II : SATB : Sheet Music : Johann Sebastian Bach

Ward Swingle : Johann Sebastian Bach Vol II

Review: These various Bach tunes are some of the finest of Ward Swingle's arrangements. The rich flowing harmonies, and clever voice leading provide a nice challenge for an intermediate jazz choir. A must have in your Ward Swingle Collection!

Songlist: Fugue in D Minor (Art of the Fugue), Aria Suite in D Major, Largo, Prelude No. 22

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9710b | Sheet Music $6.95 | SATB add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements


Ward Swingle : Schubert - Moment Musical : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Sheet Music : Robert Schumann

Ward Swingle : Schubert - Moment Musical

Review: Leonard Bernstein once said of Beethoven that when he had a choice of notes, he always picked the right one. The same can be said of Franz Schubert. His unerring choice of notes produced some of music's greatest melodies. A must for your medium jazz ensemble!

Songlist: Moment Musical Op.94 No. 2, Moment Musical Op. 94 No. 3, Moment Musical Op. 94 No. 6

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9709b | Sheet Music $6.95 | Mixed 5-8 Parts add item to cart


Ward Swingle : Suite Quebecoise : SSAATTBB : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Suite Quebecoise

Review: Canada has a rich lore of folk music. The three melodies in this Suite come from the province of Quebec. These arrangements were commissioned by the McGill Univeristy Chamber Choir in Montreal.

Songlist: Tout garcon qui sert, Le Roi Boit, Rossignolet

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4394b | Sheet Music $5.50 | SSAATTBB add item to cart


Ward Swingle : Swingle Bells Set 1 : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Bells Set 1

Review: A collection of Christmas medleys. From the arranger: This medley has a strong jazz feeling with "Jingle Bells" in a fast tempo, "Il est ne" half that fast and Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" half as fast again. As with my Bach arrangements, this medley contains a fusion of jazz and classical styles. "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" is treated here in a medium-tempo jazz style including some scat singing. "The First Noel" is in a more traditional choral style whereas "Go Tell It On the Mountain" has a strong Dixieland feeling. "El Noi de la Mare" is one of my all-time favorite melodies. It comes from the Catalan region near Barcelona. I've given the Czech carol "Hanej, nynej, Jeziski" ("Rocking Carol") a Mozart-like accompaniment, and Canzone d'i Zampagnari" some rhythms suggesting Italian folk music. The Norwegian carol "O Jul med din Glede" has "bouree" rhythms contrasted with a light, jazz feeling. "Komt, Verwondert u hier Menson" (Dutch) has a "pop" style with even 8th notes. "Away in a Manger" is done as a bass solo with string-like accompaniment.

Songlist: Swingle Bells I, Swingle Bells II, Swingle Bells III, Swingle Bells IV, Swingle Bells V

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4404b | Sheet Music $9.95 add item to cart


Ward Swingle : Swingle Bells Set 2 : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Bells Set 2

Review: "Les anges dans nos campagnes" should have a careful "fusion" of classical and jazz styles. I've arranged "O Tannenbaum" as a duet for baritone and soprano combining the German text with some scat singing. "Bel Astre que j'adore" is a simple arrangement with a soprano solo. Silent Night, the most famous of all Christmas melodies, doesn't require a lot of comment. The voices accompanying the alto solo simulate muted brass sounds in the first verse and become woodwinds in the second. "Deck the Halls" starts out in a fast, Mozart-like style then transforms into medium-tempo, big band feeling. "What Child is This?" has a soprano solo with some improvisational scat singing and an accompaniment in 3/4 jazz tempo. Includes "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime," and "Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella." "Swingle Bells X" was commissioned by the Mid-America Singers and I have added it to the already existing "Swingle Bells" medleys. This one mixes Latin, Huron and French carols. I was surprised by how easily they fit together!

Songlist: Swingle Bells VI, Swingle Bells VII, Swingle Bells VIII, Swingle Bells IX, Swingle Bells X

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4410b | Sheet Music $9.95 add item to cart


Ward Swingle : Swingle Classics : SSAATTBB : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Classics

Review: The Swingle Singers often use "Flight Of The Bumble-Bee"as an encore piece. It has to go as fast as possible using a great variety of scat syllables in order to avoid lock-jaw. It also includes a fairly literal vocal transcription of Debussy's famous piano piece, "Claire de Lune." The tessituras are quite wide ranging from low D-flats for the basses to high B-flats for the sopranos. It is probably best sung with the help of microphones. This transciption of a Chopin "Etude Op. 25 No.9" is probably easier to sing than it is to play! It should be performed at a brisk pace, with the main melody alternating between the Tenors and the First Sopranos. "Overture to Marriage of Figaro" - It was an interesting challenge to arrange this wonderful overture for eight voices. My group has often used it to open a concert. Of course it is very difficult but quite a few choirs have managed to master it. I think it works equally well on or off mikes, as long as a proper balance is maintained among the voices. Ward Swingle

Songlist: Flight of the Bumble-Bee, Clair de Lune, Etude 25 No. 9, Overture to Marriage of Figaro

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6286b | Sheet Music $8.50 | SSAATTBB add item to cart Arrangements for 8 Parts


Ward Swingle : Swingle Folk : SSAATTBB : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Folk

Review: 'Pastime With Good Company' is an evocation of Renaissance vocal and instrumental styles in which some of the singers are asked to imitate recorders, tabors and shaums. 'The Agincourt Song' recounts the victory of Henry V over the French at Agincourt. As in 'Pastime with Good Company,' the singers must imitate the sounds of Renaissance instruments. 'Country Dances' is a fast-moving potpourri of traditional country tunes. One theme that recurs is that of the Arkansas Traveler. The accompanying sounds evoke various country-music instruments: fiddles, banjos, jugs, etc. 'Music History 101 is a trip through Music History to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," treated as a Gregorian Chant, a Medieval Round, a Madrigal, a Bach Chorale, a Schubert Lied and many other styles including jazz and rap. El paisanito features an alto duet with an accompaniment that imitates strumming Spanish guitars. In the men's version, the duet is sung by two male altos. 'L'amour de moi' features a soprano solo with a string-like accompaniment along with vocalized bass and drums. The three melodies in 'Tour garcon qui sert bien son maitre' come from the province of Quebec. These arrangements were commissioned by the McGill Univeristy Chamber Choir in Montreal.

Songlist: Pastime with Good Company, The Agincourt Song , L'amour de moi, Country Dances, El paisanito, Music History 101

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6287b | Sheet Music $13.95 | SSAATTBB add item to cart Arrangements for 8 Parts


Ward Swingle : Swingle Jazz : SSAATTBB : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Jazz

Review: This version of "Oh, Johnny, Oh" is an evocation of the Andrews Sisters' recording. Three soloists become the Andrews Sisters, while the other singers scat the accompaniment (brass, rhythm and bass guitar). Here the singers have to keep things swinging without the help of bass and drums. Al Jarreau wrote some wonderefully "onomatopaeic" words for Brubeck's fine piano piece, "Blue Rondo a' la Turk.". Ward Swingle transcribed the piano part as faithfully as possible for voices.Perhaps Kurt Weill's most famous song, Mack the Knife was written during his Berlin period, first sung by his wife Lotte Lenya; and later, in a very popular jazz version, by the great Bobby Darin. "Saints Fugue" was first written for the French Swingle group in the early 70's using only scat syllables. Ward Swingle revised it later adding the traditional words.

Songlist: Oh, Johnny, Oh!, Saints Fugue, Blue Rondo a la Turk, Mack The Knife

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6290b | Sheet Music $7.50 | SSAATTBB add item to cart Arrangements for 8 Parts


Ward Swingle : Swingle Jazz 2 : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Jazz 2

Review: Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets" is an ironic tale of betrayal, revenge and punishment in the form of a minidrama compressed into some 48 measures. It's surely one of the most startlingly original standards in the repetoire. Arranged for 19 voices, "Chatanooga Choo-Choo" was made famous by Tex Benecke, the Modernaires and the Glenn Miller Band. Ward Swingle has attempted a faithful, entirely vocal, adaptation. Also included in this package is "You're The Top."

Songlist: Chatanooga Choo Choo, Fascinating Rhythm, You're the Top, Miss Otis Regrets

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9048b | Sheet Music $11.50 | Mixed 5-8 Parts add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements


Ward Swingle : Swingle Originals : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Originals

Review: 'How Do I Love Thee' is a a traditional choral setting of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's wonderful poem. 'Tre Karleksdikter' means 'Three love-poems.' These are settings of well-known Swedish poets, and would present a good challenge for a choir wanting to explore the Swedish language. 'It Was A Lover And His Lass' is a setting of Shakepeare's famous sonnet. The text has a lot of scat-like syllables (e.g. "hey-ding-a-ding") which Ward Swingle was able to adapt and use as part of the guitar-like accompaniment.

Songlist: It was a lover and his lass, How do I love thee?, Tre Karleksdikter

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6288b | Sheet Music $5.50 | Mixed 5-8 Parts add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements


Ward Swingle : Swingle Standards : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Sheet Music : 

Ward Swingle : Swingle Standards

Review: This wonderful Neal Hefti composition, "Li'l Darlin," was written for the Count Basie band. Master word-spinner Jon Hendricks has added some lovely, romantic lyrics. This 8-voice SSAATTBB a cappella treatment of "I Get A Kick Out You" is one of Cole Porter's best loved songs. Some of the scat is in hommage to the Double Six of Paris. "Love Walks In" lies in the great pantheon of Gershwin songs. Ward Swingle made a rather easy SATB arrangement dedicated to Cole Tyrell and his fine South Haven (Michigan) High School Choir. This is an 8-voice SSAATTBB a cappella version of the well-known Cole Porter standard. In this version of "It's Just One Of Those Things" the scat can be sung as written, or improvised upon. Since it goes along at quite a clip, it can stand a few rehearsals. This arrangement of "All The Things You Are," the wonderful Jerome Kern song, is separated into three sections: the beginning is in a free, traditional choral style, then there is some typical "Swingle" scatting, followed by a big-band section. It was recently voted "Favorite Vocal Jazz Chart" by a group of choral directors who specialize in jazz repertoire.

Songlist: Love Walked In, All the Things You Are, I Get A Kick Out of You, Just One Of Those Things, Li'l Darlin

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6289b | Sheet Music $10.95 | Mixed 5-8 Parts add item to cart Vocal Jazz Arrangements

Individual Arrangements (See Songbooks and Collections)

Displaying 1-50 of 167 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistItem TitleFormatTrax
'Harmonious Blacksmith' Variations Ward SwingleGeorge Frideric HandelSwingle SingersKeyboard Classics 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
AdagioWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastien Bach 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
AdagioWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastian Bach Vol II 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Alabama Song (Weil - Brecht)Ward SwingleSwingle SingersLive In Japan 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
All the Things You AreWard SwingleJerome KernWard SwingleSwingle StandardsSheet Music (SSAATTBB)MORE DETAILS 
All The Things You Are Ward SwingleJerome KernSwingle SingersMood Swings 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
All the Things You AreWard SwingleAn Octave AboveAn Octave Above 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Allegro Ward SwingleWard SwingleEine Kleine Nachtmusik - MozartSheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
Allegro (Handel)Ward SwingleSwingle SingersGoing Baroque 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
AriaWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastien Bach 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Aria John Lewis and Ward SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle Singers with The Modern Jazz QuartetPlace Vendome 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Aria And Variations: "The Harmonious Blacksmith" (Handel)Ward SwingleSwingle SingersGoing Baroque 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Aria Suite in D MajorWard SwingleWard SwingleJohann Sebastian Bach Vol IISheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
Ave Maria (Gounod - Bach)Ward SwingleSwingle SingersLive In Japan 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Away In A Manger Ward SwingleSwingle SingersChristmastime 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
BachbeatWard SwingleSwingle SingersBeauty and the Beatbox 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Badinerie (Bach)Ward SwingleSwingle SingersLive In Japan 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Badinerie - Johann Sebastian BachWard SwingleSwingle SingersGoing Baroque 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Bel Astre Que J'Adore Ward SwingleSwingle SingersChristmastime 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Blue Rondo a la TurkWard SwingleDave BrubeckWard SwingleSwingle JazzSheet Music (SSAATTBB)MORE DETAILS 
Blue Rondo A La TurkWard SwingleSoundsationSugar & Spice 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
BourreeWard SwingleWard SwingleJohann Sebastian Bach Vol 1Sheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
BourreeWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastien Bach 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
CanonWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastien Bach 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Canzone Dei Zampognari Ward SwingleSwingle SingersChristmastime 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Chatanooga Choo ChooWard SwingleGlenn MillerWard SwingleSwingle Jazz 2Sheet Music (SSATB)MORE DETAILS 
ChoralWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastian Bach Vol II 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
ChoralWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastian Bach Vol II 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Choral De La CantateWard SwingleJohann Sebastian BachSwingle SingersJazz Sebastien Bach 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Christmas Medley (Smith - Gillespie)Ward SwingleSwingle SingersLive In Japan 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Clair de LuneWard SwingleWard SwingleSwingle ClassicsSheet Music (SSAATTBB)MORE DETAILS 
Clair de LuneWard SwingleDebussySwingle SingersKeyboard Classics 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Country DancesWard SwingleWard SwingleSwingle FolkSheet Music (SSAATTBB)MORE DETAILS 
Country DancesWard SwingleGold Company25 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Country DancesWard SwingleAn Octave AboveAn Octave Above 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Country DancesWard SwingleCrossroadsCrossroads 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Country DancesWard SwingleAmerican Folk SongCuesta College Chamber SingersIncantations 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Dag Visen Ward SwingleDag VisenSwingle SingersChristmastime 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
De Punta y Taco Ward SwingleThe Choral ProjectOne is the All 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Deck the Halls with Boughs of HollyWard SwingleSwingle SingersChristmastime 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Der Fruehling (Spring) WF Bach)Ward SwingleSwingle SingersGoing Baroque 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Don't Get Around Much AnymoreWard SwingleDuke EllingtonWard SwingleA Cappella Jazz for SSAASheet Music (SSAA)MORE DETAILS 
El Noi De La Mare Ward SwingleSwingle SingersChristmastime 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
El paisanitoWard SwingleWard SwingleSwingle FolkSheet Music (SSAATTBB)MORE DETAILS 
Es Ist Ein Ros' EntsprungenWard SwingleMichael PraetoriusSwingle SingersChristmastime 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Etude 25 No. 9Ward SwingleWard SwingleSwingle ClassicsSheet Music (SSAATTBB)MORE DETAILS 
Fascinating RhythmWard SwingleGeorge GershwinWard SwingleSwingle Jazz 2Sheet Music (SATB)MORE DETAILS 
Flight Of The Bumble Bee Ward SwingleRimsky-KorsakovGold CompanyWho Could Ask For Anything More 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Flight of the Bumble-BeeWard SwingleWard SwingleSwingle ClassicsSheet Music (SSAATTBB)MORE DETAILS 
Fugue (from the Estro Harmonico, op.3, no.11) Ward SwingleVivaldiSwingle SingersKeyboard Classics 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
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