In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
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We The People
Review: All Christians, but not affiliated with any denomination, the Singers were founded in 1994 in South Florid a by Ronald Boender and grew from a dozen singers to their current 32 mixed voices. Their trademark 8-part arrangements and close, challenging harmonies are featured on 8 CDs of both sacred and secular music. "God Bless America" includes 5 patriotic and folk songs, Woody Guthrie's "This Land," four arranged by Derric Johnson, "Give Me Your Tired," "We The People" and "God Bless The USA." Also included are the spirituals "Set Down Servant," "Witness," "All My Trials" with a lovely solo by Mary Jane Vanden Birge, and the deeply-felt "Benediction" by Robert C. Clatterbuck. A beautiful, inspirational collection by South Florida's finest!
Songlist: This Land, Give Me Your Tired, Set Down Servant, We The People, God Bless The USA, All My Trials, Witness, God Bless America, Benediction
I Believe This Is Jesus
Review: Following the inspiration of acappella arrangers Derric Johnson and Norman Luboff, Ronald Boender formed this 24 voice, mixed ensemble dedicated to performing the best of folk, sacred, Americana, and Christmas acappella. Since 1994, the Acappella Singers have built a solid repertoire of the finest acappella choral literature (in 8 parts) remaining steadfast to the foundation of the purest form of singing. Choosing Christmas songs arranged by aforementioned Derric Johnson, as well as Alfred Burt and Jay Rouse to name a few. Accentuated with sounds of a cathedral echo you can only love 'Carol Of The Bells', 'Joy To The World', 'Caroling, Caroling', 'Rejoice and Sing', and 'Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence'.
Songlist: Caroling, Caroling, Be Born In Me, He Just Had To Come Down, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent, Carol Of The Bells, This Christmastide, Rejoice And Sing, Silent Night, I Believe This Is Jesus, Joy To The World, My Song In The Night, Winter Wonderland, Thee With Tender Care, Peace, Peace
Review: Performing at various venues all over South Florida, the non-denominational Acappella Singers was founded by Ronald Boender in 1994, as a group of semi-professional singers under his direction. The goal of this unique 32 voice ensemble is to perform only the finest a cappella choral literature in all formats including sacred, folk, classical, patriotic, and Christmas favorites. Because the repertoire of the Singers is almost entirely written in 8 parts, and could be considered pop vocal or vocal jazz, the ensemble produces a distinctive sound that is exciting to hear, and rare in the choral field. "My Father's World" features 10 beautifully arranged Christian spiritual sounds: "We Will Glorify," "Have Thine Own Way," "He Never Sleeps," "Beautiful Savior," "Children of the Heavenly Father," John Rutter's "God Be In My Head," the title tune (arranged by Paul Christiansen), "I Love You Lord," and Joyce Eilers' "Go Ye Now In Peace." Soaring harmonies, a couple of lovely solos by Elisa McCord on "He Never Sleeps" and Maryanne Webel on "Beautiful Savior," a bright, clean sound and deeply-felt lyrics are features of this very special CD.
Songlist: We Will Glorify, Have Thine own Way, Adoration, He Never Sleeps, Beautiful Savior, Children of the Heavenly Father, God Be In My Head, This Is My Father's World, I Love You Lord, Go Ye Now In Peace
Review: Alfred S. Burt died in February of 1954 at the age of 33, already a legend. The slender minister's son, the young jazz trumpeter who composed Christmas carols, was carrying on a tradition started in 1922 by his father, the Reverend Bates G. Burt, who began sending his own composed carols as Christmas messages to friends and family. Rev. Bates proudly saw his son take over music in 1941, while he supplied the lyrics. These are the only carols created in modern times that have obtained international acceptance in the music community, from local choirs to stars like Andy Williams, Peggy Lee, Nat "King" Cole, Frank Sinatra, The Lennon Sisters and many others have recorded Burt carols. So listen to these "mini-masterpieces," beautifully performed by the Columbia Choir with occasional light accompaniment by the Ralph Carmichael Brass Ensemble and organ. "Caroling, Caroling," "The Star Carol," "Christ in the Stranger's Guise," "Come Dear Children," "Some Children See Him," "All on a Christmas Morning," "O Hearken Ye." "Jesu Parvule," "Nigh Bethlehem," "This is Christmas," "Ah, Bleak and Chill" and "We'll Dress the House." At the end of the CD is a very nice instrumental medley of the carols. We have enjoyed these carols as particularly wonderful ones for years, never knowing the story of their gifted composer, now we see them with a new appreciation. Recommended!
Songlist: Caroling, Caroling, The Star Carol, Christ in the Stranger's Guise, Come, Dear Children, Some Children See Him, All on a Christmas Morning, O, Hearken Ye, Jesu Parvule, Nigh Bethlehem, This is Christmas, Ah, Bleak and Chill, We'll Dress the House, Instrumental medlies:, Caroling, Caroling, All on a Christmas Morning, We'll Dress the House, The Star Carol, Some Children See Him, Come, Dear Children, Ah, Bleak and Chill, Jesu Parvule, O, Hearken Ye
Review: Considered by some to be the finest recording of Christmas carols ever, these original compositions were written by Alfred and primary lyricists Wihla Hutson and Bates G. Burt (Alfred's father). In fact, the carols were initially sent as Christmas messages to Burt family members and friends! Alfred died in 1954 at the age of thirty three, but his legacy has brought joy to untold myriads of listeners ever since. Artists from Nat "King" Cole to the Boston Pops Orchestra and Chorus have popularized what conductor John Williams described as "mini-masterpieces." The sixteen voice a cappella choir directed by arranger Jimmy Joyce (who had worked with Alfred in the Alvino Rey Orchestra) is sprightly and surefooted in their performance, which was recorded in 1963. A sentimental and popular favorite.
Songlist: This Is Christmas, Christmas Cometh Caroling, Ah, Bleak And Chill The Wintry Wind, Come, Dear Children, Some Children See Him, Sleep, Baby Mine, All On A Christmas Morning, Caroling, Caroling, The Star Carol, We'll Dress The House, Christ In The Stranger's Guise, Nigh Bethlehem, What Are The Signs, Jesu Parvule, O Hearken Ye
Review: "A Little Christmas Magic" is just yuletide carols being sung by a choir, but not just any choir! For decades now, Costa Mesa, CA-based All-American Boys Chorus has prepared for months in pointed preparation for its busy Christmas concert season of more than 30 performances. The 9 to 15-year-old boys add their youthful vitality and energy to marvelous arrangements and understated orchestral accompaniment to produce a full, beautiful, yes indeed - magical sound! 10 standards, from "We Need A Little Christmas" medley to "O Holy Night." Orchestrally accompanied
Songlist: We Need A Little Christmas , Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, The Christmas Waltz, Silent Night, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, Do You Hear What I Hear?, White Christmas, O Holy Night
Review: One of the most widely-traveled choirs in the world, the Costa Mesa, CA-based AABC has appeared with such stars as Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Steve Allen and Victor Borge, and in tv commercials for Mazda, TWA and KFC. This is a feel-good collection of 11 songs, but actually much more because five of them are medleys. "Salute To America's Colleges," for instance, has the fight songs for Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin and USC; and "Marches of John Phillip Sousa" includes four of Sousa's classics. Orchestrally accompanied.
Songlist: This Could Be the Start of Something Big, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Satin Doll and Take the "A" Train, Marches of John Philip Sousa, America the Beautiful, On the Sunny Side fo the Street, 75 Trombones, Lida Rose, Salute to America's Colleges, Dixieland Medley
Review: The nonprofit AABC, based in Costa Mesa, CA, serves boys ages 8 to 15 of all races, faiths, nationalities and ethnic origins, and is one of the most widely-traveled choirs in the world. Delighted audiences from Moscow, Vienna and Rome to Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Beijing, to Canada and all over the US have heard them sing. Collaborations with Disney, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and the LA Philharmonic have added to the group's professional stature. 13 songs, the powerful medley "Salute to the United States Armed Forces," "This is My Country," "Stouthearted Men," "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee," "Rivers," a medley of "Shenandoah" and "Red River Valley," "Cielito Lindo," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," Ghost Riders in the Sky," "A Medley of Walzes," "Panis Angelicus," "The Lord's Prayer," "Al Shlosha D'varim" and "God Bless America." All songs are orchestra, organ or piano accompanied. The sweet, angelic voices of the boys are beautifully presented on these patriotic, religious, folk and pop classics. Very nice full color foldout liner notes.
Songlist: Salute to the United States Armed Forces, This is My Country, Stouthearted Men, Waiting for the Robert E. Lee, Rivers, Cielito Lindo, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Ghost Riders in the Sky, A Medley of Waltzes, Panis Angelicus, The Lord's Prayer, Al Shlosha D'varim, God Bless America
Review: The joy and excitement of the holidays come to life as the boys tell the story of Christmas. Beginning with the season's earliest hearkenings of candy canes, Santa Claus, and toys, the narrative continues with the warmth and glow of home and hearth, and concludes with the spellbinding tale of the magic night itself.
Songlist: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Silver Bells, Here Comes Santa Claus/ Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Jingle Bells, The Best Gift Of All, Angels We Have Heard On High, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, What Child Is This?, The First Noel, Ave Maria, A Medley Of Carols/ Joy To The World/ Hark! Herald Angels Sing/ O Come, All Ye Faithful
Review: "Amai", the title of Amasong's second CD release, means "mother" and "woman" from the Shona Language in Zimbabwe. Amasong is a 60 women strong Premier Lesbian/Feminist chorus from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Graced with traditional arrangements from around the world, this CD is both enjoyable and educational. Favorites include; "The Stove," a short and humorous Feminist composition, Four Russian Peasant Songs by Igor Stravinsky, and "Cradle Song," an Amasong original of prayer and inspiration. Intense emotion and sensitivity are generated through dynamic movement and rhythmic expression. Having chosen so many languages the degree of difficulty is incredible, yet these women sing with ease. Their diction and sympathetic perception of the music are right on the money, and their dedication is admirable.
Songlist: Blood and Gold, Women of Ireland , Lauluja Merelta , Draum om Nedsnodde Bruer , Orientis Partibus , There is no Rose , The Stove , Four Russian Peasant Songs , On Suuri Sun Rantas Autius , Fisher Lid, J'ai Fait Mon Idee / La Danse de Marti Gras, We Will Walk with Mother and Mourn , Cradle Me , All is Well , Shenandoah , Keep Your Lamps , Job, Job, Amai
Jsniejze mi, usnij
Review: Since 1990, Amasong: Champaign-Urbana's Premier Lesbian/Feminist Chorus has been connecting with far-away cultures and next-door neighbors through music. Time and again, singing has built bridges that help us to understand one another, just as it has around the world for thousands of years. In the hope of bringing you, our listener, into the atmosphere of an Amasong concert, this collection includes live recordings from the past six years (2002-2008). We feature songs from thirteen countries that celebrate the communion of cultures, the search for unity, the joys of sisterhood, and the enduring power of making music together.
Songlist: Come Dance and Sing, Omama Bakudala, I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day, Mouth Music, Laulusild/ Bridge of Song, Ach! Synku Synku, I Went To The Market, Yonder Come Day, Hoj Hura Hoj!, A Ma Lei A Ho - Chinese Mountain Songs, Gathering in the Naked Oats - Chinese Mountain Songs, Ga Da Mei Lin - Chinese Mountain Songs, Cuncti Simus, Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind, Rain, Gonja, Jsniejze mi, usnij, I Thank You God, Mrs. McGrath, March of the Women, The Parting Hand, Deep Peace, Singabahambayo Thina
Review: The pride of Champaign-Urbana, IL, premier lesbian/feminist chorus Amasong, over 100 strong, brings us an exuberant collection of 21 folk songs, some accompanied, from many different traditions. "Laulu's" smorgasbord of cultures begins with Brazilian (the joyful "O Xote Das Meninas"), Chinese (the love song "Kangding Qing Ge"), Estonian (the lilting "Tantsides"), Afghani (the mourning dance song "Lailaw"), Scottish ("Gone the Boat"), Finnish ("Taivas On Sininen" The Sky Is Blue), Quaker, Sephardic, Italian, Provencal, Guadeloupe, Bulgarian, American Indian and others. Beautiful, extensive liner notes with all lyrics. Amasong's third excellent CD-"Laulu" is a sumptuous joy!
Songlist: O Xote das Meninas, Kangding Qing Ge , Laulu Voim , Lauliku Lapsepolv , Tantsides , Lailaw , A Waulking Trilogy: Gone the Boat, Hame oor Bottachan, and Na Himbo , Taivas on Sininen , Song from Cymbeline and Ballade with. Skydellh Christine de Pisan , How Can I Keep from Singing? , Puirt a Beul
Review: Amasong is an inclusive women's chorus that brings together women from all lifestyles and experience in the pursuit of choral excellence. Largely a cappella, though several of the tracks are judiciously accompanied (e.g., the horns, trombones and bells of "Ave: Meditation on Two Marian Chants"), this recording integrates works from a variety of cultures, be it from the World War II Jewish ghettoes of Lithuania ("Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern") or "Strange Fruit," written for Billie Holliday. The interpretation is exclusively Amasong's (as directed by Kristina Boerger, their founder), though thoroughly consistent with classical values in structure and arrangement. A 1998 GLAMA winner.
Songlist: Caritas Abundat, Dios Te Salve, Maria, Ave: Meditation On Two Marian Chants, Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern, Strange Fruit, Poor Man Laz'rus, All My Trials, Soon I Will Be Done, Coventry Carol , Greensleeves, Grey Funnel Line, Doffin' Mistress, Hotaru Koi , Dig My Grave Both Long And Narrow , Todor Todorka, Pajdu Vydu , Burial Society Song , Asikatali, Vesle Kari Rud , Vesi Vasyy Lumen Alle
Review: A musical overview of the landmark achievements of American composers throughout the 20th century: Barber, Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Ives and more.
Songlist: Opening Hymn: To the Poem, Hymn, Peaks, The Light that is Felt, God Bless and Keep Thee, Flute prelude, Steal Away (from A Child of Our Time), Flute interlude, Nobody Knows (from A Child of Our Time), Flute and recorder interlude, Deep River (from A Child of Our Time), Flute postlude, Sure on This Shining Night, Pas de Deux, Under the Willow Tree (from Vanessa), Medley from Porgy and Bess, Vocalise, Long Time Ago (from Old American Songs, Piano Blues #4, The Promise of Living (from The Tender Land), Eldorado, Make Our Garden Grow (from Candide)
Review: During the past 6 decades of its existence, the AB has performed in more than 2,500 North American cities and towns, and in Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and South America. More than 80 boys, ages 10 to 14, all students at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, NJ, are the nucleus from which the two concert Boychoirs are selected. They have performed and recorded with many major orchestras and conductors, and recently joined Chanticleer for a series of concerts. Over the years, the Boychoir has gathered a large repertoire of carols and other holiday music during their many December tours and annual Holiday Festival concerts. This CD represents a popular sampling of music from the past 500 years and from many nations. 13 carols, all standards, from "Carol of the Bells," "The Coventry Carol," "This Christmastide" and "Christmas Day," to "O Holy Night," "What Child Is This," "Away In A Manger" and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," all sweetly sung by the angelic voices of the Boychoir. What a gift!
Songlist: Carol Of The Bells, Joy To The World, The Coventry Carol, This Christmastide, Christmas Day, Deck The Hall, Silent Night! Holy Night!, O Holy Night, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, What Child Is This, Away In A Manger, O Come, All Ye Faithful, We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Review: The American Boychoir, joined by the Resident Training Choir and a 106-voice alumni choir, pay a moving tribute to retiring Litton-Lodal Music Director James Litton.
Songlist: Introit - Requiem aeternam, Hosanna to the Son of David, Locus iste, Ave Maria, Hear my words, ye people, Weep no more, Songs eternity:, Melodys of Earth and Sky, Mighty Songs, Sing Creations Music On, Prayer of the Children, Brothers Sing On, Three African American Spirituals:, Wade in the Water, Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord, Praise His Holy Name, The Singing Heart
Review: This album brings together some of the most beautiful sacred music from Paris written for treble voices over the past century. It is complemented by some wonderful and virtually unknown organ music by Gabriel Faure and Erik Satie. Conducted by James Litton.
Songlist: Introit (Processional): Immense coeli, Kyrie, Gloria, Ave Maria, Gradual: Immense coeli, Offertory: Fugue in e minor Op. 84 No. 6, Sanctus, Benedictus, Litany: Rorate coeli, Agnus Dei, Consecration: Immense coeli, Fugue in a minor, Op. 84 No. 3, Ite missa, Recessional: Immense coeli, Messe des Pauvres, Introit, Kyrie, Interlude, Gloria, Offertory , Sanctus, Interlude, Benedictus , Interlude, Agnus Dei I, Interlude, Agnus Dei II, Ite missa
Review: The American Boychoir showcases its vocal versatility with world music, Americana and rare classical works.
Songlist: Dixit Dominus (Vespers), Kyrie Eleison (Missa St. Leopoldi), Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Missa St. Leopoldi), When Children Sing , O Sing Joyfully (Psalm 81 vv. 1-4), Oh, Had I Jubal's Lyre (Joshua), Hosanna to the Son of David, Hej, Igazitsad!, Fyer, Fyer!, The Willow Song, Still Wie Die Nacht (Calm as the Night), Niska Banja, Alister Mcalpine's Lament, The Paint Box, Four African Songs: Tshotsholoza / Siyahamba / Sivela / Farewell Song, Orange Colored Sky, George Gershwin Medley, Wade in the Water, Elijah Rock, When the Saints Go Marching In, America the Beautiful
Up! good Christian folk
Review: A sparkling collection of beloved Christmas carols no longer available on American Boychoir recordings plus previously unreleased holiday favorites. Conducted by Litton-Lodal Music Director, Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, and Music Director Emeritus, James Litton.
Songlist: O come, all ye faithful, In the bleak midwinter, Ding dong! merrily on high (instrumental), Up! good Christian folk, I Sing of a maiden, Watts's Cradle Hymn, While shepherds watched their flocks, Sir Christemas, Shepherd's Pipe Carol, Ding dong! merrily on high, Oi Betleem, Ed Alavo, The Holly and the Ivy, Joy to the World, Candlelight Carol, Joseph, lieber, Joseph mein, Stille nacht, heilige nacht, Mary had a baby, Christians, awake! Salute the happy morn
Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Review: The newest release from The American Boychoir, directed by Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, is a wonderfully eclectic collection that reflects the faith that has been expressed consistently across different backgrounds, religions and races since the founding of this country. This fine recording includes familiar camp songs, Sunday School melodies such as "This Little Light of Mine", praise songs and beloved hymns that sprang from American soil such as "Happy Land" and "Amazing Grace". Also featured are three tracks sung with the renowned St. Olaf Choir conducted by Anton Armstrong. The Alumni Chorus of the American Boychoir School, conducted by Music Director James Litton, makes a special guest appearance on the album as well.
Songlist: Kubaya, This Little Light of Mine, Jesus Loves Me, Here I Am, Lord, Precious Lord, Take My Hand, Walk in the Light, Give Me Jesus, How Can I Keep from Singing?, Little Innocent Lamb, The Gift of Love, Softly and Tenderly, Earth and All Stars, Ose Shalom, Shall We Gather at the River, Happy Land, How Can I Keep From Singing, Abide With Me, America the Beautiful, Amazing Grace, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Review: The American Repertory Singers has got to be one of our very finest domestic choirs specializing in modern American music. The program's title piece is from James Hopkins whose smooth, dreamlike setting of "Come to Me in the Silence of Night" has enjoyed considerable success. Other discoveries include David Conte's feverish "Charm Me Asleep", a splendid setting of Elizabethan poet Robert Herrick's restless verse. Also new to me is Jane Marshall, who contributes a delightful pair of bookend madrigals. The contrast between the initial song's blithe and bouncy air and the warmly reminiscent comfort of its companion piece is very touching. Daniel Pinkham's "Love Can Be Still" is a cycle of four poems by Norma Farber, full of startling turns of musical pphrase, infusing Pinkham's unmistakable American idiom with some complex, late-Monteverdi tricks. Perhaps the best are from Nestor himself: the four sentiment-drenched setting of Four Part-songs from the "Highlands", including two traditional texts and two from Robert Burns. Three include lovely obbligatos for solo flute. "Ca' the Yowes" and "Will ye Go, Lassie, Go?" are especially haunting.
Songlist: Come to Me in the Silence of the Night , Love Can Be Still , Take me walking in your mind , After the storm is over , Da Capo , Charm Me Asleep , Four Songs from the Highlands, Ca' the Yowes, O, My Luve is Like a Red, Red Rose, Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?, Fareweel tae Tarwathie, Go, Lovely Rose, Campion Suite, There is a Garden in Her Face, Thrice Toss these Oaken Ashes, When to her Lute Corinna Sings, To Music Bent, Night was Well as Brightest Day, A Lover and his Lass, An Older Lover and His Lass, Reincarnations, Opus 6, The Coolin (The Fair Haired One), Love, bone-quiet, Mary Hines, Anthony O'Daly
Review: A most sensitive and attractive recording. The American Repertory Singers achieve choral artistry with consistently lovely tonal quality and astounding rhythmic control and flexibility. Sara Stern and Dotian Levalier participate with highly pleasing effect and artistry. The first track of the CD is a setting of the Welsh tune 'Ar hyd y nos'. The combining of the two instrumentalists with the choir provided a captivating and alluring textual attractiveness. The Seven Words of Christ from the Cross makes most effective use of dissonance. Schuneman's reading is wondrously apt and his selection of the soloist (David F. Eberhardt) to sing the part of the Evangelist is very admirable.
Songlist: God, Who Made the Earth, Missa Brevis, Kyrie, Sanctus & Benedictus, Gloria, Agnus Dei , Psalm 147, Alleluia! How good it is to sing praises, The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem, Great is our Lord, The Lord lifts up the lowly, Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving, The Seven Words of Christ from the Cross, Alleluia Verses for Easter
Review: An extraordinary set of carol arrangements. As in the case with virtually all of Daron Hagen's music, he takes the listener on an unusual journey, frequently only alluding to tunes or portions of tunes already more than familiar to the listener. As one would expect of a composer who has devoted so much of his life to vocal music and the relationship between music and text, surprising things occur.
Songlist: Lullay, O Come, O Come, Emmauel, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen/O Come, Emmanuel, Silent Night, Once in Royal David's City, Sussex Carol, What Child Is This, At Bethlehem Proper, Hosanna
Review: One of the professional services offered by Boston-based, mixed voice American Repertory Singers is the recording of scores to accompany the distribution of publishers new issues. All the music on this disc was written in the last two decades of the 20th century, and it is a representative sampling of some of the best contemporary sacred music by America's choral composers who have written for all denominations of Christian churches. 21 cuts, some are accompanied. "Sounding Joy," an dramatic 8-minute arrangement of the spiritual "Steal Away to Jesus" with trumpets, a couple of nice pieces by Richard DeLong, "O Lord, Increase Our Faith" and "There is a Country," and three compositions by Leo Nestor, "And Peace at the Last," "To Rise Beyond the Stars" and "Who Is She Ascends So High?" Five "Little Prayers" by Daron Aric Hagen, 3 by Frank Ferko, "I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me," "I Will Give Thanks to You, O Lord" and "O Gracious Light," 2 by Jane Marshall, "Of Hospitality" and "Song of Simeon," and Daniel Pinkham's "A Sermon on Wisdom"-this is all beautifully performed, hard-to-find contemporary sacred music by one of the best Contemporary Christian ensembles.
Songlist: Sounding Joy, Steal Away to jesus , O Lord, Increase Our Faith , There is a Country , And Peace at the Last, To Rise Beyond the Stars , Who Is She Ascends So High?, Little Prayers , Almighty Father, Incline Thine Ear, Our Father, Who Arrt In heaven, Why Do You Seek Rest, We Mayy Be Heroic, lord, God in Heaven, Still, Still with Thee , A Sermon on Wisdom , I Was Glad When They Said unto Me, I Will Give Thanks to You, O Lord , O Gracious ight ("Phos hilaron") , Of Hospitality, When I survey the Wondrous Gross, Song of Simeon ("Nunc dimittis") , Festival Te Deum
Review: Since Randall Thompson (1899-1984), perhaps America's most famous composer of choral music, it is significant that at last a retrospective selection of this music has been recorded. "Ye Shall Have A Song" is a collection of works dating from 1922 to 1970, when the bulk of his choruses had already been written. Starting with his early masterpiece, the 8 movements of "The Peaceable Kingdom," ("Say Ye to the Righteous," "Woe Unto Them," "'The Noise of a Multitude," "Howl Ye," "The Paper Reeds by the Brooks," "But These Are They," "Have Ye Not Known" and the title tune), the CD progresses to "Bittersweet" of 1970, representing his last style. "The Best of Rooms," "Alleluia," and four "Odes of Horace" are followed by the oldest composition, 1922's "The Last Invocation." The Singers make these difficult-to-perform, eclectic and sublimely beautiful pieces sound effortless. A worthy retrospective of the works of an American master!
Songlist: The Peaceable Kingdom, Say Ye to the Righteous, Woe Unto Them, The Noise of a Multitude, Howl Ye, The Paper Reeds by the Brooks, But These Are They, Have Ye Not Known?, Ye Shall have a Song, Bitter-Sweet, The Best of Rooms, Alleluia, Odes of Horace, O fons Bandusiae, Vitas hinnuleo, Montium Custos, Felices ter, The Last Invocation
Review: The Concert Choir is one of three choirs in the Ames Children's Choirs (ACC) program founded by Artistic Director Munsen in Ames, Iowa in 1995. The Concert Choir has performed at John Rutter's Mass of the Children at Carnegie Hall, with the Des Moines Symphony for the World Food Prize, performed solo concerts in St. Patrick's Cathedral (NYC) and Washington's National Cathedral and performed at many conferences and festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Favorites among the 14 tunes (all accompanied on piano by Sue Lekwa) are: Bob Chilcott's title tune and "Can You Hear Me?," John Rutter's "For the Beauty of the Earth," E. Amiran's "Mayim," the Spiritual "Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet," Stephen Paulus' "Winter Song," Libby Larsen's "Ring the Bells," Bach's "Wir eilen doch emsigen Schritten," James Mulholland's "Come Let's Be Merry" and the Serbian Gypsy Dance "Niska Banja." The lovely voices of the children perfectly complement these beautiful, well-chosen songs!
Songlist: For the Beauty of the Earth, All Things Pass, Can You Hear Me?, Evening Song, America the Beautiful, Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet, Mayim, Hanarot Halalu, Winter Song, Ring the Bells, The Alphabet, Wir eilen doch emsigen Schritten, Come Let's Be Merry, Niska Banja
Review: Dr. Munsen had founded and directed children's and women's choirs in Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington before creating the Ames Children's Choirs (ACC) in 1995, which now includes over 110 boys and girls ages 8-16 singing in 4 choirs. Beginning with regional concerts and performances at Iowa State U. festivals, ACC has established an international connection by sponsoring the Midwest Children's Choir Fesival and conducting tours to the Czech Republic and Canada. "Dream," their debut CD, has 20 tunes, all recorded in concert; numbers 1-7, including "The Star Spangled Banner," Bach's beautiful "Bist du bei mir," and Dvorak's "Flow, Danube, Ebb and Flow," were recorded at the ACDA Conference in Des Moines; numbers 8-20, including Handel's "Art Thou Troubled," the Hebrew folk song "Dodi li," Z. Randall Stroope's "Lux Aeterna," the a cappella Japanese folk tune "Hotaru Koi," the Appalachian folk song "Simple Gifts," Aaron Copland's "At The River," Libby Larson's "Ring the Bells," Mozart's "The Alphabet" and the title tune by Ed Robertson, were recorded at concerts at local churches. There is light accompaniment on most songs. But it's the lovely, spirited sound of the children's voices are what makes "Dream" a very special and enjoyable collection.
Songlist: The Star-Spangled Banner, Bist Bu Bei Mir, Wir Eilen Mit Schwachen Doch Emsign Schritten, Flow Danube, Ebb And Flow, Barter, Metsa Telegramm, I'm Goin' Up Yonder, Art Thou Troubled, Dodi li, Niska Banja, How Merrily We Live, Lux Aeterna, Hotaro Koi, Simple Gifts, At The River, Younger Generation, Ring The Bells, Joy In Jerusalem The Alphabet, Dream A Dream
Review: Formerly the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus, 100-strong mixed-voice children's chorus Anima, Young Singers of Greater Chicago traveled to South Africa in July of 2007. Most of the performances here are recorded from their final concert, shared with the Pro Cantu Youth Choir, directed by Leon Starker, in the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre, Cape Town. There are 12 tracks here, favorites are the traditional Xhosa songs "Ithemba Iami" and "Bawo Thixo Somandla;" traditional Zulu songs "Nginesi ponono," "Senzenina" and "Unonkala;" traditional American "Shenandoah," Elizabeth Alexander's joyous "Faith is the Bird that Feels the Light," traditional South African "African Celebration," Paul Halley's "Untraveled Worlds" and George Jackson & Tom Jones III's rollicking "Old Time Rock 'n Roll." A rhythmic, high-energy remembrance of Anima's amazing musical journey!
Songlist: Ithemba Iami, Nginesi ponono, Shenandoah, Faith is the Bird that Feels the Light, African Celebration, If Music be the Food of Love, Walk in Jerusalem, Unonkala, Bawo Thixo Somandla, Untraveled Worlds, Old Time Rock 'N Roll
Review: Composer Imant Raminsh's lyrical melodies and lush harmonic textures combined with the skilled, expressive singing of the GECC create a powerful musical partnership in this unique choral opera based on Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the same name.
Songlist: The Nightingale
Review: The Philadelphia-based, 33-strong Anna Crusis Women's Choir has been pleasing audiences for over 25 years now. "Spaces Between the Stars" is a lyric from Track 12, "what I want," and it was chosen to honor departed member Pat Lowther, as a spiritual metaphor for the span of women's lives here on earth. 14 songs, some favorites: "Kaval Sviri," the traditional "My True Love's Hair," a jazzy arrangement of "How Do I Love Thee," "Crushes," "Kore Evohe," the rhythmic "Chompilche," "Warrior" and the final cut, "Higher Ground." Some light accompaniment, and lyrics and information in the large liner notes booklet.
Songlist: Dilika Town Hall, Kaval Sviri, My True Love's Hair, How Do I Love Thee?, Crushes, Finally Here, Menopause, Kore Evohe, Put Vejini, Corazon Coraza, Chompliche, What I Want, Warrior, Higher Ground
Review: The unique mystical music of Hildegard von Bingen has captivated all who listen. The German nun, who was barely educated, put forth an enormous body of work as a result of visions. At the age of 43 she had a vision of tongues of flame which compelled her to write down her spiritual experiences. She wrote several liturgical works for the feast of St. Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins, which was probably an important date at her convent. Anonymous 4 has chosen some of these pieces for this recording of Hildegard's music. The framework of the album consists of portions of Vigil, Lauds and Vespers. They have included other liturgical chants and psalms in addition to Hildegard's works to recreate the powerful impression they first made. With their vocal clarity and passionate singing, Anonymous 4 has been lauded for their brilliant interpretation of the music of Hildegard.
Songlist: Auctori vite psalmis, Venite exsultemus domino, O dulcissime amator, Jesu corona virginum, Spiritui sancto, Specie tua, Favus distillans, Benedicamus domino, Studium divinitatis, Dominus regnavit/Studium divinitatis, O Ecclesia, Benedictamus domino, Domine deus meus, Mirabilis deus, Cum vox sanguinis, Magnificat anima mea/O rubor sanguinis, Te lucis ante terminum, Benedicamus domino
Review: Anonymous 4 are known for their scrupulous recordings of 13th and 14th century English chant and polyphony. "Lammas" refers to the Celtic festival of harvest, celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Much of the music of the time-at least that still existing today-was written to accompany the Catholic Mass. Therefore each part of the service, which was and is very specifically structured, assumed a certain form, depending on the context: motet, Antiphon, Conductus, introit, hymn, etc. The four women of Anonymous 4 take these relics and give them new life, gently and sweetly entreating them into the present day.
Songlist: Que Est Ista, O Quam Glorifica, Ave Tuos Benedic, In Adore, Salve Mater Salvatoris, Salve Sancta Parens, Kyrie, Gloria, Benedicta Et Venerabilis, Ave Gloriosa Mater, Virga Ferax Aaron, O Maria Stella Maris, O Ceteris Preamabilis, O Quam Glorifica..., Recordare Virgo Mater, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Alma Dei Genitrix, Salve Mater Salvatoris, Paradisi Porta, Ite Missa Est, Pangat Melos Grex Devotus
Review: This must be how the angels sound! That is the often evoked response of listeners to this exemplary quartet who explore, research, and bring to life medieval polyphony and chant. The blend of voices and virtuosity of creation is unparalleled by any other singers on earth. Once again, by research, the 4 have created a mass, this time "A Mass For The End Of Time." The end of time refers to the Last Judgement which is most strongly expressed in the liturgies of the Advent season, the Requiem mass, and the feast of Jesus's Ascension celebrated forty days after Easter. This work is based on the Ordinary and Proper chants of the Ascension mass with added tropes (newly written text and music) to enhance the feel of the music. Historically, the approach to the first millennium saw the collapse of Charlemagne's empire and alliances which yielded a tremendously unsettled period in European history. The church under the charismatic leadership of Pope Sylvester II created a spiritual anchor. Great cathedrals were begun and Christianity was seen as a primary civilizing influence. Musically, the traditional Roman plainchant was being renewed and greatly enlarged while developments in music such as staff line notation allowed these new creations to be rapidly learned and disseminated. Though the church provided a dynamic anchor, it also tended to foster a millennial belief in the end of time and that the Last Judgement was at hand. From this milieu, Anonymous 4 has recreated another incredibly beautiful liturgical testament.
Songlist: Judicii Signum, Quem Creditis Super Astra/Viri Galilei, Celestis Terrestrisque, Prudentia Prudentium, Dominus in Sina, Ascendens Cristus, Salavator Mundi/Rex Omnipotens Die Hodierna, Elevatus Est Rex Fortis/Viri Galilei, Ante Secula, Omnipotens Eterne, Corpus Quod Nunc/Psallite Domino, Apocalypse 21:1-5, Regnantum Sempiterna, Cives Celestis Patrie
Review: A selection of liturgical and paraliturgical Christmas pieces, taken from medieval Hungarian sources. Most are monophonic, but there is a modest sprinkling of simple polyphonic pieces for two, three and four voices. The charm of the performance lies in its unpretentious, almost childlike simplicity - suggested, maybe, by the delightful extracts from the Christmas story as quoted in the notes. These extracts come from the "Peasants' Bible" - Paraszbiblia: Magyar Nepi Biblikus Tortenetek - which contains Bible stories retold in simple language, with homely, imaginative details and an atmosphere of fairy-tale. The classic liturgical pieces, which include the Introit Dum medium silentium, the splendid Gradual Speciosa forma, and others, are heard in a version which tends to use the pentatonic scale, thus avoiding both B natural and B flat. The sung readings are impressive with their polyphonic settings. I enjoyed the rich Genealogy (Liber generationis) with its beautifully constructed and compelling melody. Some of the vernacular pieces, as well as the Latin song for New Year's Day, have a regular ternary rhythm. The Hungarian Te Deum (which appeared in an earlier recording by the Schola Hungarica on Quintana) offers an interesting alternative for the concluding verses: it simply transposes the original theme up a fourth. The 110-page booklet, lavishly produced with both colour and black-and-white illustrations, is a marvellous little tool and a joy to handle.
Songlist: Ave spes nostra, Mi Atyank Atya Isten, Veni domine, O mundi domina, Fuit virgo, Vox clara, ecce, intonat, Omes unanimiter, Dum medium silentium, Primo tempore alleviata, Speciosus forma, Novum decus oritur, Letentur cele, Salvator noster, Az idvozitor regenten, Novus annaus adiit, Exulta filia Syon, Liber generationis, Gaude et letare, Exordium quadruplate"/"Nate dei"/"Concrepet infanti"/"Verbum caro, Isten, teged
Review: Anonymous 4 turns from the medieval repertoire to explore the roots of American sacred music. Developed in Toni Morrison's Atelier program at Princeton in spring 2003, American Angels includes songs of redemption and glory from the time of the American Revolution to the present day: 18th-century psalm settings from rural New England, 19th-century shape-note and camp revival songs from the rural South, and some of the nation's best-loved gospel songs. Drawing from collections including "The Southern Harmony," and "The Sacred Harp," - the album explores the beauty and power of early American sacred music and the relatively obscure form of a cappella choral singing known as Sacred Harp.
Songlist: Holy Manna (Brethren we have met to worship), Abbeville (Come, Holy Spirit, come), Wondrous Love (What wondrous love is this!), Sweet Hour of Prayer, Jewett (Amazing grace, how sweet the sound), The Morning Trumpet (O when shall I see Jesus), Resignation (My shepherd will supply my need), Poland (God of my life, look gently down), Wayfaring Stranger (I am a poor, wayfaring stranger), Sweet By and By (There's a land that is fairer than day), Blooming Vale (O, were I like a feathered dove), Idumea (I) (And am I born to die), Idumea (II) (My God, my life, my love), Sweet Prospect (On Jordan's stormy banks I stand), Shall We Gather at the River, Amanda (Death, like an overflowing stream), Invitation (Hark! I hear the harps eternal), Parting Hand (My Christian friends, in bonds of love), Angel Band (My latest sun is sinking fast)
Review: Here is a record to dispel the old myth that chant and early polyphony are really uniquely the province of male voices, men and boys. It is often forgotten that communities of nuns, within the walls of their enclosure, sang exactly the same liturgical repertoire as the monks, their male counterparts. Individual names of female singers do, in fact, emerge from time to time: the noble Blesilla in the fourth century, for example, commended by St Jerome for her excellent singing of the Alleluia, or Abbess Hildegard in the twelfth century, who composed ravishingly beautiful hymns and sequences. In our own century we have some good recordings of nuns' choirs, Argentan in Normandy is one, and St Cecilia's, on the Isle of Wight, another. But this disc represents something quite new: here is a professional all-female vocal quartet uniquely devoted to the performance of chant and early polyphony. Anonymous 4, whose very title recalls the authorship of a famous medieval music treatise, have brought to the early-music scene a new approach and a refreshingly new sound. They sing with clean, unpretentious voices a programme of music that follows the basic structure of the Lady Mass, once so popular in England. They fill it out with a well-chosen selection of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century pieces in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary: chants and polyphonic items, mainly in Latin, but including two items in the vernacular, namely the charming early strophic song Edi beo thu and the gentle sequence Jesu Christes milde moder. There is a captivating simplicity and directness about their performance, which naturally avoids many of the pitfalls of an overstretched attempt at reconstruction.
Songlist: Prosa: Gaude virgo salutata (chant), Polyphonic song: Edi beo thu hevene quene, Introit: Salve mater redemptoris/ Salve lux langentium/ Salve sine spina/, Salve sancta parens, Motet: Lux polis refulgens/ Lux et gloria, Kyrie: Kyria christifera, Gloria, Motet: Spiritus et alme/ Gaude virgo salutata, Song: Miro genere, Gradual: Benedicta et venerabilis, Alleluia: Alme iam ad gaudia/ Alme matris dei/ Alleluya per te dei, Sequence: Missus Gabriel de celis, Prosa: Gaude virgo gratiosa (chant), Polyphonic song: Salve virgo virginum, Offertory: Felix namque (chant), Sanctus and Benedictus, Sequence/Song: Jesu Cristes milde moder, Agnus dei: Virtute numinis, Communion: Beata viscera (chant and song), Rondellus: Flos regalis, Chant setting: Ite missa est, Hymn: Ave maria stella
Review: For those who love the purity of chant, for the audiences who are discovering chant (or returning to it) as listeners or as singers, and also for those who are new to the work of Anonymous 4, the celebrated vocal quartet presents a stellar collection of some of the greatest medieval chants culled from its many acclaimed recordings. This special mid-priced release documenting the history of chant, presented in deluxe packaging with in-depth liner notes, would make a perfect holiday gift selection.
Songlist: Prosa: Gaude virgo gratiosa, Offertory: Felix namque, Hymn: Ave Maris Stella, Processional Hymn: O gloriosa domina, Sequence: Stabat iuxta Christi crucem, Antiphon: Ave regina celorum, Te Deum: Isten, teged, Responsory: Spritui sancto, Antiphon: Que est ista, Hymn: O quam glorifica, Offertory: Recordare virgo mater/ Trope: Mater patris et filia, Responsory: Ex eius tumba/ Prosa: Sospitati dedit egros, Processional hymn: Judicii signum, Vespers hymn: O lux beata trinitas, Alleluia: Quinque prudentes virgines, Sequence: O ignis spiritus paracliti, Hymn: Beata nobis gaudia
I'm On My Journey Home
Review: On the heels of their successful hit album American Angels, the four-woman vocal group Anonymous 4 sets off on another musical journey into the rich songbook of traditional American folk music on the stunning new album Gloryland. Conceived as a collaboration between A4 and new-grass stars Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, Gloryland layers together lyric folk songs, religious ballads, shape-note tunes, and spiritual and gospel hymns into a musical tapestry that shimmers with joy and creativity.
Songlist: I'm On My Journey Home, An Address For All, Wayfaring Stranger, Where We'll Never Grow Old, Ecstacy, The Wagoner's Lad, Mercy-Sat, Return Again, The Lost Girl, Palmetto, Pleading Saviour, Merrick, The Shining Shore , Saint's Delight, Just Over In The Glory Land, You Fair And Pretty Ladies, Parting Friends / Wayfaring Stranger, Green Pastures
Review: The four beautiful, talented women who call themselves Anonymous 4 stun usonce again with a soaring collection of a cappella choral music from the early Christian church. One of the most respected and prolific choral groups(we like to think of them as an institution) performing today, Anon 4 discovers the timeless choral works that otherwise might never be heard, or heard by only a few, and brings them to us in perfect, bell-like tones and harmonies--an unexpected gift from centuries past. There are 17 songs here, all in Latin, and an amazing, comprehensive set of illustrated liner notes that tell us everything we want to know about the music. Put this CD on a really good music system, sit back and let the music of the angels wash over you.
Songlist: O maria o felix puerpera, Pia mater gratie, De la mere au sauveor, O maria virginei, Verbuym bonum et suave, Ave salus hominum, Mainte chancon ai fait, Ave maria gracia plena, Beata viscera, Mundum renovavit, Je te pri de cuer par amors, Salve sancta parens, Serena virginum, De la tres douce Marie, Ave virgo virginum, Mater patris et filia, Ave nobilis venerabilis
Review: 1999 recording, celebrating the legend of St. Nicholas ("Jolly St Nick," or "Santa Claus"); as with most folk heroes, the actual biography of Nicholas, born in Turkey somewhere around 300 A.D., is much removed from present day interpretation. The New-York based classical women's quartet Anonymous 4, whose focus is medieval chant and polyphony, enliven these motets, hymns and conductus (medieval setting of Latin text) with an attention to historical realism that brings them very much to life. As the function of these chants was in the context of Catholic liturgy, they are by definition, an embodiment of all that is divine; neither rhythmically or harmonically complex, their appeal is their quiet beauty and distinctive texture.
Songlist: intonent hodie, exultemus et letemur, gaudens in domino, seint nicholas was borne in the citee of patras, confessor dei nicholaus, cantu mirro, summa laude, sainte nicholaes, whanne the bisshop of the citee of myre deied, nicholai presulis, cum quidam fluctuantia, novus presul prodiit, sainte nicholaes, all the province of seint nicholas suffered..., plaudat letitia, salve cleri speculum/ salve iubar presulum, sainte nicholaes, a worschipfull man hadde thre doughtres virgines, fulget nicolaus, ex eius tumba/ sospitati dedit egros, gaudens in domino, and whanne oure lorde lust to take seint nicholas..., psallar chorus/ eximie pater/ (aptatur), nicholae presulum, micholaus pontifex
Review: One could easily imagine that a programme such as this, of 29 thirteenth-century motets, all composed around the same theme of fin amours and all sung unaccompanied by an all-female vocal ensemble, might end by becoming wearisome on the ear. Anonymous 4 have proved conclusively in this recording that this need not be so, that, in any case, there is already an infinite variety of mood and style among the songs-compare, for example, No. 14 (Joliement/Quant voi la florete/Je sui joliete) with No. 18 (Ne m'oubliez mie)-and that it is possible further to vary them in performance, using no other means than the voices themselves.The directness of the group's approach is always refreshing: their tone is unaffected, their pitch secure. The songs are presented with simplicity in a clear acoustic. There is a total absence of any improvised doodling on reconstructed medieval instruments, which is rather a relief. One gets a sense of quiet satisfaction and enjoyment from the singers themselves. I also get the feeling that the singers are trying to teach us something about the music, the mechanics of the motet and how it works, almost as if they were demonstrating to a class of music students. They sometimes go out of their way to sing a single part and then to repeat it with another part added, and then finally to give us a polished rendering of the whole motet, complete with all its parts. Occasionally they add a drone-once with a doubling at the fifth above.
Songlist: Plus bele que flor/ Quant revient/ L'autrier joer/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 21), Puisque bele dame m'eime/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 231), Amours mi font souffrir/ En mai/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 111), Ne sai, que je die/ IOHANNE (Mo 185), Se je chante/ Bien doi amer/ ET SPERABIT (Mo 311), Or ne sai je que devenir/ P uisque d'amer/ KYRIELEYSON (Mo 267), He Dieus, de si haut si bas/ Maubatus/ CUMQUE (Mo 92), Celui en qui/ La bele estoile/ La bele, en qui/ IOHANNE (Mo 20), Qui d'amours se plaint/ LUX MAGNA (Mo 215), Amours, dont je sui/ L'autrier, au douz mois/ Chose Tassin (Mo 270), Au cuer ai un mal/ Ja ne m'en repentirai/ Jolietement (Mo 260), Quant voi la fleur/ ET TENUERUNT (Mo 241), Quant se depart/ Onques ne sai amer/ DOCEBIT OMNEM (Mo 131), Joliement/ Quant voi la florete/ Je sui joliete/ APTATUR (Mo 34), Amor potest conqueri/ Ad amorem sequitur (Mo328), Ce que je tieng/ Certes mout/ Bone compaignie/ MANERE (Mo 33), J'ai si bien mon cuer assiz/ Aucun m'ont/ ANGELUS (Mo 128), Ne m'oubliez mie/ DOMINO (Mo 236), Blanchete/ Quant je pens/ VALARE (Mo 168), Dame, que je n'os noumer/ Amis donc est/ Lonc tans a (Mo 337), Li savours de mon desir/ Li grant desir/ Non veul mari (Mo 323), Entre Copin/ Je me cuidoie/ Bele Ysabelos (Mo 256), S'on me regarde/ Prennes i gardee/ He, mi enfant (Mo 256), Quant yver l a bise ameine/ IN SECULUM (Mo 223), Ne m'a pas oublie/ IN SECULUM (Mo 207), On doit fin(e) Amor/ La biaute/ IN SECULUM (Mo 134), Ja n'amerai autre que cele/IN SECULUM (Mo 3) , Quant je parti de m'amie/ TUO (Mo 200)
Review: On their 1994 album Love's Illusion the extraordinary female vocal quartet ANONYMOUS 4 brought 13th-century motets of courtly love to the top of the classical charts, spending 29 weeks on Billboard's Top 200. Twenty years later they return to the source, this time exploring the juxtaposition of love and desire for the earthly lady Marion and the ardor for the heavenly Marie. On Marie et Marion Anonymous 4 continue to bring their signature exquisite vocal blend to these captivating and ethereal ancient songs. In a recent concert review, The New York Times described "Marie et Marion" as "a rich compilation of French motets...lovingly and radiantly sung."
Songlist: Mater Dei Plena - Mater Virgo Pia - Eius, He Mere Diu - La Virge Marie - Aptatur, A La Clarte Qui Tout - Et Illuminare, Marie Assumptio Afficiat, Chanson: De la gloriouse fenix Ruth Cunningham, Ave Lux Luminum - Salve Virgo Rubens , Plus Joliement C'Onques, Reverdie, J'Ai Les Biens - Que Ferai Biau Sire - In Seculum, Que Ferai Biaus Sire, Pensis Chief Enclin, L'Autre Jour Par Un Matinet, Quant Florist La Violete, Sans Orgueil Et Sans Envie, Trois Serors, Amors me fait commencier, En Mai Quant Rosier, Pucelete Bele Et Avenant, Diex Qui Porroit, Li Joli Tans, Par Une Matinee, Or Voi Je Bien, Plus Bele Que Flor
Review: Susan Hellauer's lucid introduction to the contents of Jacobus, the Liber Sancti Iacobi (the Codex Calixtinus) makes fascinating reading. Following Christopher Hohler, she points out that this extraordinary collection of liturgical items, non-liturgical pilgrim songs, sermons, chants and lessons in honour of St James, was originally destined for the use of French schoolboys, presumably with voix blanches. That being so, this recording by a group of high female voices may be easily vindicated: Anonymous 4 bring to their performance that smooth, unsophisticated vocal blend we have come to expect from them. It is a lovely sound, and their intelligent and imaginative approach sticks resolutely to middle ground, avoiding excesses of orientation and extremes of interpretative theory.
Songlist: Venite Omnes Cristicole, Salve Festa Dies, Voc Nostra Resonet, Nostra Phalanx Plaudat Leta, Ad Sepulcreum Beati Iacobi, Ad Superni Regis Decus, Iacobe Servorum, Benedicamus Domino, In Hac Die Laudes, Cunctipotens Genitor, Psallat Chorus Celestuim, Alleluia: Gratulemur Et Letemur, Ascendens Ihesus In Montem, Qui Pius Ac Mitis, Gratulantes Celebremus Festum, Iacobe SancteTuum, O Aditor Omnium Seculorum, Portum In Ultimo, Congaudeant Catholici, Clemens Servulorum
Hodie Christus natus est
Review: The four female members of Anonymous 4 are dedicated to the preservation of Gregorian chant from medieval times, and this holiday selection of English plainchant, songs, motets and carols are all derived from this period. As one might expect, the texts are often sacred in nature, to be performed during religious rites and devotions, such as Advent (hymn, "Vox Clara, Ecce, intonat"). Carols often use the multiple verse and refrain format, that was a typical form ("Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu," and others). Much more could be said about the historical and musical context of these works - and is, in the extensive liner notes - but this background, though fascinating, is not necessary to simply appreciate the supple grace and open sound of these gentle voices, which is more than enough.
Songlist: Hodie Christus natus est, O nobilis nativitas"/"O mira dei"/"Odecus virgineum"/"Appruit, Lux de luce, Alleluya: A nywe werke, Verbum supernun prodiens, Balaam de quo vaticianas, Ave Maria, Gabriel, fram heven-king, Lullay: I saw a swete semly syght, Prolis eterne genitor"/"Psallat mater gracie, Vox clara, ecce, intonat, De supernis sedibus, Qmnes de Saba, Puellare gremium, Lullay, ullay: Als I lay on Yoolis night, Tria sunt munera, Orto sole serene"/"Origo viri"/"Virga Iesse, Peperit virgo, Ecce quod natura, A solis ortus cardine, Ther is no rose of swych vertu, Videntes stellam, Owt of your slepe aryse
Review: The culmination of a variety of skills and training, Anonymous 4 is one of the world's finest medieval singing groups. This CD celebrates the success of several of their recordings. Excerpts are taken from Miracles of Sant' Iago, The Lily & the Lamb, A Star in the East, Love's Illusion, An English Ladymass, On Yoolis Night and 11,000 Virgins. Their exquisite singing blends together the original spiritual intent with the modern artistic view of these ancient pieces. You will be moved by their breathtaking sounds.
Songlist: Venite Omnes Cristicole, Ad Superni Regis Decus, Portum In Ultimo, O Maria Stella Maris, Stabat Iuxta Christi Crucem, Stillat In Stellam Raduim, Primo Tempore Alleviata, Speciousus Forma, Mi Atyank Atya Isten, Puisque Bele Dame M'eime/FLOS FILIUS, Ne Sai, Que Je Die/IOHANNE, Amor Potest Conqueri/Ad Amorem Sequitur, Quant Yver La Bise Ameine/IN SECULUM, On Doit Fin(e) Amor/La Biaute/IN SECULUM, Edi Beo Thu Hevene Quene, Ave Maris Stella, Salve Virgo Virginum, Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu, Prolis Eterne Genitor/Psallat Mater Gracie, Ecce Quod Natura, Spiritui Sancto
Review: The women of Anonymous 4 revisit their favorite era with repertoire from the Codex Las Huelgas. Spanning the entire 13th century - from virtuosic motets and conductus to heartfelt laments, plainchants and sacred songs - this important manuscript was compiled for a convent of aristocratic Castilian women who (in spite of a rule forbidding Cistercian nuns from singing polyphony) sang the most beautiful and demanding music from all across Gothic-era Europe.
Songlist: Virgines egregie, Ave maris stella, Claustrum Pudicicie / Virgo Viget / Flos Filius, Fa fa mi / Ut re mi, O Maria Virgo / O Maria Maris Stella , Benedicamus domino: cum cantico, Salve porta / Salve salus / Salve sancta parens, Kirie: Rex virginum amator, Gloria: Spiritus et alme, Verbum bonum et suave, Salve Virgo Regia / Ave Gloriosa Mater , Sanctus & Benedictus, Gaude Virgo Nobilis / Verbum Caro Factum / Et Veritate, Agnus dei: Gloriosa spes reorum, O monialis conscio, Benedicamus domino: Belial vocatur, In virgulto gracie, Ave Regina Celorum / Alma Redemptoris Mater, Benedicamus domino a 3, Si vocatus ad nupcias, Mater patris et filia, Benedicamus domino a 2, Omnium in te christe
Review: "Origin" is the 16th recording by the four angel-voiced women of Anonymous 4, of music by 12th century German abbess and mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard's intensely emotional chants and visions (including the monumental hymn "O ignee spiritus" and some of her finest antiphons) are performed here framed by hymns and sequences that she and her convent sisters would have heard and sung every day. 17 songs, the hymns "Veni creator spiritus" and "Beata nobis gaudia," " the antiphon "O quam mirabilis est," the vision "The fire of creation," the sequences "Veni spiritus eternorum" and "Oignis spiritus paracliti," and the responsory "O felix anima" are particularly wonderful, but we are deeply touched throughout this recording by the spirit and power of this music, hauntingly and perfectly performed by the stunningly talented Anonymous 4.
Songlist: Veni creator spiritus, Veni spiritus eternorum, O quam mirabilis est, The fire of creation, O ignis spiritus paracliti, Wisdom and her sisters, O felix anima, The fiery spirit, O ignee spiritus, Love, Caritas habundat in omnia, O eterne deus, Beata nobis gaudia
Review: "Second Circle" is the latest release from the acclaimed and prolific Anonymous 4, who are Johanna Maria Rose, Marsha Genensky, Jacqueline Horner and Susan Hellauer. These are 14th century Italian love songs by Francesco Landini, an early "renaissance man," left blind by smallpox, who became a master musician, composer and poet, becoming the chief musician at the church of San Lorenzo in Florence. Anon4 gives us 18 of his beautiful songs, and to deepen our appreciation of them, there is one of the most lovely and extensive liner notes we have seen, actually a 46-page full-color booklet with a number of incredible paintings from the period. Much more than a group of lovely, obscure songs, we are treated to a short course in music appreciation and art history of the composer and his fascinating times!
Songlist: Echo La Primavera, Angelica Bilta, Che Chos'e Quest' amor, Nella Partita, Non Do La Colp' a te, Quanto Piu Caro Faj, Se Pronto Non Sara , Lasso! Per Mie Fortuna , Ochi Dolenti Mie, Muort' Oramai, Per Allegreca, Nella Mi Vita, Abbonda Di Virtur, Non Ara Ma' Pieta, La Bionda Trecca, Cara Mie Donna , Gran Piant' Agli Ochi, Echo La Primavera
A God and Yet A Man
Review: Andrew Lawrence-King's virtuoso harp joins the voices of Anonymous 4 in a wealth of Yuletide music, favourite and rare, from the British Isles. Juxtaposing pagan and Christian traditions, the programme interweaves English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ballads and carols with well-loved pieces by John Tavener (The Lamb), Benjamin Britten, and a newly commissioned work by Peter Maxwell Davies. Andrew Lawrence-King adds special colour playing a variety of instruments: psaltery, Baroque harp, and a remarkable Irish "Queen Mary" harp which sounds as if it contains its own peal of heavenly bells.
Songlist: Awake and join the cheerful choir, Good people all, The seven rejoices of Mary, The Lamb, A Scots Lilt, Balulalow, Balulalow (Richard Rodney Bennett), The holly and the ivy, The Reel of Tullochgorum, I saw three ships, A Calendar of Kings (Peter Maxwell Davies), Air: La fuar geimhreadh, An teicheadh go hEigipt, A God, and yet a man? (Geoffrey Burgon), Grene growith the holy (Henry VIII), Wel, dyma'r borau gorau, The Cherry Tree Carol, Can wassel, A New Year Carol (Benjamin Britten)
Review: Two venerable and ancient Christian musical traditions-the Byzantine and the Slavic-come together on this CD, along with traditional Orthodox carols from Ukraine, Lebanon, and... America. The musical richness of the Eastern Orthodox Christmas services has inspired a number of modern-day Orthodox composers to create new compositions and arrangements, 35 of which are recorded here for the first time, entirely in English.
Songlist: Troparion-Entrance Of The Theotokos, Kontakion-Entrance Of The Theotokos, Stichera Lord, I Call, Stichera Aposticha, Canon Odes 1, 3, 6, Hymn To Theotokos, Stichera At The Praises, Stichera At The Aposticha, Troparion-Prefeast Of The Nativity Christ, Kontakion, God Is With Us, Troparion, Kontakion, Glory Be To God On High, Praise The Name Of The Lord, From My Mouth, Stichera After The Matins Gospel, Canon Ode 1, Canon Ode 3, Kontakion / oikos, Canon Ode 8, 9, Exposteilarion, Third Antiphon, Troparion, Kontakion, Communion Hymn, Wondrous News Is Given, Joy Is All Around Us, Angel Choirs In Heaven, Sing Earth And Heaven, God's Son Is Born This Night, Today The Virgin, The Lord Hath Sent Redemption, Christ Our Son, Christ Is Born
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