In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Over the years, Chanticleer founder Louis Botto was often asked if, at that first convening of singers around a dining room table in San Francisco he had any idea it would become what it is today. He would usually answer, "yes," with a broad smile and a twinkle in his eye. As a graduate student in musicology, Louis found it odd that much of the repertoire he was studying-vocal music of the medieval and Renaissance periods-was not being performed. He decided to form a group to sing this neglected repertoire, using only male voices, as was the tradition in most churches during the Renaissance. Louis turned to members of choirs in which he sang, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, asking if they might be interested in this endeavor. Nine members were selected, including Louis (who sang tenor), and rehearsals began for their debut performance.
One of the founding members, baritone Charlie Erikson, was in the midst of reading Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. To name the group, he suggested Chanticleer, the name of the "clear singing" rooster in The Nun's Priest's Tale. (Chaucer had actually borrowed the name from the ancient
French tale, Renard the Fox; it is a combination of the French words chanter ("to sing") and clair ("clear").) Everyone approved this choice, and Chanticleer debuted on June 27, 1978 before a capacity audience at San Francisco's historic Old Mission Dolores. The program featured works by composers that would become staples of the ensemble's repertoire over the years: Byrd, Isaac, Ockeghem, Morales, Morley, Dufay, and Josquin. Buoyed by their success, they agreed to continue rehearsing with the goal of performing a new concert approximately every four months.
Louis was always concerned that there were not enough career positions available to choral singers and he decided early on that Chanticleer should provide full-time, salaried employment for its members. This was not an easily attainable goal and in fact was not realized until 1991. The group's early years were marked by long, arduous tours traveling by van, often for eight to ten weeks and dozens of concerts in a row in as many cities. The group earned little money in those days. Louis, a gourmet chef, often bragged that he could make dinner for all of the members of Chanticleer for less than $50, and he frequently did so, cooking in their tiny motel "kitchenettes." Conditions gradually improved, but those early days in the van are fondly remembered.
Chanticleer's first tours covered every state in the union. International recognition came in l984 when the ensemble performed a Mass at the International Josquin Symposium held in Belgium. Chanticleer was invited to replace a last minute cancellation by another group, which required the Mass to be rehearsed on the plane! Today, Chanticleer tours biannually to Europe's most prestigious concert halls, including the Musikverein in Vienna, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Prague's Rudolfinum, Budapest's Bela Bartok Hall, among others. Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have offered concerts regularly, and in 2009 Chanticleer made its debut in the People's Republic of China.
In those early years, Chanticleer was the beneficiary of good luck and good friends. It could not have succeeded in those early years through hard work alone. In 1980, the group participated in the Festival of Masses, a large choral festival held in San Francisco with the legendary Robert Shaw serving as Festival Conductor. Chanticleer performed a solo concert of three complete masses: one in plainchant and polyphonic settings by Dufay and Byrd. Mr. Shaw attended the performance and told the group "it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life." Louis, ever the entrepreneur, wrote down the Maestro's statement and asked him to sign it the next day. He did so, with one addition: stating that it was one of the most beautiful musical experiences of his life.
More than 100 men have sung in the ensemble each leaving an individual legacy. In what was to be a defining moment in l983, Joseph Jennings joined the group as a countertenor. His talents quickly led him to be named Music Director, a post he held until 2008. His legacy is far-reaching, and includes a wealth of gospel and jazz arrangements, as well as a long list of works commissioned by Chanticleer under his direction.
It was obvious that recording would increase the ensemble's exposure, but difficult to find a label willing to venture into the varied repertoire that the group performed. In 1987, with its tenth anniversary approaching, Chanticleer decided to create an independent label to release its first CD, and Chanticleer Records was born. The risk paid off: the ensemble released a total of ten discs over a period of only six years. These recordings were successful enough that in 1994, Teldec signed Chanticleer to an exclusive recording contract, which lasted until 2008. Teldec recognized the appeal of Chanticleer's diverse repertoire, making the CD's available in more than 60 countries, and vastly increasing Chanticleer's name recognition internationally. Colors of Love, Chanticleer's 1999 release devoted to contemporary choral works, won the GRAMMY Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance (With or Without a Conductor.) Lamentations and Praises won two GRAMMY awards in 2001.
From time to time Chanticleer collaborates with other artists. In close collaboration with musicologist Craig Russell, Chanticleer has performed and recorded three programs of unknown works by 18th-century Mexican composers Manuel de Zumaya and Ignacio de Jerusalem with a period-instrument orchestra (Mexican Baroque, Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Mission Road). Chanticleer presented a fully staged opera by Benjamin Britten, Curlew River, to critical acclaim, a musical play about Hildegard Von Bingen, and dramatic work by Sir John Tavener entitled Lamentations and Praises. Chanticleer has performed with Frederica Von Stade, Al Jarreau, Garrison Keilor, the Shanghai Quartet, as well as the New York, San Francisco, and St. Paul orchestras.
Chanticleer has commissioned over 70 composers who have written over 90 pieces premiered by the group.
Its education program was recognized in 2010 with the Chorus America Education and Outreach Award, and serves over 5000 students every year in a sequence of programs supervised by a full-time Education Director.
Chanticleer has had the opportunity to sing in some of the most beautiful concert halls and churches in the world. But the group has also sung in a barn in Canada, a roofless church in the former East Germany, a gymnasium in Sweden, and in Central Park with the New York Philharmonic. No matter where the group travels, Chanticleer has become a "polished performing machine that ... could fairly be called Botto's miracle" (The Wall Street Journal). Louis should be proud.
Displaying 1-40 of 40 items.
Ring of Fire
Review: Grammy-winning Chanticleer are one of the finest male a cappella ensembles performing today! This all studio release was recorded at the acclaimed Skywalker Sound at Lucasfilm and combines the great voices of Chanticleer with top notch mixing and mastering to create an album of sonic perfection. Songs by the likes of Peter Gabriel, Freddie Mercury, June Carter Cash and Dave Brubeck with arrangements by some of the best in the business such as Peter Eldridge, Michael McGlynn and Darmon Meader are given the Chanticleer treatment with stunning results. You will love this album!
Songlist: I Feel Better, Hamburg Song, Somebody to Love, Washing of the Water, Chega de Saudade (No More Blues), Strange Meadow Lark, Temptation, Ring of Fire, Mirrorball, Wait, Yesterdays, The Chicken/Gone at Last, Ease On Down the Road
Review: The seductive and irresistible songs of the sirens - sometimes fateful, sometimes fatal - fill Chanticleer's 35th anniversary opener. Renowned Chinese composer Chen Yi sounds the call in her own inimitable language, and celebrated Irish composer Michael McGlynn channels the undeniable connection of Ireland and the sea that surrounds it. Other works by Bates, Gabrieli, Palestrina, Gesualdo, and more. The recording features Vince Peterson's arrangement of Temptation, written by Tom Waits.
Songlist: Quand'havra fine amore, Ave maris stella, Luci serene e chiare, O dolorosa gioia, En douleur et tristesse, I laid me down to slumber, Yea, Cast Me from Heights of the Mountains, I Hear the Siren's Call, Die Lorelei, Canticum calamitatis maritimae, Amhran na Gaoithe, Hinbarra, Sohran Bushi, Temptation, Somebody To Love
Review: The story of love is inexhaustible. Let us into your heart to share the enchanting and disturbing emotion which has evoked more poetry and music than any other. Music by Whitacre, Paulus, Tavener, de Vivanco, Victoria, Ellington and more. This CD is a live concert recording of Chanticleer's 2011/12 Season opening concert, Love Story. It was recorded in front of a live audience on September 16 & 21 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Songlist: Veni dilecte mi, Sicut lilium inter spinas, Tant que vivray, Ubi caritas, Epithalame, Vor den Turen, Traumlicht, Frohlich im Maien, Village Wedding, A Rich Brocade, Late Spring, All Night, Illusions, Blues in the Night, Creole Love Call, Make Someone Happy, Somebody to Love, My Romance
Review: For many years the Chanticleer Christmas concerts were a San Francisco special treat and they performed sold out performances virtually every day from Thanksgiving to New Years. And then they started winning Grammys and the word soon spread. Now they perform year round and tour all over the world but Christmas has always been special to this very talented ensemble. Here is a release of their favorite Christmas carols with wonderful a cappella arrangements by some of the best including Joe Jennings, David Willcocks and Gene Puerling.
Songlist: A Babe is Born in Bethlehem, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Rejoice and Be Merry, I Saw Three Ships, This Have I Done for My True Love, I Wonder as I Wander, Star of Wonder/We Three Kings of Orient Are/No Small Wonder, The Town Lay Hushed, The Holy and the Ivy, A Virgin Unspotted, Gabriel's Message, Huron Carol, See, Amid the Winter's Snow, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, A Christmas Carol, Good King Wenceslas, In the Bleak Midwinter
Review: A collection of works showcasing modern American composers-many of whom are relative unknowns - "Poet's Eye" is refined, luxurious, even abstract, and, as the name implies, also serves to expose a variety of poets as well. Many of the compositions were commissioned specifically for Chanticleer, and they most definitely reflect a modern sensibility. "Dusk," by Allen Shearer, connotes the movement of the earth and sky, imbued with tranquility and friction in equal measure. "Mushrooms," is a tumble of mournful declarations. Hawley's "Seven Madrigals" (two of which are included here) are modern madrigals, weaving strands of the classical with contemporary inflections. Rorem, using the Whitman's Civil War diary "Specimen Days" as his source, offers a minimalist reduction, sometimes monophonic, consistently somber and disturbing. A CD of depth and power.
Songlist: The Uncertainty of the Poet, Rodin's Muse , The Badminton Game , Coming From Evening Church , The Merry-go-Round at Night, How Few of Life's Days and Hours, I Have Noticed Through Most of the Hospitals , Tonight as I Was Trying to Keep Cool , No Sooner Had Our Men Surrendered , Noon , Dusk , Mushrooms , Vita de la Mia Vita , Io Son la Primavera , Ave Maria , !Oh Llama de Amor Viva!,
En! Natus Est Emanuel - Psallite
Review: One of our all-time favorite groups since their founding in San Francisco in 1978, 12-man professional a cappella vocal ensemble Chanticleer has gained an international reputation, performing over 100 concerts a year around the world. But they have been most sought after at Christmas. In its extensive discography, which includes several Grammy winners, Chanticleer's Christmas recordings are best-sellers. To us, "A Chanticleer Christmas is a particular treat because it was recorded live at Stanford University's magnificent Memorial Church. The soaring, glorious harmonies (including some of the purest and cleanest male soprano leads we've heard) are simply stunning. The 15-tune songlist includes classical music like Handl's "O Admirabile Commercium," Giovanni Nanino's "Hodie Nobis Caelorum Rex" and Michael Praetorius' "En! Natus Est Emanuel/Psallite;" traditional carols such as "Caroling, Caroling/Bright, Bright the Holly Berries," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Un Flambeau, Jeannette Isabella," "Away in a Manger," "O Holy Night" and "The First Nowell;" and goodies such as Peter Warlock''s "Bethlehem Down" the Plainsong "Hodie Christus Natus Est" and Robert Young's "There is No Rose of Such Virtue." A powerful, joyous collection by Chanticleer, who are clearly in their element, and we, well, we are fortunate enough to be listening to them do their wondrous thing!
Songlist: Hodie Christus Natus Est, O Admirable Commercium, Hodie Nobis Caelorum Rex, En! Natus Est Emanuel - Psallite, Vom Himmel Hoch, Caroling, Caroling/ Bright, Bright the Holly Berries, Angels We Have Heard on High, Bethlehem Down, There Is No Rose of Such Virtue, Rocking Carol, Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella, Away in a Manger, O Holy Night, The First Nowell, Ave Maria
Review: The sun, the moon, the stars and the planets, the universe beyond them - composers have always been fascinated by their seductive power. Our newest explorations will be from Berkeley-based Composer-DJ Mason Bates in a world premiere about transmissions from outer space and "Cells Planets" by Erica Lloyd of Little Grey Girlfriend in a new arrangement especially for Chanticleer. Fantastic early works by Monteverdi, Marenzio and Palestrina and romantic works by Schumann ("An die Sterne") and Mahler ("Ich bin der welt") will join music of 20th century composers Britten, Mechem, Hopkins ("Past Life Melodies") Gershwin and others. Come with us - out of this world!
Songlist: Assumpta est Maria in caelum a 5, Ave regina caelorum, Sfogava con le stelle, Ecco mormorar l'onde, Hymn to St. Cecilia , Island in Space, Past Life Melodies, Out of This World, Change the World, Stelle, vostra merce l'eccelse sfere, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, Observer in the Magellanic Cloud, Cells Planets
Review: My Chanticleer is a collection of popular Chanticleer recordings sure to bring joy to children and adults alike.
Songlist: King Chanticleer, Shenendoah, O Waly Waly, Down By the Sally Gardens, Il est ne le divin enfant, E la don don, Riu, riu chiu, Straight Street, Rock a My Soul, Blue Skies
Review: It wouldn't be Christmas without Chanticleer, and this year you can enjoy it beside your own virtual fire. This is not your average Christmas Yule Log. This Yule Log showcases one of the world's leading ensembles performing the pure sounds of music from long ago. Chanticleer's hauntingly beautiful singing captures the true essence and spirit of Christmas past. So forget all that canned Log music, go for the real thing and feel the warmth of your virtual fire throughout the radiant sounds of Grammy award winning Chanticleer. Fireside with Chanticleer features hauntingly beautiful music from their best selling recording Our Heart's Joy.
Songlist: In dulci jubilo, Ave Maria... Virgo serena, Canite tuba in Sion, Quem vidistis pastores?, There is no rose, Nowell, Joseph, lieber Joseph mein, Psallite unigento, Serenissima una noche, El la don don, Riu, Riu chiu , Ave Maria, I wonder as I wander, A hymn to the Virgin, Il est ne le divin enfant, Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, O come, O come, Emmanuel, Silent Night
Review: This carefully assembled collection represents the vision, artistry, and remarkable scope of the Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer has demonstrated over the course of a history that began in 1978 and has encompassed some 30 recordings. In a collection that features three never before recored, but often requested Chanticleer interpretations of Mahler's Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, Gershwin's Summertime and Crouch's Lullaby, The Best of Chanticleer reveals one of the most distinctive, stirring, and indeed important voices in music today.
Songlist: Deusm Deus Meus, Respice in Me, Agnus Dei, Como Pod'a Groriosa, Past Life Melodies, The Garden of Paradise , Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, Loch Lomond, Summertime, Calling My Children Home, Willow Weep For Me, Sit Down Servant/ Plenty Good Room
O Que Suave!
Review: On "Mission Road", the GRAMMY award-winning male vocal group Chanticleer - renowned worldwide as "an orchestra of voices" - performs a selection of authentic, rich vocal repertory from the Mexican Baroque canon and other musical treasures of New Spain. The music explores what native Californians would have heard 200 years ago, both inside and outside the mission walls, and is from a series of acclaimed concerts celebrating Chanticleer's 30th anniversary that were performed at nine historic California missions in 2008. A fascinating contemporary realization of early music from "El Camino Real," the audio CD's highlights include: Friar Juan Bautista Sancho's Misa en sol (Mass in G); premieres of selected works by Mexican Baroque master Manuel de Sumaya - "America's Handel" - only recently discovered in the archives of the Mexico City Cathedral; and various vocal compositions (introit, processional, alleluia, and recessional) by anonymous Spanish/Mexican composers of the late 18th century, including pieces that were originally part of the pageantry for feast days. The DVD presents the 34-minute film Mission Road-Our Journey Back, a behind-the-scenes chronicling of Chanticleer's mission era-inspired journey with concert footage, one-on-one interviews and a stunning collection of mission landscapes. Sonically and visually, "Mission Road" is an extraordinary way to experience the music of the mission era, with its rich sense of discovery and faith, performed in the context for which it was composed centuries ago.
Songlist: O Que Suave!, Kyrie From The Misa En Sol, Gloria From The Misa En Sol, Alleluia & Veni Sancte Spiritus, Ya Se Heriza, Credo From The Misa En Sol, Para dar Luz Inmortal, Gozos Para SR. SN. Jose, Agnus Dei From The Misa En Sol, De Las Flores, Dulce Esposo De Maria
O Salutaris Hostia (Andrea Gabrieli)
Review: With its seamless blend of twelve male voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, the San Francisco-based ensemble Chanticleer, celebrates the life of their founder Louis I. Botto on the 10th anniversary of his death. Five composers create a mass that evolves organically, as if written by one hand and the ensemble brings it to life. Using Gregorian Chant as a foundation this Mass evolves organically, as if written by one hand. These composers bring international prestige to the project as well as vastly different life paths and points of view. Israeli-born composer Shulamit Ran wrote the Credo to the Hebrew text "Ani Ma'amin." Well-known television composer Douglas Cuomo contributed the Kyrie. Turkish-American Kamran Ince composed the Gloria section in to a sufi text, while Ivan Moody, drawing from the Greek Orthodox tradition, delivered the Sanctus. The Irish folk and medieval music-influenced composer Michael McGlynn (Anuna) composed the Agnus Dei. To seamlessly travel from one composer to the next, Chanticleer offers haunting and beautiful pieces by Gesualdo, Part, Binchois, and Gabrieli.
Songlist: Da Pacem Domine, Deus, Deus Meus, Respice In Me , Kyrie , (Gloria) Everywhere , O Vos Omnes, Aestimatus , Credo/Ani Ma'Amin , O Salutaris Hostia , Ravenna Sanctus, Peccantem Me Quotidie, Agnus Dei , Da Pacem, Domine
The Christmas Song
Review: Known for their moving interpretations, spiritual insight and outstanding musicianship, Chanticleer has released several top-selling Christmas recordings . . . but none like this! This spectacular Christmas record is packed with holiday favorites with the additional treat of a couple of commissioned Gene Puerling arrangements. Clare Fischer and Bill Finegan also deliver upbeat arrangements for this lively holiday CD that is sure to be a family favorite for years. Most songs are a cappella with just a couple of tracks having full orchestra and swing band selections. This is a wonderful Christmas recording and is highly recommended.
Songlist: Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!, The Christmas Song, Ding Dong! Merrily On High, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen / Feliz Navidad, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Ave Maria, Silent Night, Sweeter Still, O, Holy Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Holiday Cheer, a Suite of Seasonal Songs, Jingle Bells, Twelve Days of Christmas, Carol of the Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas
O Sacrum Convivium
Review: "Sound in Spirit" is a totally new direction for this Bay Area-based 12-man group, in that it is the first Chanticleer recording to be conceived as a total experience-there is no silence or space between tracks. Ideally it should be listened to without pause. It is the first to add outdoor ambient sounds and to incorporate "overtone singing." The music extends from ancient sacred chants to music composed at the recording sessions themselves; all as seen through the creative eyes of composer/arranger Joseph Jennings and Chanticleer, his "Orchestra of Voices." There are 14 "cuts," beginning with Jan Gilbert's "Incantation" (from NightChants), and ending with Gilbert's "Grace to You" (from NightChants). In between are Nectarie Viahul's "Axion Estin," Jennings' title tune and "Night Spirit Song," Carlos Rivera's "Motet for 12 Singers," the Jennings-arranged "Beata" plainsong, de Victoria's "O Sacrum Convivium," Gilbert's "NightChant," Jackson Hill's "In Winter's Keeping," Giacinto Scelsi's "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," Sarah Hopkins' "Past Life Memories," Patricia Van Ness' "Cor Meum Est Templum Sacrum" and others. "Sound" is a surprising, moving, eclectic piece that takes us to places of meditation, wonder and mystery. A beautiful, very special CD from Chanticleer that needs to be listened to again and again to be fully appreciated.
Songlist: Incantation , Axion Estin , Sound in Spirit, Motet for 12 singers, Beata , O Sacrum Convivium, Como Pod' A Groriosa , Night Spirit Song -, NightChants , In Winter's Keeping , Gloria in Excelsis , Past Life Melodies, Cor meum est Templum Sacrum, Grace To You
Keep Your Hand on the Plow
Review: A departure from their usual style, How Sweet the Sound is a rare treat from Chanticleer. Featuring all new arrangements by Joseph Jennings, the group gives a deeply heartfelt performance. The opening song "Jesus Hits Like An Atom Bomb," with soloist Kevin Baum, is an explosive beginning to this recording of spirituals and traditional gospel music. Guest artist Bishop Yvette A. Flunder sings with amazing power and soul and greatly enhances this album. In addition to his leadership, Jennings also lends his voice and piano skills to several tunes. These songs are some of America's greatest music
Songlist: Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb , Surely God is Able , Amazing Grace, Medley: Soon One Mornin'/What You Gon' Do When the World's on Fire/You Can't Hide / Run on for a Long Time, , Didn't It Rain , Sit Down Servant/Plenty Good Room, Keep Your Hand on the Plow (HOLD ON) , My Soul is a Witness , There is a Balm in Gilead , Medley: Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child/Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow/Walk in Jerusalem, Be Still and Know That I'm God
Review: In celebration of its 25th anniversary as "an orchestra of voices," the 12 talented men who are San Francisco-based Chanticleer bring us this marvelous retrospective sampling from its rich discography of recordings. In 1978, Louis Botto, a graduate student in medieval and Renaissance music, wanted to hear the music he was studying performed live (a rarity at the time), and gathered a group of singers from the SF Symphony Chorus and Grace Cathedral Choir. They chose the name "Chanticleer" from the clear-singing rooster from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." The early years were difficult, but the group's reputation grew enough by 1991 to make all 12 members full-time employees. There are 19 gems from some of the many Chanticleer CDs that grace our catalog, and it's hard to pick favorites. Those who favor their flawless singing accompanied, we would recommend Ignacio de Jerusalem's "Hymn: Quem Terra Pontus Sidera," "Recessional: Angelicas Milicias" by Manuel de Sumaya, and Mercer & Arlen's "Blues in the Night." For a cappella, we like the Gregorian chant "Ave Maria," Tomas Luis de Victoria's "Alma Redemptoris Mater," Bernard Rands' "This Heart That Flutters Near My Heart," Chen Yi's "Wild Grass," Stephen Foster's "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" (arr. by Gene Puerling), Michael McGlynn's "Dulaman," "Spanish Carol," "Wade in the Water"--frankly, we could list them all! A well-chosen "best of" of one of our favorite choral groups. Highly recommended!
Songlist: Hymn: Quem Tera Pontus Sidera, Ave Maria, Alma Redemptoris Mater, The Angel Cried Out, Recessional: Angelicas Milicias, Wherewithal Shall A Young Man, Love Is A Beautiful Dream, This Heart That Flutters Near My Heart, Wild Grass, Labbra Vermiglie E Belle, Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair, Dulaman, Shenandoah, Spanish Carol, Love Is Letting Go, Blues In the Night, Wade in the Water, We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace, Christmas Time Is Here
Review: The Bay Area's acclaimed 12-man vocal ensemble celebrates the release of their 27th recording, collaborating with the dynamic instrument ensemble Capriccio Stravagante, directed by Skip Sempe. Henry Purcell (1659-95), son of a Royal musician, wrote beautiful, expressive church music, from the ecstatic to the sublime. Eight songs, from a lovely 8-minute opening cut, "Rejoice in the Lord alway" and the jubilant "I was glad," written for James II's coronation, to the short, deeply moving "Hear My Prayer, O Lord" and the 16-minute final cut, "My heart is inditing," Purcell's grandest composition for the church. The perfect accompaniment of Capriccio fits perfectly with Chanticleer's flawless singing. "Evening" is inspirational and pleasing on many levels. Beautiful, extensive liner notes.
Songlist: Rejoice in the Lord alway ('The Bell Anthem') , Remember not, Lord, our offences, I was glad, O Lord, rebuke me not, Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, Now that the sun hath veiled his light ('An Evening Hymn')-, Hear my prayer, O Lord, My heart is inditing
Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair
Review: "Our American Journey" is, incredibly, legendary group Chanticleer's 25th CD, and it celebrates the music of America, from sacred motets by 17th century Mexican composers to shape-note hymns to newly-commissioned works on American themes. It is a showcase of the rich traditions and also of the creative tension between unity and diversity that are inherent in American music and in American life. Chanticleer's Music Director Joseph Jennings, who adapted and arranged a number of the works, said, "(The CD) captures the essence of what we do when we're on the road, and how we want to present ourselves." Some favorites: "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah," "Wayfarin' Stranger," Stephen Foster's "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" and "Camptown Races," "Jefferson," "David's Lamentation," "Willow Weep for Me," and the commissioned works "Whispers" and "The Un-covered Wagon." Excellent!
Songlist: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah, Credidi , Versa est in Luctum , Jefferson , David's Lamentation , Soar Away , Whispers, Voices of Autumn, The Un-Covered Wagon , Fuggi, fuggi, dolor , Labbra vermiglie e belle , Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair , Love Walked In , Camptown Races , Willow Weep For Me, Calling My Children Home , Wayfarin' Stranger, I'm a Pilgrim
Review: John Tavener's 2000 composition, "Lamentations and Praises," a liturgical drama scored for male voices "singing in the Orthodox Byzantine style," flute, bass trombone, string quartet and a number of eclectic percussion instruments such as tubular bells, a Byzantine monastery bell, and very large Tibetan temple bowl. This is a profoundly religious work on the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ, written for the 12 voices of acclaimed Chanticleer, the only full-time classical vocal ensemble in the US. The beautiful and extensive liner notes take us through the 13 sections, or ikons, and explain in English what the singers are saying and what it means. Deeply meditative and beautiful!
Songlist: Golgotha: The Descent Of The Cross, Stasis 1 , Wherewithal Shall A Young Man, Thrinos , Epitaphios~Procession 1: From Golgotha To The Annointing Stone, The Descent From The Cross II, Stasis II , Let Now Your Mercy..., Your Hands Have Made Me..., Thrinos, Epitaphios~Procession II: To The Tomb Entrance , The Descent From The Cross III , Stasis III , Princes Have Persecuted Me..., I Awaited Lord Your Salvation..., Look Upon Me And Have Mercy..., Thrinos , Procession Into Hades (Into The Tomb), Resurrection In Hades
Review: "Christmas with Chanticleer featuring Special Guest Dawn Upshaw," is the first holiday album from the celebrated 12-man a cappella vocal ensemble since "Sing We Christmas," which has been a bestseller since its release in 1995. The CD Includes songs and carols drawn from many lands and traditions - from the traditional English "Coventry Carol" to a modern work by Sir John Tavener, from a Spanish carol to an American spiritual - "Christmas with" showcases Chanticleer's musical diversity. Several works feature arrangements by the group's music director, Joseph Jennings. Philip Wilder, one of the group's countertenors, said of Upshaw: "She blended so perfectly, it felt as if we'd been singing together for 20 years...suddenly she would soar above us and the sound was just magical!"
Songlist: This Is The Truth Sent From Above, A Christmas Round, Today The Virgin, Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen, Noel Nouvelet, A Lullaby/Away In A Manger, The First Nowell, The Three Kings, Die Stimme Des Kindes, Suo Gan (Lullaby Song), Spanish Carol, Coventry Carol, Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem, Huron Carol, Mary And The Baby Medley,
Review: The now Grammy-winning, San Francisco-based Chanticleer was originally devoted to the Renaissance vocal repertory; their focus has broadened since to include other genres as well as commissioned works. "Magnificat," however, featuring settings by de Victoria, Palestrina, Monteverdi and Taverner (as well as the less ubiquitous Russian Orthodox Vasily Titov), returns to liturgical chant. These twelve male voices, under the musical direction of Joseph Jennings and performing arrangements encompassing the full vocal range, bring a seemingly effortless grandeur to these homages to the Blessed Virgin. This tapestry of sound is a gentle whisper of comfort and reprieve.
Songlist: Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Mater Dei , Magnificat , Stabat Virgo Maria , Maria, Quid Ploras , The Angel Cried Out , Regina Caeli Laetare , Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Maria Stella, O Thou Joy Of All The Sorrowful , Ave Regina Caelorium , Ave Maria , Salve Regina
Review: Chanticleer, a twelve voice male ensemble based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has through its own success, furthered the modern classical repetoire by comissioning new compositions from a variety of highly respected sources. Chen Yi, Bernard Rands and Steven Stucky are just a few of the distinguished composers whose eminently scholarly credentials grace this collection, loosely conceptualized around the theme of love. As may be construed by the twentieth century time frame from which these pieces emerged, some of them, while not thoroughly dissonant, are atonal. Others, such as Taverner's "Village Wedding," are somber mood sketches.
Songlist: Rouxinol do Pico Preto , Lulajze, Jezuniu , Buy Baby Ribbon , Village Wedding , Winds of May, That Dance on the Sea, O Cool is the Valley - Rands, This Heart that Flutters Near my Heart - Rands, Silently She's Combing her Long HairRands, Gentle Lady, Do not Sing Sad Songs , Sleep now, O You Unquiet Heart! , All Day I Hear the Noise of Waters , Words of the Sun , Written of a Rainy Night , Wild Grass, The Rub of Love, In Time Of - Steven Sametz, Look out Upon the Stars, my Love , Live is a Beautiful Dream , Alas, the Love of Women! , Tor Stony Limits Cannot Hold Love Out , All Mankind Loves a Lover
Review: The sequel to Chanticleer's best-selling and critically acclaimed Mexican Baroque recording, with more recently discovered choral masterpieces by Mexico City Cathedral's chapel master, Ignacio de Jerusalem. This recording brings to life one of the most monumental and elaborate choral works of the New World. Chanticleer is joined by Chanticleer Sinfonia, conducted by Joseph Jennings.
Songlist: Matins para Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe - Ignacio De Jerusalem
Review: Whatever the thematic material, Chanticleer's approach is the most erudite; indeed, their analysis of each song's history and composition meets the highest critical standard. It is this absolute musical integrity that then informs the quality of the performance. On "Wondrous Love," a cache of international folk songs, sung a cappella, is the basis for this meticulous study. Folk songs, by definition, are "for the people"; Chanticleer maintains this focus while also seizing the opportunity to enrich the original arrangements with new complexity and depth, as heard on "Arirang," a Korean song utilizing the pentatonic scale with elements of western harmony, or "La Petenera," which begins with a soloist and then gradually incorporates twelve voices into an ever-expanding confluence of countermelody. A Robert Shaw/Alice Parker arrangement graces the fifteenth-century French tune, "L'Amour De Moy."
Songlist: Dulaman - Ireland, Fengyang Ge - China, Nelly Bly - United States, Oy, Polna, Polna Korobushka - Russia, Brigg Fair - England, El Manisero - Cuba, Molihua - China, Die Vogelhochzeit - Germany, Wondrous Love - United States, Na Bahia Tem - Brazil, La Villanella - Italy, Loch Lomond - Scotland, Domaredansen - Sweden, Arirang - Korea, La Vasija De Barro - Ecuador, South Australia - Australia, La Petenera - Mexico, Sakura, Sakura - Japan, Or'Cha Bamidbar - Israel, Diu Diu Deng - Taiwan, L'Amour De Moy - France, Sohran Bushi - Japan, An American Folk Medley - United States
Review: For their first crossover album, Music Director Joseph Jennings collaborated with internationally renown conductor Ettore Stratta. Working together they chose arrangers who still knew how to arrange the lush sound of a large choral group with orchestra. It was the sort of thing that Nelson Riddle and Johnny Mercer would do for Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, which today has all but disappeared. First they chose arrangers Gene Puerling, Clare Fisher, Steve Barnett, Jorge Calandrelli, Johnny Dankworth and Robert Freedman. Next they recorded the vocals with the Don Haas Trio (except for the three a cappella tracks, of course). Those tapes were taken to London where Ettore Stratta assembled a studio orchestra. The whole was then mixed into a full, rich sound. Songs by Cole Porter, Sammy Fain / Irving Kahal, Johnny Mercer / Hoagy Charmichael and others are the musical material so beautifully rendered. Our personal favorites are the three a cappella tracks, "I Can Dream, Can't I" and the two arranged by gene Puerling, "In The Cool Cool Cool Of The Evening" and the fabulous, "Lost In The Stars."
Songlist: It's de-lovely / All through the night, Night and Day , I Can Dream, Can't I? , You and the Night , Afterglow , So Many Stars , Lost in the Stars , In the Still of the Night , In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening, Round Midnight, In the Wee, Small Hours , Dream Dancing , Blues in the Night
Review: Recorded at the Paterskirche in Kempen, Germany, in 1994, the all-male Chanticleer ensemble (featuring five countertenors), brings the consummate musicality and professionalism to this recording that we associate with any Chanticleer production. "Sing We Christmas" emphasizes classical pieces, not the typical holiday carols; rather, Charles Ives, Gustav Holst and Herbert Howells represent the twentieth century, while Handl, Victoria, Praetorius and Bach offer "Hodie Christus Natus Est," "O Magnum Mysterium" and "In Dulci Iubilo," the latter a German dance song with four separate settings (it was common practice for composers to adapt a popular song, rather than write their own) from the Renaissance and early Baroque periods.
Songlist: Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen, O Magnum Mysterium, In Dulci Iubilo, O Virgo Virginum, O Jesulein SuB, O Jesulein Mild, Hodie Christus Natus Est, Mirabile Mysterium, Verbum Caro Factum Est: Y La Virgen Le Dezia, A Un Nino Llorando, Here Is The Little Door, Noel Canon, Quelle Est Cette Odeur Agreable, El Noi de la Mare, A Christmas Carol, A Virgin Unspotted, In the Bleak Mid Winter, Glory to the Newborn King, Stille Nacht/Douce Nuit/Silent Night
Review: In the Baroque era (about 1700-1750) Mexico City was unrivaled in splendor and sophistication, where chapel masters in Mexican cathedrals were composing concerted vocal music of extraordinary beauty and elegance. Two names stand out: Manuel de Zumaya and Ignacio de Jerusalem. Chanticleer selected two of the most significant Mexican composers active in the first half of the eighteenth century and, in performances of outstanding quality, show that they are not merely pale imitations of their European counterparts, but have something original to say and the craftsmanship with which to say it. Both composers are very well served indeed by this fine recording, which we unreservedly recommend as a breath of fresh air to anyone with the slightest interest in the baroque and just as much to those who consider the baroque of little interest.
Songlist: (Ignacio de Jerusalem c. 1710-1769), Responsorio Segundo de S.S. Jose, Dixit Dominus:, -Dixit Dominus Domino meo, -Virgam virtutis tuae, -Judicabit in nationibus, -De torrente in via bibet, -Gloria Patri, et Filio, -Amen, (Manuel de Zumaya c. 1678-1755), Sol-fa de Pedro, (Ignacio de Jerusalem), Polychoral Mass in D Major:, -Kyrie, -Gloria, Credo, -Sanctus, (Manuel de Zumaya), Hieremiae Prophetae Lamentationes, Celebren, publiquen
Review: Comprising a mix of old and new, ecclesiastic and pastoral, familiar and undiscovered, this CD is a rich array. Biebl's "Ave Maria" is a contemporary setting, the final "Amen" resolved in a series of step-wise imitative phrases. Britten's "A Hymn To The Virgin" is a simple and consonant arrangement with a stark and melancholy beauty. The merry and lively ""Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant" is arranged by Rutter, while a medley of Christmas spirituals is a satisfying blend of Chanticleer's trained vocal style, with the non-diatonic contradiction of the blues. The final track: "Silent Night," capturing all the magic of the season, as simple and unique as a perfect snowflake. Newly remastered in 2004.
Songlist: Ave Maria...Virgo serena , Quem vidistis pastores?, In dulci jubilio, Virgen sancta, E la don don , Riu, riu, chiu , Ave Maria , There Is No Rose , A Hymn to the Virgin, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day -, Il est ne le divin enfant , O Come, o Come, Emmanuel , I Wonder as I Wander , Medley of Christmas Spirituals, Rise Up Shepherd and Follow, Behold That Star, Sweet Little Jesus Boy, Poor Little Jesus, What Month Was Jesus Born in?, Children, Go Where I Send Thee, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Silent Night
Review: A self-described "Chanticleer portrait," containing a variety of different styles (a cappella), all performed with the flawless technique for which the group is admired. "O Clap Your Hands" employs eight parts in a broad polyphonic convergence. Gabrieli's "Magnificat," from the sixteenth century, divides twelve voices into three four-part choirs. "Charm Me Asleep" is a recent work, written for the group; despite it's title, it is as disquieting as soothing. Three "tone poems" (an example of program music, where the music seeks to represent a specific text) by Richard Strauss follow, then Berlin's "Blue Skies"; the latter a swinging version adapted from the Dorsey arrangement that demands attention with dramatic fortissimo ending, and a middle break that detours into a brief classical medley, very reminiscent of the Swingle Singers! Chanticleer also gets down on "Straight Street" with an authentic gospel testimonial.
Songlist: I Have Had Singing, O Clap Your Hands, If Ye Love Me, Magnificat a 12, Charm Me Asleep, Vor den Turen, Traumlicht, Frolich in Maien, Nude Descending a Staircase, Blue Skies, Shenandoah, Straight Street, Out of This World, O Waly, Waly, Journey to Recife, Jesus Met the Woman at the Well
Jesus Come By Here
Review: Director Joseph Jennings arranged most of the songs on this recording. Chanticleer apply their magnificent voices to the African-American sacred music tradition of spirituals, jubilees, hymns and chants. The idea of a concert style performance of these songs was pioneered at the end of the Civil War by the Fisk Jubilee Singers.Because of the exacting concert standard which Chanticleer applies the music, their performance is very much in that tradition. Under Mr. Jennings direction the group sings very familiar tunes, "Old Time Religion," "Deep River," "All Night, All Day" (you have to hear the soaring soprano on this one!), "Good News" and "Steal Away" to name just a smattering. We also like the voluminous notes which Mr. Jennings writes to accompany the music, for his point of view and information are illuminating.
Songlist: Old Time Religion, Deep River, Jesus Come By Here, All Night, All Day, We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace, Where the Sun Will Never Go Down, Ain't That Good News, Good News, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Over Yonder, I Got Shoes, Steal Away, I've Been 'Buked, Lord I Want to be a Christian, Am I a Soldier of the Cross, Twelve Gates to the City
Review: Cristobal de Morales is usually mentioned along with Francisco Guerrero and Tomas Luis de Victoria as the trio of Spanish composers who typified 16th-century Spanish church polyphony. The Missa Mille regretz is based on the famous chanson of the same name by Josquin des Prez, and proved to be a favorite work of Charles V. This recording conveys the deep spiritual feeling behind these liturgical settings - another bull's-eye for this splendid ensemble.
Songlist: Vidi aquam, Mille regretz, Mille regretz: Kyrie, Mille regretz: Gloria, O Sacrum Convivium, Mille regretz: Credo, Emendemus in melius, Mille regretz: Sanctus, Mille regretz: Agnus Dei, Lamentabatur Jacob
Review: Gregorian chant is the archetypical song for the Roman Catholic Church. There are three separate distinct periods, all of which are represented on this recording. The first era, called Gregorian, was roughly 700-850 AD. This is the time of Pope Gregory's school which rigidly codified the music allowed to be sung in churches, and the beginning of the written score for transmission to posterity rather than relying on strictly oral traditions. The Carolingian period is considered from 850-1,000 AD and began to add new styles to the more rigid structure. The medieval period was from 1,000-1,300 AD the styles proliferated immensely. That led the way to modification into secular song. In understanding Gregorian chant, the meaning of one word is particularly important. Melisma means that a number of notes are sung over the duration of a single syllable. The most joyous of the music which Chanticleer performs on this disc is very melismatic. Enjoy!
Songlist: Immutemur, Kyrie XVII, Laetatus Sum, Dominus Iesus, Tenebrae Factae Sunt, Pange Lingua, Crux Fidelis, Reproaches and Trisagion, Christus Factus Est, Vexilla Regis, Gloria in Excelsis II, Alleluis V. Pascha Nostrum, Victimae Pacshali Laudes, Iubilate Deo, Angus Dei XVII, Alma Redemptoris, Ave Regina Caelorum, Regina Caeli, Salve Regina
Review: Who better than Chanticleer to interpret the chants of Josquin De Prez and Alexander Agricola, two High Rennaissance composers who, though not Italian born, came to prominence while in service of the Italian nobility and papacy. De Prez, the more famous of the two, served to advance the development of both homophonic and polyphonic textures and was prescient in his use of both. Agricola also utilized the motet and various liturgical forms as was standard at the time. The exhaustive liner notes that complement this recording provide formal analysis and historical background. The sound? While the nuances of each composition may be appreciated fully by those with a dedicated propensity, anyone can be calmed by the ethereal voices and elegant organum of these simple settings.
Songlist: Mater Patris et Filia , Missa Mater Patris: Kyrie , Missa Mater Patris: Gloria , Nobis Sancti Spititus, Missa Mater Patris: Credo , Regina Coeli , Missa Mater Patris: Sanctus, O Crux Ave, Missa Mater Patris: Angus Dei , Domine, Non Secundum Peccata Nostra , Magnificat
Review: William Byrd and his teacher, Thomas Tallis, were inarguably the greatest composers of Elizabethan England. The primary vehicle for royally-sanctioned musicians of the court was liturgical, and in the court of Elizabeth that would mean settings for Anglican services. However, Byrd was a committed Catholic who nonetheless wrote these masses, motets and antiphons for published volumes titled "Gradualia," volumes I and II. This insurgent act apparently went uncensured, and it is these a cappella works that Chanticleer has recorded here. Given that they would not be performed publicly in a church setting by a large choir, the arrangements are intimate. They are each in the same mode and clef, which therefore creates a mood unbroken, a continuity of feeling that is quietly moving.
Songlist: In tempore Paschali, Regina Caeli, In Assumptione Beatae Mariae, Ave Regina Caelorum, Salve Regina
Review: Chanticleer's beloved Christmas tradition is now available in this collection of printed music, featuring a foreword by Tom Brokaw. Edited by Chanticleer Music Director Joseph Jennings and Chanticleer tenor Matthew Oltman. Includes extensive notes and pronunciation guide.
Songlist: Nesciens Mater , Quem Vidistis Pastores , Serenissma Una Noche , Sa Qui Turo Zente Pleta , Noel Nouvelet , Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle, Kristallen Den Fina , Lulajze Jezuniu , O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Star Of Wonder/We Three Kings , A Lullaby/Away In A Manger , In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Glory To The Newborn , Silent Night
Review: To commemorate their twenty-fifth anniversary, Chanticleer has put together an anthology of some of their favorite songs. Edited by Matthew Oltman and conductor Joseph Jennings, this book is comprised of pieces from the Renaissance through the twentieth century. Selections include "Vox in rama" by Palestrina, "Fuggi, fuggi, dolor" by William Hawley and "There is a Balm in Gilead" arranged by Joseph Jennings. The book includes notes and translations for the pieces as well as performance suggestions. Also featured is a section of pictures of the group from the past twenty-five years.
Songlist: Vox in Rama , Hear My Prayer, O Lord , Credidi , So ben mi ch'a bon tempo, Voices of Autumn, Fuggi, fuggi, dolor, from Tre Rime di Tasso , Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind , Coventry Carol, Two Medieval Lyrics , Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair , Nelly Bly, All The Pretty Little Horses, Dulaman , An Oiche , Lost In The Stars , There Is A Balm In Gilead , Keep Your Hand On the Plow , There is no rose of such virtue
Review: Known especially for their dazzling and evocative Christmas programs, Chanticleer's acclaimed 2002 PBS special CHRISTMAS WITH CHANTICLEER: AN ORCHESTRA OF VOICES features bonus material not heard on the original broadcast. The songs are all Chanticleer audience favorites, from early English hymns to Franz Biebl's enchanting "Ave Maria", John Tavener's "A Christmas Round" holiday standards such as "The First Nowell", and Vince Guaraldi's timeless, "Christmas Time Is Here." Filmed at the Metropolitan Museum's famed Medieval Sculpture Hall.
Songlist: Of The Father's Love Begotten, In Dolci Jubilo, O Magnum Mysterium, Sa Qui Turo Zente Pleta, Rosa Das Rosas, Riu, Riu chiu, A Christmas Round: Today The Virgin, Village Wedding, The Holly And The Ivy, A Virgin Unspotted, Ave Maria, Star Of Wonder, We Three Kings, The First Nowell, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, A Medley Of Christmas Spirituals, Rise Up Shepard And Follow, Behold That Star, Oh, What A Pretty Little Baby, Oh Jerusalem In the Morning, Christmas Time Is Here
Review: Joseph Jennings' rich a cappella arrangement of the traditional spiritual, 'Steal Away,' is an enjoyable treat for both the singers and the audience. Winner of the 2003 Chanticleer Student Choral Compositition Competition, 'She Walks in Beauty,' for advanced choirs, sets the Lord Byron text in a lush harmonic style. Composer Joseph Twish sets a deeply moving homophonic work with 'Wandering,' exploring the text "God has mercy on me. Wand'ring, wand'ring.' That piece was also a previous winner of the composition competition. 'Galbally Farmer' works well with advanced Jr High, High School or moderate adult choirs, another audience favorite! Set to a 9th Century Japanese poem, in 'Voices of Autumn, composer Jackson Hill uses traditional musical stylistic devices from the same culture to create a seamless, tranquil unaccompanied choral work.
Songlist: Steal Away, She Walks in Beauty, Wandering, Galbally Farmer, Voices of Autumn
Review: Probably Chanticleer's most popular arrangement, Franz Biebl's 'Ave Maria' is challenging but is sure to become a favorite among your singers. We have included all three available voicings for you to chose from. Also included in this package is Joseph Jenning's 'Christmas Spiritual Medley.' This fun piece is rich with tight harmony and a few solos, guaranteed to please your audience.
Songlist: Ave Maria , Ave Maria , Ave Maria , Christmas Spiritual Medley
Review: American composer William Hawley's music has been heard in London, Tokyo, Paris, the Netherlands, Berlin, Darmstadt, Munich, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and other cities in the United States, Europe, and Asia, as well as in the concert halls of New York City. Here is your opportunity to make his Chanticleer-performed compositions part of your repertoire. The ten part voicing in 'Io Son La Primavera' gives this piece an amazing depth and flair. Hawley's arrangement of Torquato Tasso's text, 'Dolcissimi Colori' is sweet and beautiful, perfect for a moderately advanced choir. Both 'Io V'amo Sol Perche Voi Siete Bella' and 'Ore, Fermate Volo' is fairly challenging yet beautiful, great examples of the Chanticleer charm! Two other composition based on text by Tasso, 'Vita De La Mia Vita' is sure to be a crowd pleaser, the setting of 'Siepe, Chegli Orti Vaghi' is beautiful and romantic - another fine example of Hawley's great style.
Songlist: Io Son la Primavera, Vita De La Mia Vita, Ore, Fermate Il Volo, Io V'Amo Sol Perche Voi Siete Bella, Dolcissimi Colori, Sipe, Che Gli Orti