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Conspirare

Director: Craig Hella Johnson

Conspirare

Mixed Choral Chorus from TX, United States.

Conspirare was founded in 1991 as the New Texas Festival to present a summer classical music festival in Austin, Texas. Since then, the organization has grown rapidly to become an internationally recognized, professional choral organization that combines outstanding vocal artistry with innovative programming. Led by founder and artistic director Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare is comprised of two performing ensembles and an educational program.

A chamber choir ("Conspirare") of extraordinarily talented singers from around the country is presented in an annual concert series in Austin, other Texas communities, and locations in the U.S. and abroad. The Conspirare Symphonic Choir of both professional and volunteer singers performs at least one large choral/orchestral work annually. The Conspirare Youth Choirs is an education and performance program for singers ages 8-16, who learn and perform in two separate ensembles, Kantorei and the Conspirare Children's Choir.

Conspirare produced its first commercial recording, through the green fuse, in 2004 on the Clarion Records label. A second CD, Requiem, also on Clarion and since reissued by Harmonia Mundi, was released in 2006 and received two Grammy nominations (Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album, Classical). Harmonia Mundi also released Requiem in Europe in 2009, and it has just received the prestigious 2010 Edison Award in the Choral Music category. The Edison Award is the Dutch equivalent of the U.S. Grammy.

A third recording, Threshold of Night, was released worldwide in September 2008 on Harmonia Mundi. Threshold of Night received two Grammy nominations, Best Choral Performance and Best Classical Album. In October 2008, in cooperation with Austin's public television station KLRU, Conspirare filmed a PBS television special, "A Company of Voices: Conspirare in Concert," that was broadcast nationally in March 2009 and is available on both CD and DVD. "A Company of Voices" received a Grammy nomination as Best Classical Crossover Album.

Conspirare has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In 2005 the organization received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, presented by national service organization Chorus America. In 2007, as one of the select choruses in the country to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts under its American Masterpieces initiative, Conspirare presented a choral festival entitled "Crossing the Divide: Exploring Influence and Finding Our Voice." The four-day festival featured a distinguished gathering of composers and conductors, performances of three world premieres, and a gala closing concert with a choir of 600 singers. In July 2008 Conspirare represented the United States at the Eighth World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen, joining invited choirs from nearly forty countries. Most recently, Conspirare received the 2010 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America to support the commission of a new work by Seattle composer Eric Banks.

The Conspirare ensembles' 2009-2010 season consisted of 25 performances of eight different programs, in Austin, Wimberley, Fredericksburg, San Antonio and Victoria. In February 2010 Conspirare was an invited, featured choir at the annual convention of the American Choral Directors Association/Eastern Division in Philadelphia.

Discography

Displaying 1-7 of 7 items.


Conspirare : An American Romantic : 00 SACD :  : 093046752262 : HMF807522SACD

Conspirare : An American Romantic

Review: On their new recording Samuel Barber - An American Romantic, Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare honor the great composer with a selection of some of his finest choral works. Barber's lyrical melodies and unabashed romanticism have earned him a cherished place in the pantheon of 20th-century composers. Featured here are the beloved Agnus Dei (choral version of the famous Adagio for Strings) and other favorites such as Reincarnations and Sure on this Shining Night. The recording also presents two world premieres. Barber's Easter Chorale and the sensual, passionate the Lovers on poetry by Pablo Neruda are heard here in new versions for chamber ensemble and choir prepared especially for Conspirare by composer Robert Kyr.

Songlist: Twelfth Night, To Be Sung on the Water, The Virgin Martyrs, Let Down the Bars, O Death, The Coolin, A Stopwatch and An Ordnance Map, Sure on This Shining Night, Agnus Dei, Prelude, Body of a Woman, Little Girl, Brown Girl, In the Hot Depth of This Summer, Close Your Eyes, The Fortunate Isles, Sometimes, We Have Lost Even This Twilight, Tonight I Can Write, Cemetery of Kisses, Easter Chorale

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43135 | 00 SACD | $17.95


Conspirare : Sacred Spirit of Russia : 00 SACD :  : 093046752668 : HMF807526SACD

Conspirare : Sacred Spirit of Russia

Review: To understand and partake of the "Sacred Spirit of Russia" requires one, first and foremost, to experience the beauty and splendor of the Russian Orthodox liturgy, which has been an integral part of the Eastern Slav identity for over a thousand years. The sacred music of the "New Russian Choral School" features sublime settings of the liturgy that draw on a rich history of Orthodox chants and native traditions, creating music of unprecedented color and textural richness. Following the lead of Tchaikovsky, composers such as Kastalsky, Gretchaninov, Tchesnokov, Rachmaninov and a host of others have left US a treasure-trove of musical delights. Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare (featuring the astounding basso profundo Glenn Miller) present a glorious sampling of some of their finest works in this genre.

Songlist: The Great Doxology, Bless the Lord, O My Soul, Glory - Only Begotten Son, The Beatitudes , Come, Let Us Worship, Christmas Troparion, Today the Virgin, As Many Have Been Baptized, Cherubic Hymn , The Creed, A Mercy of Peace , Hymn to the Mother of God, Our Father, Praise the Lord from the Heavens, A Wondrous Birth, We Should Choose to Love Silence, Now the Powers of Heaven, Do Not Cast Me Off in My Old Age, Let Our Mouths Be Filled, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord, Preserve, O Lord, for Many Year, Our Father

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43136 | 00 SACD | $17.95


Conspirare : Sing Freedom!

Review: One of the seminal American musical traditions, the spiritual is dramatic, powerful, and profoundly beautiful - the bedrock for much of American music that was to follow. Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare explore here the genre's wide range of expression and its eloquence in speaking to universal aspects of the human condition.

Songlist: Motherless Child, A City Called Heaven, Soon Ah Will Be Done / I Wanna Die Easy, Soon Ah Will Be Done, Hard Trials, Hold On, Been In De Storm / Wayfaring Stranger, Oh Graveyard, Ain'-a That Good News!, Steal Away, Walk Together, Children, I Got A Home In-a Dat Rock, Lily Of The Valley, Plenty Good Room, My God Is A Rock, Freedom Song, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

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5983c | 00 SACD | $17.95 Spirituals CDs


Conspirare : A Company of Voices : 00  1 CD : Craig Hella Johnson :  : HMU 907534

Conspirare : A Company of Voices

Review: This CD captures the exquisite sound of the choral ensemble Conspirare, as heard on a live national television broadcast. In this one-hour concert, contemporary music blends seamlessly with classical favorites, taking the listener and viewer on a journey of innovative sound, vibrant images and thought-provoking ideas.

Songlist: Sure on This Shining Night, Let the River Run, The Water is Wide, Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?, Will There Really Be a "Morning"?, Light of a Clear Blue Morning, Collage, Agnus Dei, Deep River , Gabriel's Oboe, Soneto de la Noche, When I Fall in Love, What If , Requiem , 1000 Beautiful Things, Triptych, I Love You , The First of My Lovers

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9125c | 00 1 CD | $18.95 | Primarily a cappella


Conspirare : A Company of Voices : DVD : Craig Hella Johnson :  : 9907535

Conspirare : A Company of Voices

Review: This DVD capture the exquisite sound of the American choral group Conspirare, as heard and seen on a nationally televised, one-hour concert airing nationally on PBS. Repertoire on the disc ranges from classical works by Lauridsen and Whitacre to arrangements of popular songs by Carly Simon and Dolly Parton. Taped live in October 2008 at Austin's Long Center for the Performing Arts, A Company of Voices - Conspirare in Concert is a production of KLRU-TV, Austin, Texas, with executive producers Dick Peterson and Marion Lear Swaybill and director Karen McLaughlin.

Songlist: Sure on This Shining Morning, Let the River Run, The Water is Wide, Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?, Will There Really be a "Morning"?, Light of a Clear Blue Morning, Agnus Dei, Gabriel's Oboe, Soneto de la Noche, What If, Requiem, 1000 Beautiful Things, Tryptych, I Love You/ What a Wonderful World, The First of My Lovers

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9024d | DVD | $21.95 | Primarily a cappella Choral Performance DVDs


Conspirare : Requiem : 00  2 CDs : Craig Hella Johnson :  : HMU 807518

Conspirare : Requiem

Review: Conspirare's second studio recording, Requiem, was recorded at The Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York in October 2005, and the CD has already received rave reviews most recently the 2005 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, presented by Chorus America. The album includes Howells' and Pizzetti's Requiems and some lovely, forlorn songs. Also a requiem from Austin's Eliza Gilkyson. "This is simply gorgeous choral singing - The Choir achieves near-perfect interpretive consensus and vocal enaemble, with stiletto-sharp intonation and unearthly tonal beauty." - American Rocoed Guide. "Sublime. Conspirare's "Requiem: We are so lightly here" flies on the wings of perfection.

Songlist: Requiem, Salvatore Mundi, Psalm 23, Requiem Aeternam, Psalm 121, Requiem Aeternam, I Heard A Voice From Heaven, Three Songs Of Faith, I Will Wade Out, Hope, Faith, Life, Love, I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day, We Remember hem, Be Music, Night, Requiem, Dies Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Libera Me, The Road Home, Requiem

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7978c | 00 2 CDs | $18.98 | Primarily a cappella


Conspirare : Threshold of Night

Review: In the 2007 season, Conspirare captivated audiences with concerts of works by the phenomenally gifted (and award-winning) young composer Tarik O'Regan. Now the Grammy-nominated choral ensemble is set to captivate audiences across the globe with a recording of those same works by O'Regan. This is a recording worthy of attention. A single listen confirms the impression from last year's concerts that this choir and composer are exquisitely matched. Conductor Craig Hella Johnson and his company of voices have the skill to voice all the colors in O'Regan's richly varied musical palette: the densely clustered voices that pull at one another in tense dissonance here and resolve in sumptuous harmonies there, the rhythms that rocket a song along or ease it into a blissful peace. Moreover, they have a feel for the material, for its drama and intensity and the deep spiritual dimension at its foundation. O'Regan, a 30-year-old British composer now living in New York, crafts his own truly original style. Yes, this music is essentially tonal, but hardly could you characterize it as traditionally melodic. O'Regan's music layers voices with brilliant intricacy. Voices cluster seamlessly in full choir, then emerge in delicate solos. He deftly combines airy melodies with only short moments of subtle dissonance to a powerful effect.

Songlist: Had I Not Seen The Sun, The Ecstasies Above, Threshold Of Night, Tal Vez Tenemos Tiempo, Care Charminge Sleepe, Triptych 1. Threnody, Triptych 2. As We Remember Them, Triptych 3. From Heaven Distilled a Clemency, I Had No Time To Hate

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8932c | 00 SACD | $19.95


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