In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Founded in 1992 by erstwhile members of St Thomas's Boys Choir in Leipzig, amarcord has since become one of the world's leading vocal ensembles. amarcord's hallmarks include a unique tone, breathtaking homogeneity, musical authenticity, and a good dose of charm and humour. amarcord performs a vast and highly diverse repertoire of music, from medieval plainsong to madrigals and Renaissance masses, to compositions and cycles of works of the European Romantic period and the 20th century, a cappella folksong arrangements collected from all over the world, all the way to rock, pop, soul and jazz charts.
Open to new currents in vocal music, the singers attach great importance to New Music. Works dedicated to the ensemble include those by Bernd Franke, Steffen Schleiermacher, Ivan Moody, James MacMillan, Sidney M. Boquiren, Siegfried Thiele and Dimitri Terzakis. Even though their concert programming is strongly focused on a cappella works, amarcord also regularly performs in concert with ensembles and artists such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Lautten Compagney, Cappella Sagittariana, the Leipzig String Quartet, the KlazzBrothers, concert pianist Ragna Schirmer, the bandoneon virtuoso Per Arne Glorvigen and the brilliant violinist Daniel Hope.
Amarcord has won prizes at many international competitions, such as Tolosa in Spain, Tampere in Finland and Pohlheim in Germany, as well as the 1st Choir Olympiad in the Austrian city of Linz. In 2002, the ensemble won the German Music Competition, having joined the ranks of the BA KJK (the cream of young musicians singled out by the German Music Council for special support) two years beforehand. In 2004, amarcord became the first group of singers to be awarded the Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Festival. Attending master classes with the King's Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble has given amarcord valuable stimulus over the years.
Alongside the Gewandhaus Orchestra and St Thomas's Boys Choir, amarcord is now one of the leading representatives of Leipzig's music scene in Germany and abroad. amarcord regularly appears at important music festivals, and its frequent concert tours have taken the group not only all over Europe but also to North America - where it was enthusiastically received in cities like San Francisco, Washington, New York, Atlanta, Houston or Salt Lake City -, Central America, Australia, Japan, Israel, The Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Founded by amarcord in 1997 under the artistic direction of the group, the International Festival of Vocal Music "a cappella" (www.a-cappella-festival.de) has established itself as one of the most important festivals of its kind. Held in Leipzig in spring each year, premier vocal formations such as The Real Group, The King's Singers, Take 6 and the Hilliard Ensemble can be heard at the festival.
Numerous CD recordings document impressively the many facets of amarcord's repertoire. Released in 2009, the CD "Rastlose Liebe" ("Restless Love") received the ECHO Klassik Award, the Luxembourgian Supersonic Award and was nominated for the MIDEM Classical Award, the most important prize of the European CD market. In addition, this CD - as previously also "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland" ("Now come, saviour of the gentiles"), "Incessament" and "Hear the voice" - won the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award, the "a-cappella-Oscar". In February 2010 amarcord released its first CD production with an orchestral work: the reconstructed version of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Mark Passion, performed together with Dominique Horwitz and the Kolner Akademie.
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Review: This CD begins with the performance of the penitential psalm 'Gott, sei mir gnadig nach deiner Gute (anon)'. This astonishing work has never before been recorded on CD. The only known date which survives in a manuscript score is 1711. Amacord, one of the world's leading vocal ensembles performs works by Schutz, Schein and Praetorius. Capella Sagittariana Dresden also performs on some tracks.
Songlist: Sonata , Gott, sei , Wasche mic , An der all , Siehe, ich , Siehe, du , Lass mich , Verbirge d , Schaffe in , Denn ich w , Errette mi , Herr, tue , Denn du ha , Die Opfer, , Tue wohl a , Der Mensch vom Weibe geboren, Welt ade, ich bin dein mude , Mit dem Amphion, Threnus, funeral motet for 6 voices , Musikalische Exequien (Funeral Music), Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr, Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin , Musikalische Exequien
Clic, clac, dansez sabots
Review: After three extremely successful CDs with vocal music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, amarcord turns this time to the wonderful French vocal music of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The exquisite singers from Leipzig once again demonstrate their amazing versatility. Starting in the second half of the 19th century, amarcord present some less well-known facets of the works of Rossini and Saint-Saens. Meanwhile the 1920s with their pioneering spirit are represented by compositions by Cras, Milhaud, and the young Poulenc, whose entire works for male voices recorded here stretch into the post-war period. But one thing that all the items in this album have in common is their deep rootedness in France and the French: in for instance tradition, dialects, dances, incidents, feelings and savoir vivre. In a nutshell, this album is 'tres francais'!
Songlist: Salut, Dame Sainte, Tout Puissant, Seigneur, je vous en prie, O mes tres chers freres, Choeur/Quelques Mesures de Chant Funebre, Priere, Psaume 121 op. 72, O jesu, O proles, Laus Regi, Si quaeris, L'appel de la cloche, la route, un jeune sapin se balance, Soir, Nuit, Serenade d'hiver, La belle si nous etions, Clic, clac, dansez sabots, Chanson a boire, Saltarelle op. 74
Review: Former choristers from Bach's own church make up this German version of The King's Singers. This contemporary a cappella program ranges from Billy Joel to Supertramp to a Cuban love song, and a superb cover of Sinead O'Connor's 'In This Heart'. These are great male choral interpretations of popular songs that are sure to delight.
Songlist: The Longest Time, New York, New York , Breakfast In America, Blackbird, Juramento, In This Heart, Somebody To Love, Only You, Hit The Road Jack, Rain In May, Since You Went Away, Can't Buy Me Love, Strangers In The Night, Good Vibrations, That Lonesome Road, And So It Goes
Review: A musical journey to sixteenth-century Europe with secular vocal music of the Renaissance! The vocal ensemble amarcord brilliantly interprets the music of this epoch in its newest production 'The Book of Madrigals' (RK ap 10106). With this CD, the young ensemble presents Renaissance music and madrigals by European composers such as John Dowland, Thomas Morley, Ludwig Senfl, Adriano Banchieri, Orlando de Lasso, and Josquin des Prez. Cipriano de Rore's 'Anchor che col partire' - one of the most popular madrigals of its time, and in arrangements and adaptations still an 'evergreen' over a century later - is also masterfully sung here. With the release of 'The Book of Madrigals,' amarcord has added another impressive CD to its discography.
Songlist: Now Is The Month of Maying, Bonjour Et Puis Quelles Nouvells?, Bonjour Mon Coeur, Come Away Come Sweet Love, Anchor Che Col Partire, Ach Elslein, Liebes Elselein, Remember Me My Dear, Since Robin Hood, Strike It Up, Tabor, Vecchie Letrose, Innsbruck, ich Muss Dich Lassen, I Love, Alas I Love Thee, Il Est Bel Et Bon , Come Again Sweet Love Doth Now Invite, Mein Gmuth Ist Mir Verwirret, Weep, O Mine Eyes, Pastyme With Good Companye, Contrappunto Bestiale Alla Mente
Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant
Review: Ensemble Amarcord is one of the most acclaimed male vocal ensembles performing today and this Christmas release shows why. Impeccable blend and enticing arrangements makes this a recording that will be a favorite every holiday season. It combines 15 Amarcord classics, taking you from Finland to Nigeria, from Trinidad & Tobago to Poland - sometimes jazzy, sometimes reflective and moving, but always guided by the longing for coming home for Christmas.
Songlist: Juokse, Porosein!, So Viel Heimlichkeit, Winter Wonderland, Nu Taendas Tusen Juleljus, Noel Nouvelet, Betelehemu, Jezus Malusienki, Stille Nacht, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Fum, Fum, Fum, Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant, White Christmas, Summer Sleeps (Greta's Song), I Wonder As I Wander, Parang Christmas Chutney, So Viel Heimlichkeit (Zuckerbaecker-remix)
Review: 'Hear the Voices' is not just the line of a prayer appearing several times on this CD, but also an appeal to the listeners - to listen between the lines, to hear the centuries between the lives of the various composers, between them and us, to hear the links between their styles of composition, the subtle nuances with which certain words are interpreted by sounds. This all calls for more careful attention than simple 'listening'. The musical journey starts in France, before taking us back half a millennium to the Flemish region with Luther as our guide. Then there's a little detour to the Iberian Peninsula, a trip to the British Isles, before we finally return to amarcord's native skies in present-day Germany.
Songlist: If Ye Love Me - Tallis, Quatre Petites De St. Francois d'Assise, Herr, Lehre Doch Mich - Mauersberger, Magnus es Tu Domine - Des Prez, Psaume 121 - Milhaud, Ave Verum Corpus - Byrd, Sunt Lacrimae Rerum , O salutaris hostia, Ach Wie Nichtig Ach Wie Fluchtig - , De Profundis - , Hear The Voice And Prayer - , Tenebrae -
Review: Christmas has been celebrated for many centuries in all corners of the world, and this tradition has brought forth what are probably some of the most beautiful and enduring folk songs. The present CD is as diverse as the cultures. It goes from the well-known 'Es ist ein Ros entspungen' by way of Sicily ('O sanctissima') to Trinidad, and from Gregorian chant through the Renaissance to a Christmas motet by Thomaskantor Erhard Mauersberger (1903-1982). 'In adventu Domini' contains Advent and Christmas pieces from a period of over a half a millennium, including real gems that are gems not just because they are not to be found on any other Christmas CD. And of course the Leipzig vocal ensemble Amarcord once again arouses enthusiasm with its incomparable sound.
Songlist: Hosianna Dem Sohne Davids, Hymnus - In Adventu Domini, Ante Luciferum Genitus, O Heiland Reiss Die Himmel Auf, Angelus Ad Virginem, Maria Durch Ein Dornwald Ging, Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu, Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen, O Sanctissma, The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy, In Dulci Jubilo, O Regem Coeli, Weinacht, Schlaf, Mein Kindlein, Riu Riu Chiu, Rise Up Shepard And Follow, La Baylere, O Jesulein Suss, Ich Steh An Deiner Krippen Hier, Ding Dong Ding, Stille Nacht
Review: 'INCESSAMENT' - hidden behind this mysterious title is an exciting CD program at whose center stands the world premiere recording of the Missa Incessament by Pierre de la Rue (c. 1452-1518). Gregorian chant from the Moosburg Gradual supplements the Mass. Two of de la Rue's compositions with close connections to the Mass frame the program: the French chanson Incessament, on which the Missa Incessament is based, and its incarnation as a Latin motet - Sic deus dilexit - for Protestant Germany. The program was planned in collaboration with J. Evan Kreider, the leading de la Rue researcher, and Gregorian-chant expert Godehard Joppich. This CD was recorded in the marvelous basilica of the Benedictine Monastery at Wechselburg, Saxony, providing the music with an appropriate atmosphere.
Songlist: Sic Deus Dilexit, Introitus, Kyrie Incessament, Graduale, Alleluia, Credo, Offertorium, Sanctus, Agnus Dei Incessament, Communio, Incessament Mon Povre Ceur Lamente
Review: 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland', containing Early and Renaissance Christmas music, won a CASA award in 2006 for 'Best classical album' and is a most rewarding of the award. The tale told by the booklet stretches back to St. Augustine and his role in early Christian church music, all by way of explaining the origins of Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Now come, savior of the Gentiles), the hymn that gives the album its title. It got started as a Latin hymn, Veni redemptor gentium, by Saint Ambrose, the bishop of Milan who baptized Augustine of Hippo; translated into German and simplified somewhat by Martin Luther, it became a pan-Protestant hit. The group's singing is intonationally dazzling and splendidly controlled, fully the equal of any of the world's more flamboyant male vocal ensembles but without drawing attention to itself.
Songlist: Alle Psallite Cum Luya, Veni Redemptor Gentium, Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland, Angelus Ad Virginiem, Magnificat Sexti Toni, Veni Redemptor Gentium, Stella Splendens, Pastores Loquebantur Inter Se, Officium Nativitatis Domini, Vetus Abit Littera Vid erunt Omnes, Sys Willekomen Heirre Kerst, In Dulci Jubilo, O Viridissma Virga, There is No Rose Of Swych Vertu, Es Ist Rose Entsprungen, Veni Redemptor Gentium, Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland, Alleluya: A Nywe Werk, Veni redemptor gentium
Review: With its tenth recording Ensemble Amarcord takes a stroll through the musical Leipzig of the nineteenth century. Simultaneously, this anniversary release is a reverence to the hometown of the five world-class vocalists. They obviously feel very much at home in this repertoire, and the listener is accorded many a musical discovery in Restless Love. Besides widely known songs from which they elicit new nuances by means of their just as fresh as knowledgeable creative will, eight of the titles appear for the first time on this CD, including a piece for male choir by Mendelssohn! The Weihgesang (Consecration Song) for Goethe's funeral service was rediscovered by the Leipzig Mendelssohn researcher Ralf Wehner. Yet, besides the music of the then Gewandhaus music director Felix Mendelssohn and his friend Robert Schumann, it is exactly the today hardly known composers that make this CD so remarkable. This is music by Adolf Eduard Marschner, a relative of the crazy, brilliant Heinrich Marschner, who was also active in Leipzig or the musical jewels by Carl Steinacker, August Muhling, and Carl Friedrich Zollner, whose works have long been forgotten by the history of musical reception. Unjustly, for the songs of love and pain that amaracord has bundled together in Restless Love are without exception musical treasures.
Songlist: Rastlose Liebe, Die Minnesanger, Die Lotosblume, Fruhlingsglocken, An den Mond, Die Hoffnung, Sehnsucht, Turkisches Schenkenlied, Der Jager Abschied, Sommerlied, Wasserfahrt, Liebe und Wein, Wanderlied, Gesellschaftslied, An's Liebchen, Abendlied, Weihgesang, Die Rose sand im Thau, Zurne nicht, In Meeres Mitten, Der Speisezettel, Testament, Liebeserklarund eines, Schneidergesellen, Standchen, Zigeunerlied, Im Suden, Standchen