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Grex Vocalis

Grex Vocalis

Mixed Choral Chorus from NO, Norway.

Grex Vocalis - ( The Singing Flock ) - was formed in 1971. The repertoire spans from renaissance to contemporary Norwegian music. The choir has been awarded the "Norwegian Grammy" for three of its 13 albums and won 1st prizes in national and international contests: Arezzo, Gorizia, Tolosa and Marktoberdorf. In 1999 Grex Vocalis was awarded "Il Gran Premio Citta di Arezzo" as the best choir in that years contest. Over the years Grex Vocalis has commissioned and premiered works by several Norwegian composers but also performed important baroque works like Handel: Messiah, Bach: Christmas Oratorio, Rameau: In convertendo, Quam dilecta, Charpentier: Te Deum, Lully: Te Deum, Delalande: Te Deum etc with orchestra and soloists. The first Norwegian recording of Handels Messiah was released in 1997 with Grex Vocalis and Oslo Baroque Orchestra.

Two of Grex Vocalis' recent CDs, "Magnum Mysterium" with Christmas music from across Europe and "Liberte" with works by Francis Poulenc have been highly acclaimed both home and abroad. A new CD with choral works by Edvard Grieg will be relased August 2007, commemorating the 100 years since Grieg's death. The choir has held concerts in most of Europe and has toured Japan twice, most recently in 2005. In 2007, Grex Vocalis was European guest artist in the America Cantat festival in Havana, Cuba.

The conductor Carl Hogset founded the choir in 1971. He holds degrees in languages and musicology from the University of Oslo as well as in voice and choral conducting from the Norwegian Academy of Music. In 1977 he made his debut as a countertenor in a solo recital in Oslo. His solo-CD recording with songs by Purcell, Handel, Grieg and Nordheim was released in 1995. He is a member of the vocal quartet Quattro Stagioni. After retiring from Foss College of Music in Oslo , Mr. Hogset continues to hold lectures and seminars on voice and choral conducting home and abroad. Since 1992 he has been involved in voice research with professor Johan Sundberg of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Carl Hogset has created the Singing Technique program presented in a booklet including exercises recorded on CD and video. This booklet has been translated into English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish.

Discography

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Grex Vocalis : Edvard Grieg - Choral Music : 00 SACD : Edvard Grieg : SACD 45

Grex Vocalis : Edvard Grieg - Choral Music

Review: Choral music is a genre rarely associated with Edvard Grieg, but this CD reveals him as a composer with distinctive gifts for choral writing. He composed about 50 choral works, and this CD includes about half of them, including his final work, an a cappella setting of four Psalms. The pieces are notable for their musical variety; they include children's songs, folk-song arrangements, and music for liturgical use, and while many are recognizable as Grieg's work, several have an eccentric quirkiness that sheds new light on his musical personality. "Kvalins halling," for men's chorus and bass solo, a traditional Norwegian fiddle dance to which the composer sets nonsense syllables, is the most wonderfully odd; it has a kind of rocking, proto-minimalist pattern sporadically interrupted by bursts of late-Romantic harmonic effulgence. The collection contains one familiar work, a choral arrangement of "Varen" (Last spring), perhaps his most famous solo song. The Psalms are models of expressive, harmonically rich Romantic vocal writing. The CD includes pieces for mixed voices as well as men's and women's choruses. The works presented here offer a wealth of attractive choral music that deserves to find a place in the repertoire of choirs interested in venturing beyond the standard literature. The Norwegian ensemble Grex Vocalis, conducted by Carl Hogset, sings with a warm, ringing tone; excellent intonation; and a beautiful blend. The soloists make a strong contribution; tenor Magnus Staveland sings with passion and sensitivity and bass-baritone Daniel Oskar Danielsson's boisterous performance adds to the rollicking fun of "Kvalins halling."

Songlist: Children's song, Farmyard-song, Halling, Good-night song for Dobbin, Kvalin's Halling, The Ocean, The Christmas Tree, It is the greatest follishness, Springdans, Young Ole, Fisherman's song, Fairest among women, The great white host, The Gipsy lad, Retnams-Knut, The Norwgian mountains, I I lay down so late, Fatherland hymn, Little Toro, Last Spring, Whitsun Hymn, Ave, Maris Stella, How fair is thy face, God's son hath set me free, Jesus Christ our Lord is risen, In Heav'n above

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8662c | 00 SACD | $16.95 | A Cappella


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