In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
It is hard to comprehend that it all began as an exercise in sight-reading, to alleviate the monotony of sixties backing vocals. Eight Paris-based jazz session singers worked their way through some Bach keyboard repertoire one day and discovered a natural swing to the music. Without changing a note of the original score, they adapted the music for voice, added a rhythm section and persuaded Philips record company to record it for them as Christmas presents for family and friends. Little did they know the level of fame to which this record would elevate them: Jazz Sebastien Bach reached number one in the charts and won several Grammy awards.
Today, there are few music lovers who haven't heard the name the Swingle Singers. Since the release of that ground-breaking debut album in 1963, this virtuosic eight-voice a cappella group (complete with their own vocal rhythm section) has performed on the world's most famous stages, sustaining over four decades a level of international popularity beyond the dreams of its founder, American-born Ward Swingle. The current London-based line-up of young and talented singers is, of course, several incarnations of "Swingles" older than the original team (Ward Swingle affectionately refers to them as his "grandchildren"). They represent a modern incarnation of an ensemble whose music has evolved and expanded to encompass styles far and beyond the swung Baroque and infamous "ba va da" of the 1960s, although audiences will usually hear a tribute to the original French group. Along with the repertoire, the stage show has also grown into a full-blown lights-and-choreography spectacle. The beauty is that however the group has changed, the sound remains unmistakeably that of the Swingle Singers, the same sound which caught the world's attention all those years ago.
The Swingle Singers offer a variety of shows, from the current a cappella programme entitled "Ferris Wheels" to contemporary opera to light orchestral works. This adaptability across the musical spectrum has resulted in many opportunities for collaboration. The late Luciano Berio was one of the first composers who recognised in the sound an opportunity to explore the combination of amplified voices and acoustic instruments. More recent commissions have been penned by such names as British Jazz legend John Dankworth, Michael Nyman, French composer Pascal Zavaro, and Berio's protege, Azio Corghi.
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Review: A good inexpensive introduction to the group. Mostly tracks from their recordings in the 90's on Virgin Records.
Songlist: Peter Gunn, Fugue VIII From Das Wohltemperirte Clavier, Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, Rondo alla turca from Piano Sonata No. 11, Cachapaya, Andante from Sonata No. 2, Country Dances, Requiem in D minor, First movement from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, De Punto y Taco, Air from Suite No. 3 (Air on a G String), Serenade in G 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik', The Coventry Carol, Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Organ Fugue from Fantasia and Fugue
Hiding Your Smile
Review: Weather To Fly is the Swingle Singers' first full-length album since 2009 and the first of two discs to be released in the group's fiftieth anniversary year. A punchy, electrifying set that holds all the excitement of a live show, Weather To Fly celebrates the best of the group's current a cappella repertoire. All-vocal arrangements of songs from Turkey, Spain, Italy and Argentina sit alongside re-imagined British pop from Elbow, Florence and the Machine and The Beatles. ''This is, quite simply, the album our audiences have asked for after every performance,'' says bass singer Edward Randell. For half a century, The Swingle Singers have pushed the boundaries of what the human voice can achieve. Their vocal agility and blend, combined with captivating showmanship, have thrilled audiences across the globe. Celebrating their 50th anniversary in the 2013-14 season, today's young and gifted Swingle Singers represent the group's evolution from baroque jazz pioneers to contemporary a cappella phenomenon.
Songlist: Weather To Fly, Gemiler Giresune, Spain, Nana, Woman in Chains, Swingle Ladies, Shake it Out / Danse Macabre, Hiding Your Smile, The Diva Aria, Fugue For Autumn, Libertango, Lady Madonna, Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Review: Here's a great selection of classic Swingle Singers at an excellent price. Box set includes four otherwise out-of-print album releases including A Cappella Amadeus, Bach Hits Bach, 1812 and Around The World. A collection of top notch vocal jazz with those fabulous arrangements that define the "Swingle Sound".
Songlist: A Cappella Amadeus, Bach Hits Bach, 1812, Around the World
Review: Originally conceived as warm-ups or to break up the routine of repertoire rehearsals, many loop songs are also suitable as concert songs. Divided into four levels of difficulty. Contains two and a half hours of music, including: Swing, Latin, Afro, Gospel, R&B, Funk, Pop, Rock and World music. CD includes performances by The Swingle Singers.
Songlist: Diggeching Samba, Lah-lah on H-Day, Basses First, African Call
Review: The Swingles, the mixed-voice world-class, multiple Grammy-winning, legendary a cappella octet from London and one of our favorite Vocal Jazz groups of all time, originally broke into the Jazz scene of 1963 because of Ward Swingle's innovation. He handed his group of session singers charts for an instrumental, Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier," which led to their double Grammy hit album "Bach's Greatest Hits." There is this kind of innovation and artistry on "Ferris Wheels," which comes from the Joni Mitchell hit "Both Sides Now" ("Moons and Junes and Ferris Wheels, the dizzy, dancing way you feel"), the second of 12 wonderfully crafted songs on the album. The ethereal "Unravel," James Taylor's lazy-day, bluesy "On the 4th of July," the exquisite French adaption of the theme from "Summer of '42," "L'Ete 42," Nick Drake's stunning bluenote "River Man," Sting's powerful, waltzlike "Until," and a symphonic arrangement of Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" by group member Kevin Fox (who also sings lead on it). David Freeman and Joseph Hughs' "No More I Love Yous," Stevie Wonder's "Summer Soft," Billy Joel's "Goodnight My Angel" and Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" are all beautifully arranged and performed. "Ferris Wheels" is a masterpiece by the Swingles that touches and satisfies on many levels. One of the best Jazz/Pop albums of the year and highly recommended!
Songlist: Unravel, Both Sides Now, On the 4th of July, L'ete 42, River Man, Until (A Matter of Moments), Elanor Rigby, No More "I Love You's", Flying High/ Wake Me Up When September Ends, Summer Soft, Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel), God Only Knows
A Fifth Of Beethoven
Review: After 44 years of performing in concert and recording, the 2007 version of the Swingles are often asked how the group has changed. The answer is, slowly and naturally they have begun to add vocal percussion, which has made an exciting and indispensable impact on their live shows - and now on "Beauty and the Beatbox," the first Swingles disc where every track contains vocal percussion or human beatboxing. Shlomo, awe-inspiring beatboxer and a great friend of the group who was invited to join the group for an appearance at the London Jazz Festival in 2006, has a major and exciting presence on the album. Included in these 11 tracks are longtime Swingles favorites like "A Fifth of Beethoven, which segues into disco samples (LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" and the BeeGees' "Stayin' Alive"), "Spain," "Adagio in G Minor," "Bolero," "Cielito Lindo," a hot cover of "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (which has some very fine faux horns), and "Piano Concerto No. 21, 2nd mvt." Besides adding a rich bass dimension to the sweet Swingles leads, Shlomo's beatboxing adds a fresh, irreverent, sassy note to this familiar material that we find very appealing-this is fun, sexy, jazzy, let-it-all-hang-out stuff. Listen to the Starsky & Hutch theme "Gotcha," Ward Swingle's arrangement of Lambert, Hendricks & Lewis's "It's Sand, Man!", and the final cut, the dynamic "Bachbeat," to get a taste of the funky, tasty new Swingles.
Songlist: A Fifth of Beethoven, Spain (I Can Recall), Dido's Lament, It's Sand, Man!, Adagio in G Minor, Bolero, Cielito Lindo, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Piano Concerto No 21, 2nd mvt, Gotcha (Theme from 'Starsky & Hutch'), Bachbeat
Review: The Swingle Singers are comfortable in many musical genres, particularly jazz and salsa, and "Unwrapped," their second holiday album, showcases this versatility. The free-flowing, almost scattish jazz interpretation of classical music that first made them famous is evident on Corelli's "Christmas Concerto," while Darke's "In the Bleak Midwinter" is more traditional a cappella. Different, but equally powerful interpretations are given to classic Christmas songs and carols: a sexy "Santa Baby," "Let it Snow," a slow, jazzy "Away In A Manger" and John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." Other beloved tunes, "Christmas Song," "River," "Walking in the Air," "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" "O Tannenbaum," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Carol of the Drum," "Amazing Grace," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Last Christmas," and "Hotaru no Hikari" are like reaching into our stocking and finding more and more cool presents. A gift to yourself or loved ones should be "Unwrapped!"
Songlist: Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 8, In the Bleak Midwinter, Christmas Song, River, Walking in the Air, Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!, O Tannenbaum, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Santa Baby, Away in a Manger, Carol of the Drum, Amazing Grace, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Last Christmas, Happy Christmas (War is Over), Hotaru no Hikari
Review: Well, isn't this a treat! From the beginning of "the French Swingles" 10 years was spent touring. Between tours they recorded 12 albums, moving chronologically from Bach and Handel to Telemann, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and some early 20th Century Spanish composers. In between, there was a Christmas album and one with the Modern Jazz Quartet. They were all done in that traditional jazz-classic mode: scatting to a light rhythmic background. What we have in our hands is a CD release of that Christmas album, "Noels Sans Passeport" which was released in America as "Christmastime" in 1968. This is an international work par excellence which features songs from America, France, Germany, Norway, Holland, Spain, Russia, Italy, and Denmark. As all of the Swingle's work in those early days, the tunes were scatted so no language lessons are required. There isn't much that hasn't been written already about the group, but if you are a Swingle's fan this is a must and if you've never been introduced, now is the time for they were, and are, one of the most important groups in the world of a cappella music. Joyeux Noel!
Songlist: Jingle Bells , Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant , Es Ist Ein Ros' Entsprungen, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, The First Nowell , Go Tell It On the Mountain, Sill Nacht, Heilige Nacht, Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, What Child is This?, O Jul Med Din Glede , Komt, Verwondert U Hier Mensen , Away In A Manger , Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes , Oh Tannenbaum , Bel Astre Que J'Adore , El Noi De La Mare , Hanej, Nynej, Jezisku, Canzone Dei Zampognari , We Three Kings of Orient Are , The Holly and the Ivy , La Peregrinacion , White Christmas , Stchedrivka , Dag Visen , O Sanctissima
The Girl from Ipanema
Review: The Swingles' discography boasts a stylistic diversity unmatched by any other a cappella group--from Mozart to madrigals, Bach to the Beatles, folk songs to fugues and film themes, but "Mood" focuses on their forte: jazz. These eight gifted singers have a symbiotic relationship with some of the best arrangers in the world, Ward Swingle, Bertrand Groeger, Alexander L'Estrange, Jonathan Rathbone and others. "Mood" begins with Miles Davis's "So What," which is followed by a brilliant selection of 1960s Latin jazz, "Surfboard," Jobim's "Insensatez" and "The Girl From Ipanema" (The best version we've heard), and "Milonga del Angel." Three moody jazz ballads, "A Time For Love," "The Peacocks" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" follow. Then three Richard Rodgers classics, "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "My Funny Valentine" and "The Lady Is A Tramp." Then come four classic 30s and 40s standards: "Just One of those Things," "My Foolish Heart," "All The Things You Are" and "It Don't Mean A Thing," finishing with Quincy Jones' 1966 hit, "Soul Bossa Nova" (from Austin Powers). Our favorite is the stunning 60s Latin Jazz section, which we hope they devote a whole CD to, but every song is a finely-crafted jewel. "Mood Swings" swings us into a jazz mood and never lets us go. Listen to the vocal trumpet solo on "The Lady Is a Tramp"--it's almost unnecessary, because the soprano voices are already doing soaring jazz trumpet riffs throughout the song. This is breathtaking proof of our contention that the Swingles are the best at whatever style they choose to sing - simply perfect! Highly recommended.
Songlist: So What , Surfboard, Insensatez , The Girl From Ipanema , Milonga del Angel , A Time For Love , A Timeless Place , What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life? , Have You Met Miss Jones? , My Funny Valentine , The Lady Is A Tramp , Just One Of Those Things , My Foolish Heart , All The Things You Are , It Don't Mean A Thing / Swing Time , Soul Bossa Nova
Review: This recording is a celebration of forty years of arguably the world's most famous and longest-running a cappella group. The current mixed-voice octet has gone back to its roots, teaming up with a world-class jazz rhythm section for this live CD to recreate both the look and sound of the original Swingles as it performs the greatest hits of the 60s and 70s, beginning and ending, of course with the composer on whose music the group was founded, J.S. Bach. The first part of the program includes 4 Bach gems, then 4 from Mozart's "Ein Kleine Nachtmusik and 3 Spanish romantic pieces like J. Rodrigo's "En Aranjuez con tu amor." Marvelous arrangements of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" and Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm" delight us and the crowd. We get a glimpse of the Swingle's future, "Dejeuner sur l'herbe" by Parisian composer Pascal Zavaro, who is currently writing an opera with the group. As always, breathtaking, brilliant stuff from the Swingles! Highly recommended.
Songlist: Fugue in D Minor (from 'The Art of Fugue' BWV 1080 by J.S. Bach), Air (from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major BWV 1068 by J.S. Bach), Largo (from Harpsichord Concerto in F minor BWV 1056 by J.S. Bach), Badinerie (from Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor BWV 1067 by J.S. Bach), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Op. K.525 by W.A. Mozart:, -Allegro, -Romanze, -Menuetto, -Rondo, En Aranjuez con tu amor (based on mvt. 2 of 'Concierto de Aranjuez' by J.Rodrigo), Tango in D major (No. 2 from 'Espana' Op. 165 by I. Albeniz), Romanza Espanola, Just One of Those Things (by C. Porter), Fascinatin' Rhythm (by G. Gershwin / B. Russo / J. Hendricks), Sinfonia (from Partita No. 2 in C minor BWV 826 by J.S. Bach), Solfeggietto (Wq. 117/2 by C.P.E. Bach), Dejeuner sur l'herbe (by Pascal Zavaro)
Review: The Swingle Singers, Ann De Renais, soprano 1, Joanna Forbes, soprano 2, Sarah Simmonds, Alto 1, Wendy Nieper, alto 2, Andrew Gray, Tenor 1, Richard Eteson, Tenor 2, Jeremy Sadler, Bass 1 and Patrick Ardagh-Walter, Bass 2, and this is another of their very popular live albums. We can feel ourselves in the audience in December 2000, the elusive "tingle factor" in the air, as the group takes 21 classic tunes and proceeds to nail them, as only the Swingles can, one by one: "September Song," "Alabama Song," "Mack The Knife," "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat," "Largo," "Badinerie," "Air on the G String," "Ticket to Ride," Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale," "Ave Maria," "The Fool on the Hill," Queen's amazing "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Little Drummer Boy," "Away in a Manger," "Christmas Medley," "Amazing Grace," "White Christmas," "Intro to 1812 Overture," "1812 Overture," "September Song," "Thank You" and "Theme from Mission Impossible." Great music, incomparable singing!
Songlist: September Song (Weil - Anderson), Alabama Song (Weil - Brecht), Mack The Knife (Weil - Brecht), Largo, Badinerie (Bach), Air On The G String (Bach), Ticket To Ride (Lennon - McCartney), A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Procul Harum), Ave Maria (Gounod - Bach), The Fool On The Hill (Lennon - McCartney), Bohemian Rhapsody (Mercury), Little Drummer Boy (Davis), Away In A Manger (Traditional), Christmas Medley (Smith - Gillespie), Amazing Grace (Traditional) , White Christmas, Introduction To 1812 Overture (, 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky), Thank you , Theme From Mission Impossible (Schifrin), Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat
Review: "Telemann" is a re-release of the Swingles' fifth album, and it features the original energetic collage album cover, the funky 1960's curlicue lettering, and a great picture of the eight 1966 Swingles, in formal dress, sharing 4 stand-up microphone in front of Guy Pedersen on double bass, Daniel Humair on drums and seven fake Classic stage columns. Having "swingled" Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart et al in their first four albums, the copy reads, next up is Georg Philipp Telemann, with single pieces by Francois Couperin, Georg Muffat, Louis-Claude Daquin, Benedetto Marcello and Johann Joachim Quantz. 15 pieces, our favorites are the 6 short movements of Telemann's "Concerto A Six," Muffat's "Fugue in D Minor," Telemann's lively "Presto," featuring lead soloist Christiane Legrand paired with Jeanette Baucomont. Daquin's bouncy "Le Coucou," Marcello's "Presto" and Quantz' "Sonata in C Minor." In 1966 "swingling" was a word spontaneously coined by music critics upon hearing the group's recordings and concerts. Its meaning: extremely musical, baroque, modern, joyous and lively. Telemann might have added "fun," but close enough!
Songlist: Concerto A Six:, Allegro, Adagio, Presto, Adagio, Allegro, LaCouperin, Gigue, Fugue En Re Mineur, Presto, Larghetto, Le Coucou, Presto, Sonate En Do Mineur
Ticket to Ride
Review: While the Swingles first won acclaim for their arrangements of Bach fugues, they have been performing Beatles songs as part of their live concerts for many years. Though Ward is no longer part of the eight-voice mixed ensemble, he acts as musical advisor, and the group continues on, revitalized by fresh new talent. A record of all-Beatles material is surely a natural! The aural landscape designed by the Beatles, with George Martin at the helm, is ably reproduced here, entirely a cappella, of course. Some adaptations swear almost complete allegiance to the originals, but others, such as "Norwegian Wood," embellish with subtle, yet distinct tonal flavors. The tempo of "Lady Madonna" is gently suppressed, with harmonic emphasis on the seventh. "All My Loving" is a sweetly earnest ballad. "Ticket To Ride" shows the Swingle Singers ready to meet the 21st century, with a winning mix of the old and the new.
Songlist: Ticket To Ride, Penny Lane, Revolution, Day Tripper, Norwegian Wood, Birthday, Lady Madonna, Yesterday, Strawberry Fields Forever, Drive My Car, Blackbird / I Will, When I'm Sixty Four, The Fool On The Hill, All My Loving, I Am The Walrus, Goodnight
Review: A compilation recording featuring the best of Swingles' past and present. The Swingles are a top attraction at concert halls throughout the world, and their purely vocal arrangements of famous works from composers such as J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, Brahms, Beethoven and Satie are a Swingles trademark. They were a sensation when the group first popularized the concept in the 1960's. Half of the arrangements on this CD are by founder Ward Swingle, including "Fugue In D Minor" and "Clair De Lune," with the remainder balanced between Ben Parry, Jonathan Rathbone, Mark Williams, Andrew Gray and current musical director, Joanna Forbes. The four male and four female voices that animate these hallmarks of European classical tradition have a modern grace and elegance, and the sound is spacious, open and fluid. These are new a cappella recorded versions of the classic repertoire.
Songlist: 'C Major Praeludium' , Prelude in F Minor, Largo, Three-Part Invention , Fugue in D Minor, Fugue in E Minor, 'Harmonious Blacksmith' Variations , Fugue (from the Estro Harmonico, op.3, no.11) , Rondo alla Turca, 'Moonlight Sonata' , Prelude (op.28, no.4 in E Minor), Etude (op.25, no.9) , Hungarian Dance No. 5 , Clair de Lune, Golliwog's Cake Walk , Gymnopedie No.1
Review: Over thirty years ago Ward Swingle and Les Swingle Singers gained international acclaim for their first album Jazz Sebastian Bach on which they classically scatted their way into history. The repertoire at the time was mostly fugues and chorales. In musically returning to their roots the new Swingle singers not only sing the still popular fugues and chorales but explore many more aspects of Bach's writing as befits their expanded horizons after so many years of exploration. So you will find major choral works, a solo violin sonata and orchestral works in addition, not all sung in the original scat style.
Songlist: Ein'Fest Burg, Organ Fugue, The Well-Timpered Clavier, Sleepers Awake, Wachet Auf, Liebster Jesu, Wir Sind Hier, In Dulci Jubilo, Sonata No. 2, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Sheep May Safely Graze, Badinerie, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Three-Part Invention, Et Resurrexit, Bist Du Bie Mir, Blute Nur, Du Liebes Herz, Organ Fugue, Air On A G String, Little Organ Fugue, Es Ist Genug, Die Zauberflote: Overture, Symphony No. 40, Ave Verum Corpus, String Quartet In G Major: Finale, Cosi Fan Tutte: Un' Aura Amorosa, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Finale, Horn Concerto No. 4: Finale, Don Giovanni: Canzonetta, Cosi Fan Tutte: Terzettino, Gigue , Piano Concerto No. 21: Andante, Requiem: Hostias, Requiem: Quam Olim Abrahae, Alla turca from Piano Sonata in A Major, Piano Sonata In A Major: Alla Turca Fantasia In F Minor and Major
Review: Primarily A Cappella is proud to be re-releasing the ever-popular Swingle Singers recording of "The Story Of Christmas". Formerly out of print, the continued demand for this recording is extraordinary, and a tribute to thjis English group about which the Los Angeles Times extolled "Everything about the Swingles is flawless". They take a collection of traditional carols and hymns ("The Boar's Head Carol, And Is It True?") and mix it with some modern songs (Jester Hairston's "Mary's Boy Child") to tell the story of Christmas. This is a well thought out arrangement of songs to tell the tale that we know so well with interesting and varied songs.
Songlist: Hodie Christus Natus Est (Traditional), O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Traditional), Hymn To The Virgin (Britten), Gabriel's Message (Traditional), Mary's Boy Child (Rathbone), And Is It True? (Betjeman, Parry), Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle (Traditional), Quem Pastores (Traditional), Shepherds' Farewell (Berlioz), We Three Kings (Hopkins), Coventry Carol (Traditional), Carol Medley (Traditional), The Oxen (Rathbone), The Boars Head Carol (Traditional), Christmas Song (Torme, Wells), Jingle Bells (Traditional), I Believe In Father Christmas (Sinfeld, Lake), White Christmas, The Twelve Days Of Christmas (Traditional), Silent Night (Gruber)
Review: In this reviewers opinion this is the recording which will leave anyone begging for more of the Swingle Singers. If you haven't yet been introduced to the new Swingles, but just have a vague memory of the early work (which was revolutionary in its day, don't forget!) you're in for a treat. 1812 presents a wonderful variety of studio work with several of the live pieces which are events. The "Overture to William Tell" and the fabulous "1812 Overture" sandwich a song written by Henry VIII,complete with vocal crumhorn recorder and drum, a couple by the Beatles, Debussy's "Trois Chansons," Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn," a Gershwin and a Sondheim. But 1812! The full orchestra, brass band, and cannons, and church bells are all performed live by eight singers!!!
Songlist: William Till Overture (Rossini), Pastime With Good Company , Trois Chansons (Debussy), Fool On The Hill (Lennon/McCartney), Lady Madonna (Lennon/McCartney), Day Tripper (Lennon/McCartney), Blackbird/ I Will (Lennon/McCartney), Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat (Rene/Scott/Rene), Summertime (Gershwin), Another Hundred People (Soundheim), Clair De Lune (Debussy), Peter Gunn (Mancini), 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky)
Review: Pretty Ring Time is a repertoire chosen from many of the songs that the Swingle Singers knew and loved growing up. All the composers are English from the early 20th century with the exception of one song, "Sally In Our Alley," written by the group's director and second tenor, Jonathan Rathbone. Most of this music was meant to be performed by piano and voice but lends itself wonderfully well to the group's capacities. The composers are Peter Warlock, Ivor Gurney, George Butterworth, Gerald Finzi, Frank Bridge and John Ireland. The lyrics are from Shakespeare, Tennyson, Shelley, Masefield, A.E. Houseman, Thomas Hardy and other notables of English letters whom the composers had set to music.
Songlist: Pretty Ring Time (Warlock), Rest, Sweet Nymphs (Warlock), Fair And True (Warlock), The First Mercy (Warlock), Twelve Oxen (Warlock), Cradle Song (Warlock), The Salley Gardens (Gurney), I Will Go With My Father A-Ploughing (Gurney), Sleep (Gurney), Love Went A-Riding (Bridge), O That It Were So (Bridge), The Lads In Their Hundreds (Butterworth), Look Not In My Eyes (Butterworth), Sally In Our Valley , Sea Fever (Ireland), If There Were Dreams To Sell (Ireland), The Heart's Desire (Ireland), Rollicum-Rorum (Finzi), Fair House Of Joy (Quilter), Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal (Quilter), Love's Philosophy (Quilter), Come Away Death (Quilter), O Mistress Mine (Quilter), Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind (Quilter)
Review: Simply put, the early success of Ward Swingle's Singers in the world of jazz is a result of their applying scat singing (a vocal technique using nonsense syllables started by Louis Armstrong in 1926 when his songsheet with the words fell on the floor while recording) to incongruous well-known music, such as the orchestral and organ music of J.S. Bach. In "Around The World" the Swingles apply scat to folk songs from around the world with a result as fresh and surprising as their first hit, "Bach Hits Back." The instruments they scat in this generous, sumptious CD (over an hour, 20 songs) include flutes of the Andes on the lovely opening cut, "Cachapaya," the banjo in the American medley "Country Dances" and the didgeridoo in a lilting "Waltzing Matilda." The combination of words and vocal "instruments" create another winning, unique sound for the Swingles. Some other favorites: "Star of the County Down" from Ireland, Scotland's "Loch Lomond," "The Ash Grove" from Wales, "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho," England's haunting "Bushes and Briars"... actually, there's not a weak track here!
Songlist: Cachapaya (Peru), Star of the County Down (Ireland), El paisanito (Argentina), De punta y taco (Chile), The Ash Grove (Wales), David of the White Rock (Wales), The Drunken Sailor (England), Ciao bella ciao (Italy), L'Amour de moi (France), Country Dances (USA), Waltzing Matilda (Austrailia), Danny boy (Ireland), Charlie is My Darling (Scotland), Loch Lomond (Scotland), The Salley Gardens (England), Joshua fought the battle of Jericho Spiritual, Viel Freuden mit sich bringet (Germany), Bushes and Briers (England), Sakkijarven Polka( Finland), Vem kan segla (Sweden)
Review: This is the second CD which, along with Jazz Sebastian Bach, are the rereleases of the early Les Swingle Singers who were a world renown phenomena. Ward Swingle's original intent had been to sing exact vocal versions of big band classics. All of the original octet had been classically trained musicians, most with perfect pitch. They sang Bach merely for practice to improve their sight reading and musicianship.The idea of 'swinging it' (jazzing it up) came later after the bass and drums were added. This fortuitous evolution leaves us with a wonderful compilation of "Swingleized" works by Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi and Bach, mostly Mozart's and Bach's work.
Songlist: Sonata No. 15 (Mozart), Ah! Vous Dirais-Je Maman (Mozart), Allegro (Sonata No.14, Mozart), Fugue (Sonata No. 37, Mozart), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), Badinerie (Bach), Air (Harpsichord Suite In E, Handel), Gigue (Cello Suite In C, Bach), Largo (Harpsichord Concerto In F, Bach), Prelude No. 19 (Well Tempered Clavier, Bach) , Preambule (Partitia No. 5 in G, Bach) , Fugue (Estro Harmonico, Op.3, No.11, Vivaldi), Prelude No. 7 (Well Tempered Clavier, Bach) , Solfeggietto (Bach), Der Fruhling (Bach), Prelude No. 24 (Well Tempered Clavier, Bach)
Review: This is a remastered reissue of the 1972 release of Les 4 Seasons "Le Printemps" and is classic Swingle Singers.
Songlist: Allegro Spring op. 8 No. 1, Largo Spring op. 8 No. 1, Allegro (Danse pastorale) Spring op. 8 No. 1, Canon In D Major, Sinfonia , Adagio (Oboe Concerto in D minor), Overture From "The Marriage of Figaro", Allegro, Fugue- Molto Allegro
Review: Reissue of the classic 1969 release on Philips featuring the arrangements of Ward Swingle of classic American songs.
Songlist: Country Dances, When Jesus Wept, Negro Spirituals, Patriotic Songs, He's Gone Away, Saints Fugue, Stephen Foster Medley, Porgy And Bess Suite
Review: Eclectic, surprising composer Luciano Berio, born in 1925, wrote "Sinfonia," for eight voices and orchestra as a surreal, often dissonant interplay between voices and instruments in six parts, "I-", "II-O King," "III"-In ruhig fliessender Bewegung," "IV-", "V-" (Regis Pasquier, violin solo, New Swingle Singers, conducted by Ward Swingle, and "Eindrucke." A strange and powerful collection by the eclectic Berio, beautifully performed by the interaction of choral and instrumental giants.
Songlist: I -, II - O King, III - In ruhig fliessender Bewegung, IV -, V - (Featuring New Swingle Singers; conductor: Ward Swingle), Ein Drucke
Review: This CD is a real treat for Swingles fans, as well as those just getting turned on to them, the original French Swingle Singers, featuring Ward himself doing all the arrangements and singing with the group! For those who are new to the Swingles, these are classic Bach pieces performed incredibly, unbelievably by voices only, singing in a seamless "scat-singing" style. Since their first record these 8 singers became, if possible, even more polished and refined in the years that separated the two volumes the Swingles were voted "Best Vocal Group in the World" several times. These are some of their best-known works: from the Fugue in G Major for organ, to the Concerto in D minor for 2 violins, the Choral from the Cantata BMV 147 to the Prelude in C major. Don't be misled by the names, this is all a cappella, with the exception of almost imperceptible drums. In the liner notes we find fascinating little odds and ends about the 10 pieces and such details as an "Ave Maria" being slipped into the score here or there. But know that this is marvelously original and inventive music and that the Swingles have remained true to the spirit that Bach instilled in his works, a profoundly human fervor and a joyously optimistic faith. As we know Johan Sebastian would, enjoy!
Songlist: Vivace, Prelude and Fugue No. 10 in E minor, Choral, Gavotte, Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major, Fugue in G major, Adagio, Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C sharp major, Choral, Fugue No. 21 in B flat major
Review: A most intriguing 1967 release of the Concerto D'Aranjuez with the Swingle Singers performing their interpretations of classical Spanish music. The result is delightful especially with singer Christine LeGrand and a couple of solos by Ward himself. Another collector's gem.
Songlist: Romanza Andaluza op. 22 No.1 , Adagio (Concierto de Aranjuez), Rondalla Aragonesa, Tango In D Major op. 165 No.2 , Granada op. 47 No.1, Sevilla op. 47 No. 3, Romance Espagnole, Spanish Tango In A Minor, Sonata In D Major S.R. 84, Andaluza
Eine Klein Nachtmusik: Allegro
Review: A hard-to-find classic and 1965 Grammy winner by the original Les Swingle Singers! Ward Swingle graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory, then studied the piano in France under Walter Gieseking from 1951-53. After working as an accompanist and conductor he became a member of the famed Double-Six. From there he became the founder, arranger and 1st tenor for the SwingleSingers, all the other singers being French. We have Jeanette Baucomont, soprano; Christiane LeGrand, soprano; Alice Herald, alto; Jean Cussac, bass; and three Germains, Anne, alto; her husband Claude, tenor; and his brother Jose, Bass. Included are: "Zwolf Variationen fur Klavier 'Ah! Vous Dirais-Je Maman,'" "Fuga," "Sonate fur Klavier Nr. 15 C-Dur," three movements, "Serenade Nr. 13 G-Dur, 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,'" four movements; and "Allegro." Lightly scatting over the familiar melodies (what we recognize as the kids' song "A B C D E F G," for instance) then matching the snare drum beat for beat in a dancing multi-harmonic nonsense-syllable musical race, here was a unique sound, as fresh and original as Wolfgang himself. It was a breakthrough sound that led to the group being awarded a Grammy. Unobtrusively accompanied by Guy Pedersen on Double Bass and Daniel Humair on Drums, "Swinging" is astounding, a vocal jazz milestone!
Songlist: Ah! Vous Dirais-Je- Maman, Fugue No 37, Sonata No. 15, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Sonata No. 5
Review: Ward Swingle's Swingle Singers were formed in 1962, and stepped into the vocal jazz spotlight bigtime with the success of their first album, which was based entirely on Ward's groundbreaking vocal scat interpretations of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. On this their second album, seven of the 12 tunes are again by Johann - but to the Swingles, their homage could only be complete if they included by works of Johann's family and friends, composers who viewed Bach as their Master. Thus we are treated to the marvelous vocal gymnastics of the Swingles on pieces by Bach's two sons, Carl and Wilhelm, Handel (spelled "Haendel" in the liner notes) and Vivaldi. We are immediately drawn into the surprising power of Bach's "Badinerie" where the voices, accompanied by light, driving jazz snare drum, dance like frantic, harmonic dragonflies over the surface of a pond for a minute and 19 seconds and then are gone. Also fun and fast-moving are Bach's "Praeambulum," and "Solfegietto in C Minor," Handel's "Allegro" and Vivaldi's "Fugue."Particularly sweet and melodic are Bach's "Largo," based on his harpsichord concerto, and Wilhelm F. Bach's "Der Fruehling." It's easy to see why the Swingles created such a sensation with their voices-as-orchestra, push-the-envelope style, which sounds as fresh and revolutionary today. We would like to imagine Bach and friends in a heavenly music room, putting on headphones and grooving on this hip homage to their music!
Songlist: Badinerie - Johann Sebastian Bach, Aria And Variations: "The Harmonious Blacksmith" (Handel), Giga- Johann Sebastian Bach, Largo (Bach), Prelude No. 19 In A Major (Bach), Praeambulum (Bach), Fugue (Vivaldi), Allegro (Handel), Prelude No. 7 In E Flat Major (Bach), Solfegietto In C Minor (CPE Bach), Der Fruehling (Spring) WF Bach), Prelude No. 24 In B Minor (Bach)
Review: This is it! The original Les Swingle Singers, arranged and conducted by Ward Swingle. Half of this rerelease was from the l963 recording which won a Grammy for "Best Performance by a Chorus." The first Jazz Sebastian Bach was a 1968 album called Bach's Greatest Hits here in the US where Les Swingles won a Grammy in the category "Best New Artist." You'll find over sixty-five minutes of jazz/Bach sung with only the bass and drum (mostly snare) to accentuate rhythm. They became world renown because scat is an understandable language everywhere in it. None of Bach's work has been changed, not a note added or taken away! This is not improvisation (though two pieces were transposed to accommodate vocal range).
Songlist: Fugue En Re Minuer, Prelude Pour Choral D'Orgue No. 1, Aria, Prelude En Fa Majeur, Bourree, Fugue En Do Minuer Fugue En Re Majeur, Prelude No. 9, Sinfonia, Prelude En Do Majeur, Canon, Invention en Do Majeur, Fugue En Re Majeur, Vivace, Prelude Et Fugue En Mi Mineur, Choral De La Cantate, Gavotte, Prelude Et Fugue En Do Majeur, Fugue En Sol Majeur, Adagio, Prelude Et Fugue En Do Diese Majeu, Prelude Du Choral D'Orgue, Fugue No.21 Du Prelude Et Fugue En Si Bemol Majeur BWV 866
Review: Although Mozart only lived for 35 years his output was extraordinary, not only in quantity but in quality. To many his music is perfect - not a note out of place - nothing over- or understated. This is a collection of some of Mozart's most cherished songs have been given the "Swingle Sound" treatment by arrangers Ben Parry and Jonathan Rathbone who were long-serving members of the group. Famous for their all-vocal interpretations of classical material this recording is itself a classic and is a recording you will play for many years to come.
Songlist: Die Zauberflote, Symphony No. 40, Molto Allegro, Andante, Minuetto: Allegretto, Finale: Allegro Assai, Ave Verum Corpus, Finale From String Quartet In G Major, Un Aura Amorosa From Cosi Fan Tutte, Finale Rondo From Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Finale From Horn Concerto No. 4, Canzonetta From Don Giovanni, Terzettino From Cosi Fan Tutte, Gigue, Andante From Piano Concerto No. 21, Hostias From Requiem, Quam Olim Abrahae From Rrequiem, Finale: Alla Turca From Piano Sonata In A Major, Fantasia In F Minor And Major
Review: Ward Swingle's Grammy-winning, envelope-pushing mixed-voice octet is simply one of the best and most influential vocal groups of all time. "Romantic" is a digitally-remastered reissue of recordings made in 1967, and the fresh, effortless sound on these 11 songs delights and amazes us again. The prolific Swingles have performed and recorded in many styles, Bach to the Beatles, folk songs to film themes, but they hit the big time as a vocal jazz group and it remains in our minds their forte. Beethoven's "Scherzo" and "Allegro," Chopin's "Allegro," "Etude op. 10," "Etude op. 25," and "Waltz" are particularly marvelous. Schumann's "Short Fugue," and two by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, "Spinning Song" and "Andante," are excellent, as are Mussorgsky's "Limoges, The Market." Rounding out the CD are two gems; "Zortzinco" by Isaac Albeniz and Schubert's "Andante." There is occasional unobtrusive light percussion and double bass. Still performing, touring and recording extensively (most recently the excellent CDs "Ticket to Ride," "Keyboard Classics," "Live in Japan" and "Mood Swings" were released on our own PAC records), it is a real treat to hear some of the Swingles' work from 37 years ago, especially with the remastering. Perfect then, perfect now!
Songlist: Scherzo (Sonata for violin and piano op. 24 No. 5 in F Major "Spring")(Ludwig van Beethoven), Allegro (Piano sonata op. 26 No. 12 in A flat major) (Ludwig van Beethoven), Etude op. 10 No. 6 in E flat major (Frederic Chopin), Etude op. 25 No. 2 in F minor (Frederic Chopin), Waltz op. 64 No. 2 in C sharp minor (Frederic Chopin), Short Fugue (Album For The Young op. 68) (Robert Schumann), Spinning Song (Songs Without Words op. 67 No. 4) (FelixMendelssohn-Bartholdy), Limoges, The Market (Pictures At An Exhibition) (Modest Mussorgsky), Andante (String Quartet op. 44 No. 1 in D major) (FelixMendelssohn-Bartholdy), Zortzico (Isaac Albeniz), Andante (String Quartet op. 29 No. 13 in A minor D.804 "Rosamunde") (FranzSchubert)
Review: Since the release of Ticket to Ride, the Swingle Singers have received many requests from choirs and a cappella groups for their Beatles' arrangements. Finally, they have published a companion songbook to the popular album. The book contains the seventeen songs from the CD arranged for four to eight voices and features a bonus arrangement of "Here, There and Everywhere" for AATTBB. These wonderful arrangements include the original scat syllables used on the recording as well as alternated endings for the songs that fade out. Another great addition to the Swingle publications, this book will have your group creating a new wave of Beatle mania at your next concert.
Songlist: Penny Lane, Revolution, Day Tripper, Norwegian Wood, Birthday, Lady Madona, Yesterday, Strawberry Fields Forever, Drive My Car, Blackbird / I Will, When I'm 64, The Fool On The Hill, All My Loving, I Am The Walrus, Goodnight, Here, There and Everywhere, Ticket To Ride
Review: Charts from the Swingle Singers' stellar christmas album, 'The Story of Christmas. These four, eight part arrangements are fun for the singers and the listeners. Especially exciting is Ben Parry's arrangement of Jingle Bells!
Songlist: And is it True?, Boars Head Carol, Jingle Bells, Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle
Review: Recorded at Harewood House in 1989, the Swingle Singers performance for Yorkshire Television includes Bach's "Organ Fugue in G Minor," Henry the VIII's "Pastime In Good Company," and the Swingles go-for-broke closer, "1812." Since the octet's founding by Ward Swingle, originally in France, and then as a later, English version, the group has astounded audiences with their "voice orchestra" renditions of classical works. Though Ward has since retired, Jonathan Rathbone, Ben Parry and their fellow singers carry the banner with aplomb and daredevil musicality.
Songlist: Bach: Organ Fugue in g minor, Henry VIII: Pastime with Good Company, Lennon/ McCartney: I Will/ Blackbird and Cachapaya, Debussy: clair de lune, Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture