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Theatre of Voices

Director: Paul Hillier

Theatre of Voices

Mixed Choral Ensemble Denmark.

Theatre of Voices was founded by Paul Hillier in 1990 and is widely recognized as one of Europe's foremost vocal groups. Current projects include music ranging from Perotin to Dowland, and many of today's most eminent composers such as Berio, Part, Reich, Cage, and Stockhausen.

During 2007 members of the group performed John Adams's Grand Pianola Music in Los Angeles, conducted by the composer; they also premiered a new John Cage event - John Cage and the Music of Always - at the Stimmen Festival in Germany; and in Australia performed the premiere of Part's Passio with special film by Paolo Cherchi-Usai (European premiere in Copenhagen in September with Ars Nova). In August the group gave two concerts at the Edinburgh Festival, and in October they premiered a new work by David Lang, The Little Match Girl Passion, at NewYork's Carnegie Hal - the program also included Berio's A-Ronne. In November they appeared with Steve Reich and Musicians in Normandy's Festival d'Automne, performing Reich, Part, Perotin and the European premiere of Lang's Little Match Girl Passion, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. The work has been recorded for Harmonia Mundi and was released last May.

2008 included the opening of Berliner Festspiele with Stockhausen's Stimmung - at the composer's own request - and at the BBC Proms and the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Poland. 2009 includes tours in Australia, France, UK, Sweden and Mexico.

In May 2009 the ensemble presented a new production by Chinese composer Liu Sola at the Barbican Centre and Takkelloftet at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen - The Afterlife of Li Jiantong.

The group's most recent CDs include Cries of London (English renaissance music), Stockhausen's Stimmung (the Copenhagen version) and David Lang's Little Match Girl Passion.

Discography

Displaying 1-7 of 7 items.


Theatre of Voices : Creator Spiritus - Arvo Part : 00 SACD : Paul Hillier : Arvo Part : HMU 807553

Theatre of Voices : Creator Spiritus - Arvo Part

Review: Creator Spiritus is the latest collaboration between GRAMMY Award winning conductor Paul Hillier and celebrated Estonian composer Arvo Part. The disc features a carefully selected collection of Part's choral and instrumental chamber music, drawn from different periods in the composer's career. Leading his celebrated vocal ensembles Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen and joined by the NYYD Quartet and long-time collaborator organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, Hillier produces another powerful recording of ethereal sacred music.

Songlist: Veni creator, The Deer's Cry, Psalom, Most Holy Mother of God, Solfeggio, My Heart's in the Highlands, Peace upon you, Jerusalem, Ein Wallfahrtslied, Morning Star, Stabat Mater

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2916c | 00 SACD | $19.95


Theatre of Voices : The Christmas Story : 00 SACD : Paul Hillier :  : HMU 807565

Theatre of Voices : The Christmas Story

Review: Inspired by the much-loved service of "Nine Lessons and Carols" given every Christmas Eve in England, this recording presents the Nativity story told through plainchant, motets, 17th Century dialogues, and traditional folk carols. Paul Hillier leads Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen in music he has culled and arranged from Italian, German, Danish, English, and American sources.

Songlist: Rorate coeli desuper, Veni veni Emanuel, Eis ist ein Ros entsprungen, Dum deambularet Dominus in Paradisum, Adam lay y-bounden, In dulci iubilo, Missus est Gabriel, Puer natus est, O magnum mysterium, Voi ch'ai notturni rai, Dormi, dormi, o bel bambin, Liebe Hirten, Andachtsjodler, We Three Kings, Videntes stellam, Personent hodie, Herodes iratus, Vox in Rama, Uebers Gebirg, Maria wallt zum Heiligtum, The holly and the ivy, Barn Jesus i en krybbe la, We wish you a merry Christmas

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2020c | 00 SACD | $18.95 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Theatre of Voices : The Little Match Girl Passion : 00 SACD : Paul Hillier :  : 807496

Theatre of Voices : The Little Match Girl Passion

Review: Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall especially for Paul Hillier and Theatre of Voices, David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Setting Hans Christian Andersen's fable in the format of Bach's St Matthew Passion, Lang elevates the suffering of the little match girl with poignant, evocative music. Lang's piece is scored for four voices and a few percussion instruments, played by the singers. They sing the sad story of a little girl who freezes to death selling matches on the street during a cold winter's night. In notes Lang wrote to accompany the Carnegie Hall premiere last October, he says he was drawn to Andersen's story because of how opposite aspects of the plot played off each other. "The girl's bitter present is locked together with the sweetness of her past memories," Lang says. "Her poverty is always suffused with her hopefulness. There's a kind of na•ve equilibrium between suffering and hope."

Songlist: Come, Daughter, It Was Terribly Cold, Dearest Heart, In an Old Apron, Penance, Patience!, Ah! Perhaps, Have Mercy, My God, She Lighted Another Match, From the Sixth Hour, She Again Rubbed a Match, When it is Time For Me to Go, In the Dawn of Morning, We Sit and Cry, For Love is Strong, I Lie, Evening Morning Day, Again (After Ecclesiastes)

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9059c | 00 SACD | $19.95 | A Cappella


Theatre of Voices : Arvo Part - A Tribute : 00  1 CD : Paul Hillier : Arvo Part : 907407

Theatre of Voices : Arvo Part - A Tribute

Review: In celebration of composer Arvo Part's 70th birthday on September 11th, Harmonia Mundi offers this special selection of recordings, conducted by his long-time collaborator and biographer Paul Hillier. Of special note is the first release of Hillier's reading of Dopo la vittoria. Previously released recordings are taken from Hillier's two highly acclaimed recordings of the music of Arvo Part. His first CD, De Profundis, has remained a bestseller since its debut in March 1997. I Am The True Vine, his second Part disc, illustrated Hillier's unique affinity for the deep spiritual mysteries of Part's music, and his ability to illuminate them in ways no other performer can match. The collaborative relationship between Hillier and Estonian composer Part dates back to the early 1980s, when as director of the Hilliard Ensemble, he was among the first to present Part's music to the West.

Songlist: Dopo La Vittoria, The Woman With The Alabaster Box, Berliner Messe, Kyrie, Gloria, First Alleluia Verse, Second Alleluia Verse, Veni Sancte Spiritus, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Solfeggio, Magnificat, Bogoroditese Djevo, I Am The True Wine, Which Was The Son Of...

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7867c | 00 1 CD | $16.98 | Primarily a cappella


Theatre of Voices : Arvo Part - De Profundis : 00  1 CD : Paul Hillier : Arvo Part : HMU 907182

Theatre of Voices : Arvo Part - De Profundis

Review: Marx and Lenin probably would not have appreciated the irony, but after decades of Communist repression of religion, the former Soviet bloc is the source of a profound outpouring of explicitly Christian expression. This is manifested in the music of such composers as Henryk Gorecki, a Pole, and Arvo Part, an Estonian. Part, a refugee from serialism, here writes in a quasi-minimalist style that he calls "tintinnabuli," a sound that echoes medieval composition. A fan of vocal music ("The human voice is the most perfect instrument of all"), he uses choruses to superb effect. This disc includes some of his best work, including the popular Magnificat, beautifully rendered by the Theatre of Voices under Paul Hillier.

Songlist: De Profundis, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Ite Misse Est, Solfeggio, And One Of Those Pharisees, Cantate Domino, Summa, O Weisheit, O Adonai, O Spross, O Schlussel, O Morgenstern, O Konig, O Immanuel, The Beatitudes, Magnificat

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6136c | 00 1 CD | $15.95


Theatre of Voices : Part - I Am The True Vine : 00  1 CD : Paul Hillier : Arvo Part : 907242

Theatre of Voices : Part - I Am The True Vine

Review: Contemporary troubador Paul Hillier has been one of the key players behind introducing Arvo Part's music to Western audiences, first through recordings with the Hilliard Ensemble and later through his magnificently innovative group Theatre of Voices. I Am the True Vine continues the collaboration by bringing together some truly vintage Part compositions from the '90s. Although it exists on disc in a more elaborate version for choir and strings, the 1990 Berlin Mass was originally written for just four solo voices and organ. Part later revised the score, returning to that original sonority, which is the version offered here. The consummate preparation of the Theatre of Voices, in which every line is lovingly unfurled, the whole building into a memorable aural sculpture, only heightens a listener's admiration for Part's ability to make the seemingly simple profound. We also hear the composer in a more overtly joyful mood than usual in the short first selection, while the title track--a setting of a text from the Gospel of John and one of three world premiere recordings here--is a marvelously organic example of word painting (representing Part's choral virtuosity even when it comes to setting English text).

Songlist: Bogoroditse dyevo (Hail Mary), I Am the True Vine, Kanon Pokajanen, The Woman with the Alabaster Box, Tribute to Caesar, Berliner Messe

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7868c | 00 1 CD | $17.95 | Primarily a cappella


Theatre of Voices : Stimmung : 00 SACD : Paul Hillier :  : HMU807408

Theatre of Voices : Stimmung

Review: With the 1968 Paris premiere of his Stimmung, Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928) exploded the very definition of vocal performance. This musical tour de force, made up of an unbroken sequence of 51 sonic models - entirely built on the overtones of B-flat and presented in every possible voice combination - experiments with new compositional techniques and deconstructs the mechanics of speech and song. Paul Hillier, a champion of early and contemporary vocal repertoire, leads Theatre of Voices in his newly created "Copenhagen version" of a milestone of 20th-century music that today remains as relevant as ever. Hillier's life-long relationship with Stimmung began in the 1970s when he performed it as a member of Singcircle with the composer at the controls. The serene but highly charged aural landscape of the work has its roots in Stockhausen's assimilation of global musical currents as he traveled the world in the 1950s and 1960s - from mystic experiences in Mexico to Tibetan overtone singing. Surprisingly, this is one of Stockhausen's most accessible compositions: spiritual yet humorous, mystical yet worldly and erotic in its poetry. Following the performances Theatre of Voices gave in the UK, the Times of London called them "mesmerizing" and The Daily Telegraph described the event as "evoking a feeling of ritual and tranquility." This SACD-only release is a demonstration-quality recording that is certain to wow the most exacting of audiophiles.

Songlist: Stimmung

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8668c | 00 SACD | $19.95


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