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Mixed Voice Choral Recordings

We have over the many years been able to collect some of the best mixed-voice choir CD recordings from around the world. Many of the CD recordings are not available thru the usual distributors and in many cases we are the sole distributor of the titles.

Displaying 651-684 of 684 items.

University of New Mexico Concert Choir : Verdi Requiem

Review: The UNM performers were joined by an Italian guest conductor, Stefano Vignati, and soloists Ilaria De Francesco, soprano; Laura Brioli, mezzo soprano; Gian Luca Pasolini, tenor; and Mirco Palazzi, bass. "We record all our performances for archival purposes, but because of the special guest artists and the combination of the chorus and concert choir, we used eight microphones to capture the event. The sound quality is exceptional, especially for a live performance," Ellingboe said.

Songlist: Requiem et Kyrie, Dies Irae: , -Dies irae, -Tuba mirum, -Liber scriptus, -Quid sum, miser!, -Rex tremendae, -Recordare, -Ingemisco, -Confutatis, -Lacrymosa, CD 2:, Domine Jesu, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Lux aeterna , Libera me

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8857c | 2 CDs | $16.95 || Giuseppe Verdi

Various Artists : Exotic Voices From Africa

Review: This is an impressive two-CD set of some of the finest a cappella groups in Africa, including Ladysmith, Baswa Ba Tumelo (South African Zionist Church Choir), Zyac Choir (Zulu Church group), Maogane A Tumelo (N. Sotho Zion Church choir), Majalefa A Morena (South Sotho Choir), and ten others, including the Zulu a cappella group The King Star Brothers. There are 30 authentic tunes here, 15 on each side, sung by groups that are, individually, and collectively, the heart and soul of Africa. This is an important collection on many levels, and enjoyable for the listener fairly new to African music as well as to say, a Ladysmith fan who wants to hear some of the lesser-known, but often equally amazing, voices from Africa.

Songlist: Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Isigcino, Baswa Ba Tumelo - Mmele Pelo Le Moya, Zyac Choir - Ujesu Uyinkosi, Msogane A Tumelo - Orata Boetapele, Majalefa A Morena - Sengiyezwa, Simon Ngobeni Na Vatsonga Sisters - Masasani, Ngxalothi No Masevela - Uyadela, Church of Christ - Ngangiboshiwe, Amanxusa Ka Jesu - Ujesu Yedwa Nje, Zamo No Senta - Igobondela, Isabelo - Isithembiso, Laduma - Mehleng, Ntu Bhekani Brothers - Igazi, Masibuyele Kujehova Choir - E Getsemane, The King Star Brothers - Kwapminda Kwenzeka, Abafana Beseluleko - Ubani Ongasebenze Usathane, Isithembiso - Ubothandaza, Ubuhle Bezi Ntombi - Kushothina, Pietersberg Top Ten - Mmapule, Amahlokoloko - Ningakhali, Dilika - Abafana Bedilik, Genesisi Endlu Nkulu - Dwala Lami, MzikayifaniButhelezi - Ungizondelani, Pat Mabasa Na Shikange Sisters - Jelasi, Ivangelani Loxolo - Izwi Legazi, Izingame Zoma - Giyamthakatmi, Amaduduzo/Ronnie Bodibe - Intombi, Derrick Ndzimande - Vus'umoya Wami, Johnny Dimba - Baleka Tshwala

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6742c | 2 CDs | $17.98 || African Choral Music

Various Artists : Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music

Review: The 6th World Symposium on Choral Music took place in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, in August of 2002, hosted by the American Choral Director's Association. The Symposium takes place every 3 years and features prominent choral specialists and choirs from around the world in lectures and concerts. This 2-CD set features live recordings of 27 choirs from around the world, beginning with Chanticleer's "I Dream of Jeannie," and ending with the combined choirs singing "What A Mighty God." Representing the US, besides Chanticleer, are AmericaFest, singing "One By One (from the Lion King)," Michigan State U. Children's Choir, singing "My Lord, What a Morning" and "Billy and Ming do the Be-Bop Thing," the St. Olaf Choir, singing the Moses Hogan-arranged "This Little Light of Mine," Dale Warland Singers, with "Snow (The King's Trumpeter)", and VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, singing "Antiphon for the Virgin." There is so much amazing music on this CD, we will mention a handful of other favorites: Cantoria de Merida of Venezuela's "El Gavan," Univ. of Pretoria Concert Choir's "A Selection of Traditional African Folk Music," Garganta Profunda of Brazil's jazzy "O pato," National Youth Choir of Namibia's "Sangena" and The Norweigian Soloists Choir's "Mon Dieu, mon adore." But if you are interested in the best of Contemporary Choral music, "Choral Highlights" is for you! Some light accompaniment, beautiful, extensive liner notes.

Songlist: Chanticleer, -I Dream of Jeannie, Little Singers of Armenia, -Light of Glory, -Middle Song, -Autumn Song, Cantoria de Merida, -El Gavan, -Aires de Golpe Tuyero, St. Jacob's Chamber Choir, -Coelos ascendit hodie, -Credo Part I, -Credo Part VI, -Du som ar over oss, Chamber Choir off the Moscow state conservatory, -Concerto for choir- "The Book of Mournful Chants", University of Pretoria Concert Choir, -Psalm 103, Horizons, -A Selection of Traditional African Folk Music, Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir, -Sunset, -Song of Praise, Vienna Chamber Choir, -Kyrie, -Brauner Bursche Fuhrt Zum Tanze, -Kommt Dir Manchmal In den Sinn, Riga Dom Boys Choir, -My Marysiu, Love Me, AmericaFest, and more

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7713c | 2 CDs | $24.98 | A Cappella |

Various Choirs : Ultimate Welsh Choirs

Review: Enjoy the sound of Wales with this extensive collection performed by some of the country's most cherished choirs. Featuring traditional Welsh songs, West End musical classics and popular standards this collection is full of spirit and charm. A beautifully packaged 2 CD set.

Songlist: Love Changes Everything, Take Me Home, Sailing, Lily of the Valley, Do You Hear the People Sing?, The Sound Of Silence, Gloria, I Have a Dream, With a Voice of Singing, The Wonder of You, Solitare, There's A Valley Called the Rhondda, Battle Hymn of the Republic, The Lost Chord, Where Shall I Be?, Abide With Me, Passing By, Love Could I Only Tell The , Sunrise Sunset, Amen, The Crusaders, Pilgrims Chorus, Softly As I Leave You, Rhythm of Life, Myfanwy, Deryn Y Bwn o'r Banna, Speed Your Journey, Beautiful Dreamer, Calm is the Sea, Amazing Grace, and more

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2763c | 2 CDs | $17.95 | A Cappella || Welsh Choral Music

VocalEssence with Garrison Keillor : Hymn to Potatoes

Review: Who knew a choir could be this funny? Garrison Keillor, Philip Brunelle and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers dish up a generous helping of Potatoes a la Schubert, run away to Europe to indulge their "Shenandoah" habit, and enlighten us on the T.U.L.I.P. doctrine. This two-CD set of the best choral skits and bits from 10 years on A Prairie Home Companion includes the often-requested "Julia" (John Lennon) and a rare choral interpretation of "Karma Chamelon" (Boy George).

Songlist: Song of the Sons of Bernie, A Word about Schubert , Ave Maria, Dutch Calvinism: The T.U.L.I.P. Doctrine , Come Live with Me and Be My Love, Brahms in Love, Two Folk Songs, The "Shenandoah" Syndrome , Julia, The Runaway Choir, Norwegian Independence , Holy Trinity Lutheran Seeks Music Director , Beulah Land , The Choral News from Lake Wobegon , Something , Spring Fever

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8318c | 2 CDs | $19.95 |

VocalEssence with Garrison Keillor : Over The River & Through the Woods

Review: On November 23, 2004, the Hopeful Gospel Quartet - Garrison Keillor, Mollie O'Brien and Robin & Linda Williams - traded musical moments with the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers in a concert at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. The evening seamlessly blended American folk traditions with choral masterpieces old and new, from "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" to "Now Thank We All Our God." Garrison Keillor shared his Thanksgiving memories in a hilarious yet poignant monologue. Thanks to Minnesota Public Radio, the evening was captured for posterity in this charming two-CD set.

Songlist: Will The Circle Be Unknown, Goodbye To My Uncles, Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing, We Gather Together, Walking In The Spirit, Welcome, For The Beauty Of The Earth, I Am A Pilgrim, Pursuit Of Happiness, Morning Has Broken, He's Right On Time, A Psalm, Zion's Walls, Rivers Of Babylon, O Herbst , Calling My Children, Another Psalm, Praise O Praise The Great Creator, Couldn't Keep It To MySelf, An Anthem For Thanksgiving, How Happy I Am , Thanksgiving Recollections, Thanks Be To God, El Hambo, You Don't Knock, Light From The Lighthouse, A Thanksgiving To God, For His House, Monologue, Psalm 23, How Great Thou Art, and more

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8319c | 2 CDs | $19.95 |

RIAS - Kammerchor : Chorus - Masterworks of Choral Music

Review: Between the late Baroque and the twentieth century, musical literature was enriched by a great variety of choral forms. From the simplest (the Lutheran chorale as practised by Bach, or the chorus a cappella) to the most complex (double choruses, combinations with soloists and orchestra), they are all here in this exhaustive survey drawing on the finest recordings of one of the world's most highly acclaimed choirs, the RIAS-Kammerchor of Berlin.

Songlist: CD One: 18th Century, Christmas Oratorio , Famous Opera Choirs, The Seasons , CD Two: 19th Century, Choral Lieder, Motet, Choral Works, Motette, Vier Gesange, Zigeunerlieder , CD Three: 20th Century, Shakespeare Songs , Motets Pour Le Temps de Noel , Choral Works , Sacred And Profane

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7804c | 3 CDs | $39.98 | A Cappella || German Choral Music

Sixteen : Handel Messiah

Review: Brand new recording by one of the most celebrated ensembles in the world features distinguished soloists revered for their performances of Handel. "What a winning combination: Handel's Messiah, the most popular oratorio ever written, sung by The Sixteen, the most richly sonorous of early music choirs." -The Telegraph. "The Sixteen are on fine form in a repertory that sees them at their most confident." - Gramophone

Songlist: Messiah (complete oratorio) , Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon , The Lord our enemy has slain from Esther, Nell dolce dell'obblio, Harp Concerto in B-flat, Op. 4, No. 6 from Alexander's Feast , Sinfonia to Act 2 of Ariodante, Scherza infida from Ariodante, Let the Bright Seraphim from Samson

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8935c | 3 CDs | $24.95 | A Cappella || George Frideric Handel

Pacific Mozart Ensemble : Bernstein's Mass

Review: PME recorded Bernstein's Mass with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin. The recording received a Grammy nomination in 2005 for Best Choral Performance. The work calls for a "Street Chorus" that is able to perform such American musical styles as jazz, blues and rock. Since PME has long been known for being able to do the crossover between "classical" and other forms, Nagano decided that for his recording PME had to be hired and brought to Berlin. Over forty singers went for a week of recording sessions and concerts. In addition to singing the choral parts, PME supplied twenty soloists. Also heard on the recording is the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, with whom we share the nomination. The Mass was commissioned in 1971 by Jacqueline Kennedy for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Ours is the first recording of the piece since the original was conducted by Bernstein.

Songlist: Antiphon: "Kyrie eleison", Hymn and Psalm: A simple song, Responsory: "Alleluia", Prefatory Prayers, Thrice - Triple Canon: Dominus vobiscum, In nomine Patris, Prayer for the Congregation, Epiphany, Confiteor, Trope: "I don't know", Trope: "Easy", Meditation No. 1, Gloria tibi, Gloria in excelsis, Trope: "Half of the People", Trope: "Thank you", Meditation No. 2, Epistle "The Word of Lord", Gospel-Sermon "God said", Credo in unum Deum, Trope: "Non Credo", Trope: "Hurry", World Without End, Trope: "I Believe in God", Meditation No. 3 (De profundis, part 1), Offertory (De profundis, part 2), "Our father...", Trope: "I Go On", Sanctus "Holy! Holy! Holy!...", Agnus Dei, and more

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8710c | 2 SACDs | $39.95 | A Cappella || Leonard Bernstein

Amadeus Choir : American Choir Music

Review: There are almost a hundred years between the dates of birth of Charles Ives, 1874, and Eric Whitacre, born 1970, the youngest composer in this Kaleidoscope of American choral music. If someone takes a look at the standard works in music literature, there is hardly any American choral music to be found. The American works that can be perceived as approaching the traditions of western music do not appear to interest the specialist world in Europe. The story in concert halls and churches, as well as in recording studios, is quite different, however. Through the founding of many choirs, gospels and spirituals are more popular than ever and, on the programs of classical a cappella choirs, the works of Morten Lauridsen or Samuel Barber have already become classics. The Amadeus Choir is an ensemble of some 50 singers and was founded by Karl-Friedrich Beringer, conductor of the Windsbacher Knabenchor since 1978.

Songlist: Agnus Dei, Four Motets, Lux Aurumque, Cloudburst, Water Night, My Song In The Night, Nocturnes, The Rose, Lord God, Thy Sea Is Mighty, Crossing The Bar, The Battle Of Jericho, I'm Gonna Sing, Elijah Rock, Variations On "America"

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8973c | SACD | $16.95 || German Choral Music

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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43135c | SACD | $17.95 |

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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43136c | 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 | SACD | $17.95 || Spirituals CDs

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 | SACD | $19.95 |

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir : Baltic Runes

Review: Paul Hillier leads the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in a program tracing the Balto-Finnic folksong tradition through the works of Jean Sibelius, Cyrillus Kreek, Erik Bergman and Veljo Tormis. Hillier's previous forays into this repertoire (his three-volume Baltic Voices series) have been met with the highest critical acclaim. Hillier was also recently awarded a GRAMMY for his recording of David Lang's Little Match Girl Passion.

Songlist: Laulusild, Rakastava (The Lover), Sirisege, sirbikesed!, Maga, maga Matsikene, Mis sa sirised, sirtsukene?, Pilspa ja pakana, Lapponia, Jannilaulud

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6098c | SACD | $21.95 |

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir : Rachmaninov - Vespers

Review: The period from 1880 to 1917 marked a renaissance in Russian choral music. Previously, Russian choral music had been dominated by German and Italian influences. Now composers returned to old Russian chants as the source of their works, thus creating a thoroughly Russian choral style. Although Sergei Rachmaninov wrote only few choral works, they are among the finest example of Russian choral music ever written. Of those works, the All-Night Vigil (more commonly referred to as the Vespers) stands as his crowning achievement and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the Orthodox church music as a whole. Composed in 1915, the All-Night Vigil is comprised of texts for services of Vespers, Matins and Prime. In writing the work, Rachmaninov employed a system known as "choral orchestration," which requires singers to make use of a wide range of complex vocal techniques. But for all the innovation and technical prowess evident in Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil, it is the work's intense emotion and deep spirituality that stays with the listener.

Songlist: Come, let us worship, Praise the Lord, O my soul, Blessed is the man, O gentle light, Lord, now lettest Thou, Rejoice, O Virgin, The Six Psalms, Praise the name of the Lord, Blessed art Thou, O Lord, Having beheld the Ressurection, My soul magnifies the Lord, The Great Doxology, Today salvation is come, Thou didst rise from the tomb, O queen victorious

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7784c | SACD | $16.98 | A Cappella || Estonian Choral Music | Sergey Rachmaninov

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir : Tulev - Songs

Review: Toivo Tulev is one of the principal figures in Estonian music today. Deeply influenced by his study of Gregorian chant, Tulev's works have a mystic, incantatory dimension. Songs is the title of the largest work on this CD, but it reflects on the other works as well, and not only because they are vocal or choral. During the 1980s, the composer was a member of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. This background has given him an innate sense of what singers can do. The linear interweaving of which Tulev's music is constructed is essentially vocal; even when played on instruments it is song. Dedicated to Paul Hillier, Songs is a polychoral piece with various groups of singers and instruments distributed around the concert venue. The text is a collage created by the composer from various sources: the Bible, the Song of Songs and two poems, Cantico espiritual and Coplas del alma que pena por ver a Dios by St John of the Cross. The small orchestra includes recorder and duduk, an instrument whose longing quality is well suited to the poems. World-renowned countertenor Robin Blaze joins Paul Hillier and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in this world premiere recording.

Songlist: By Night, Where Have You Hidden, Beloved, This Life That I Live, Nigra Sum, Behold, Thou Art Fair, I Am Come Into My Garden, Reveal, Reveal Your Presence, Mira Que La Dolencia De Amour, Der Herr Ist Mein Getreuer Hirt I, Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice, , Leave, Alas, This Tormenting, Jusquez au Printemps, Der Herr Ist Mein Getreuer Hirt II

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8950c | SACD | $19.95 || Estonian Choral Music

Ex Cathedra : Fire Burning in Snow

Review: Fire Burning in Snow, the third volume in Ex Cathedra's series of Baroque music from Latin America, is strong testimony to the vitality of the musical scene in South America in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The bulk of this album is devoted to the sacred and secular choral music of Juan de Araujo (1648-1712), who was born in Spain, but whose family moved to South America when he was a child. He lived in Peru and Panama, but spent most of his adult life in La Plata, Bolivia, where he was the organist at the cathedral. The music recorded here is notable for its almost Monteverdian range of styles and expressiveness. This selection of Araujo's strongly rhythmic work includes a rigorously polyphonic motet for triple choir; a simple, lovely lullaby for women's voices; and many stylistically diverse choral villancicos. The standout work on the CD, though, is Hanacpachap cussicuinin, a 20-verse Peruvian hymn in the Quechua language that was the first example of choral polyphony published in the Americas in 1631. It's broken into four sections of five verses each, and performed with ensembles of differing sizes and varying accompaniments. The anonymous hymn has a startling grandeur, and even with 20 verses it's so compelling that it never wears out its welcome. Ex Cathedra Consort and Baroque Ensemble sing and play with high spirits and polish. Conductor Jeffrey Skidmore is to be commended for bringing this repertoire, much of which has never been recorded, to light, and for delivering such lively realizations and energetic and full-bodied performances. This SACD should be of strong interest to anyone who loves Renaissance and Baroque polyphony and fans of choral music with a Latin flavor.

Songlist: Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 1- ), Dixit Dominus, Silencio, Dime, amor, A, del la region de luces, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 6- 10), A, del cielo, Fuego de amor, En el muy gran Padre Ignacio, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 11- 15), Salga el torillo hosquillo, Dios de amor, A, del tiempo, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 16- 20)

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6162c | SACD | $19.95 || Latin American Choral | Juan de Araujo

Flemish Radio Choir : Kodaly - Missa Brevis

Review: All the conductors who have worked with the Flemish Radio Choir, or VRK, have no hesitation in ranking it along side the other two great European chamber choirs, Accentus and the RIAS Kammerchor. Its technical confidence, expressive capacity and profound knowledge of the repertoires, as well as its enormous vision and originality in putting together its programs, are the key factors that have led to the inclusion of this elite group in Glossa's selection of artists. Composed during the Second World War (most of it at a Budapest monastery) and completed in 1944, Missa Brevis was first performed in 1945, just after the end of the war, at the Budapest Opera House (where Kodaly and his wife had been forced to seek refuge during the final days of the conflict). In fact, it was actually performed in the dressing rooms, these apparently being the only part of the building that had not been damaged by the constant air raids on the city. It is one of his most notable choral pieces and subliminally conveys the suffering and uncertainty of that endless time during which Kodaly risked his own life on more than one occasion. While all of this certainly helps to explain its powerful emotional and intensely dramatic qualities, more than anything else Missa Brevis is a hymn to hope, a musical poem of extraordinary transparency written in praise not only of the divinity that governs the destiny of humanity and nations but also, rooted as ever in the popular, of religious feeling, as manifested in believers for comfort and strength in the most difficult of circumstances.

Songlist: Introitus, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus, Ite Missa est, Psalm 121, Psalm 114, Jezus es a kufarok, Szekely Keserves (Piano solo), Szekely Keserves (Choir), The Musicmakers, Norveg Leanyok

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8860c | SACD | $16.95 || Zoltan Kodaly

Gaudeamus : Sacred Feast

Review: This superb group of singers once again brings forth their signature sound under the direction of Paul Halley-music filled with spirit, nuance, and freshness of expression. Recorded by Tom Jung for his widely respected label, DMP Records, the CD beautifully combines the clarity of sound for which Jung is known with the rich acoustic of this collegiate gothic structure. The realism and immediacy of the performance is documented in a way which truly brings these classic choral pieces to life.

Songlist: Beati quorum via, O Vos Omnes, Ubi Caritas, Justorum Animae, Coelos Ascendit Hodie, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, O Sacrum Convivium, Ave Verum Corpus, Hail Gladdening Light, Ave Maria, Pater Noster, Crucifixus, O Sacrum Convivium

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8673c | SACD | $21.95 | A Cappella |

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 | SACD | $16.95 | A Cappella || Edvard Grieg

Harmony of Voices : Soavi Accenti

Review: Fredrik Malmberg, conductor and artistic director of the ensemble, is one of the most sought-after of choral conductors in Sweden today. Harmony Of Voices was formed in the autumn of 2003 and rapidly established itself as one of the most exciting vocal ensembles in Sweden. The repertoire of this album is concentrated on Early Music and the ensemble's capacity to combine historical authenticity with creative interpretation has won it considerable renown. This disc is an ideal demonstration of the superior clarity, detail and coherence of the SACD Medium.

Songlist: Zefiro Torna, Chiome D'oro, Non Havea Febo Ancora, Non Havea Febo Ancora: Amor (Lamento Della Ninfa), Non Havea Febo Ancora: Si Tra Sdegnosi, Sonata Duodecima Per Due Soprani E Trombone, Apritevi, Inferni: Recitativ, Apritevi, A Chi Dio: Aria, Sonata Undecima Per Due Violini E Trombone, Vanitas Vanitatum, Vanitas Vanitatum: Hinc Mortales, Symphonia Tempro la Cetra

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8833c | SACD | $24.95 | A Cappella || Swedish Choral Music

Kansas City Chorale : Life and Breath

Review: Although he writes in all genres, Rene Clausen is today one of America's most popular choral composers, and for more than twenty years he has been the conductor of the internationally acclaimed Concordia Choir of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. On this release, choral works by Clausen are performed by the Kansas City Chorale, another choir of great international renown, whose recording, with the Phoenix Chorale, of Grechaninov's Passion Week won a Grammy award in 2008, in the category Best Classical Recording, Engineering. 'Set me as a Seal' is arguably the composer's best-known work, and has long been popular at weddings, funerals, and in the concert repertoire. Clausen has described the work as 'various kinds of discussions between God and humans, both from the human aspect and from the God aspect, so a lot of variations... of love, of disappointment, of anxiety, of doubt'. All that hath life and breath is one of Clausen's earliest works, and a favourite of choirs across the world. The Mass for Double Choir was commissioned by the Kansas City Chorale. The composer, who had never written a mass before, looked on it as an 'interesting challenge'. In the work emotions ebb and flow kaleidoscopically, taking the listener from the strength of the unison writing at the opening, to the sorrowful falling lines of the Crucifixion of Christ and the bubbling, dancing figures for the Resurrection. Expressions of praise spill forward atop one another in the Sanctus, a choir of angels too exuberant to be contained.

Songlist: All that Hath Life and Breath Praise the Lord, O magnum mysterium, The Tyger, The Lamb, Mass: Kyrie, Mass: Gloria, Mass: Credo, Mass: Sanctus, Mass: Agnus Dei, Magnificat, Prayer, O vos omnes, A New Creation: Set me as a seal

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2633c | SACD | $16.95 || Rene Clausen

Phoenix Bach Choir : Eternal Rest

Review: Finnish composer Jaakko Mantyjarvi (b. 1963) writes some of today's more innovative choral music. It's not only creatively interesting but it also maintains the qualities of tonal/harmonic accessibility and text-centered immediacy that allows it to register with a broad spectrum of listeners. His collections of Shakespeare Songs, More Shakespeare Songs, and No More Shakespeare Songs show a composer at once in love with his subject and fully in tune with his audience - and one clearly in possession of a sense of humor! On this recording we hear a profoundly serious work, in memory of the victims of a terrible Baltic Sea tragedy in September, 1994, in which the luxury ferry Estonia sank in a storm, killing 852 passengers. Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae incorporates elements of Psalm 107 ("They that go down to the sea in ships...") with news accounts of the disaster (taken from a Latin-language Finnish radio broadcast), employing dramatic, rich-textured choral utterances (including the whispered prayers of the opening and closing bars) along with chant-inspired passages and an occasional folk-song-like melody, all of which culminates in an extended passage of beautiful and often surprising harmonies, ideally defining the text at the end of the Psalm: "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still..." This is a moving and memorable work, one that these choirs perform with care and confidence under Charles Bruffy's artful direction. Frank Martin's Mass for double choir has been recorded many times--and mostly very well--and this is another fine rendition of a work that seems to register its "classic" credentials more impressively every time you hear it. Rene Clausen's In pace, cut from the same vibrant-colored harmonic cloth as the Ticheli, is another work that deserves repertoire status, and again, Bruffy's singers perfectly capture its nuances of texture and dynamics and give full measure to the big sonorities. The complementary acoustics of Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, Arizona, expertly recorded for this hybrid SACD, complete a program that should have strong appeal to all choral music fans.

Songlist: Cabticum Calamitatus Maritimae, There Will Be Rest , In Pace, Messe Pour Double Choeur

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8497c | SACD | $23.95 || Mixed Choirs CDs

Phoenix Bach Choir : Shakespeare In Song

Review: Founded in 1958 as the Bach and Madrigal Society, the Choir originally focused on Renaissance and baroque period music, but today is equally dedicated to the creation and performance of new music. They are conducted by Charles Bruffy, one of the most highly respected choral conductors in the US. The CD features 23 songs, beginning with 7 cuts from Matthew Harris' "Shakespeare Songs," and 5 "Songs of Ariel from Shakespeare's 'The Tempest.' Steven Sametz' lovely "When He Shall Die," Jaakko Mantyjarvi's "Four Shakespeare Songs," Nils Lindberg's minor-key "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day," Dominick Argento's "Sonnet No. LXIV," Alan Murray's "O mistress mine," and the CD finishes strong with Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Three Shakespeare Songs." The Choir beautifully takes us into the drama, moodiness, pathos, romance and celebration of these songs, most of which are new to our ears. A worthy project, and a winning CD for Bruffy and his talented Phoenix Bach Choir! Extensive, colorful liner notes.

Songlist: Shakespeare Songs , The Tempest , When He Shall Die , Four Shakespeae Songs , Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? , Sonnet No. LXIV , O mistress mine!, Three Shakespeare Songs

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7347c | SACD | $23.98 | A Cappella || Songs of Shakespeare

Phoenix Bach Choir / Kansas City Chorale : Grechaninov - Passion Week

Review: The Grechaninov 'Passion Week' is a setting of thirteen pieces with texts in Church Slavonic meant to be sung individually over the period of Passion Week, the days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The Russian Orthodox Church has a tradition of morning and evening services during Passion Week when the passion week's events are recalled almost in 'real time.' The music itself is generally slow, meditative, largely monophonic and almost trance-like. One notices that the usual number of singers in these two choirs has been supplemented by several additional basses, no surprise considering the long legato lines required of that section. Their low C's and even B's resound like the tolling of great bells throughout the work. One could almost surmise, if one didn't know, that this was the singing of a Russian choir, so noted for their deep basses, except that the blending and rounding of the choral tone is so very much more subtle than is generally heard from Russian choruses. The work is entirely a cappella and there are occasional soprano, tenor and baritone solos which consist mostly of chants sung against the main body of massed sound.

Songlist: Behold, the Bridegroom, I see Thy bridal chamber, In Thy Kingdom, Gladsome Light, Let my prayer be set forth, Now the powers of heaven, At Thy mystical supper, The wise thief, Thou who clothest Thyself, The Lord is God... The noble Joseph, Weep not for me, O Mother, As many of you... Arise, O God, Let all mortal flesh

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8687c | SACD | $24.95 | A Cappella || Alexander Gretchaninov

Phoenix Bach Choir / Kansas City Chorale : Rheinberger

Review: 'The massed forces of the Phoenix Bach Choir and Kansas City Chorale 'make a formidable choral machine' (BBC Music Magazine) and the choirs under the baton of Charles Bruffy here present a collection of unaccompanied sacred choral works by Josef Rheinberger. The disc includes the only available recordings of his Oster-Hymne for double chorus and Four Six-part Motets, op.133. The Oster-Hymne is a setting of two ancient Easter texts, particularly the famous sequence Victimae paschali laudes. During his lifetime, Rheinberger was lauded as a talented performer, prolific composer and masterful teacher. He observed that his primary consideration in music 'is that it shall be beautiful; music that does not sound beautiful has no attraction for me'.

Songlist: Oster-Hymne, Op. 134 for Eight Voices (Double Choir) for Church and Concert, Vier sechsstimmige Motetten, Op. 133 for Church and Concert, Mass, Op. 109 in E flat major for Double Choir, Drei geistliche Gesange, Op. 69 for Mixed Choir

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8741c | SACD | $23.95 || Josef Rheinberger

Phoenix Choir : Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary

Review: 'Choral singing just doesn't get much better than this. When it comes to purity of tone, daunting precision and superfine blend, Charles Bruffy's remarkable Phoenix Chorale have it all - and then some!' - Gramophone Magazine. Praise indeed for this multiple Grammy nominated recording. Unified by its Marian idea, the program mixed classic British and contemporary American pieces in a novel way, and it provides an excellent window for the world on the vigorous tradition of a cappella choral music that has evolved independently of academic trends and their strictures. All the music here exploits, to a greater or lesser degree, the acoustic effects possible with an a cappella chorus in a large space, and Chandos, turning its engineers loose in an Arizona desert megachurch called the Camelback Bible Church, achieves spectacular results. The standout is perhaps the final four-movement Electa, by Kansas City composer Jean Belmont Ford, with its intense passages of overlap between a solo soprano tone and the choir and its haunting use of solo timpani and bass drum, the only instruments heard anywhere on the disc. Both the Ford work and the Two Marian Pieces by Spanish-born Javier Busto are world premieres, and both are likely to be eagerly adopted by other choirs. The singers shine equally in the subtle dissonances of the first of Busto's pieces and in the tricky artlessness of Benjamin Britten's A Hymn to the Virgin. This is a triumph of engineering, of choral singing, and of conducting on the part of Charles Bruffy, a protege of fabled American choral conductor Robert Shaw, who, like his mentor, has achieved impressive, sensuously irresistible results in a city without a deeply ingrained tradition of classical singing. Booket notes are in English, French, and German.

Songlist: Splendid Jewel, A Hymn to the Virgin, Ave, Regina, Ave, Maria, Regina Caeli, A Spotless Rose, Ave, Maris Stella, Ave, Maria, Fair in Face, I Beheld Her, Beautiful as a Dove, Rise up, My Love, My Fair One, De Profundis, Asperges me, Domine/Credo, Ave, Dulcissima Maria, Magnificat anima mea

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8948c | SACD | $19.95 |

Phoenix Chorale : Northern Lights - Choral Works of Ola Gjeilo

Review: The Grammy-award-winning Phoenix Chorale explores the magnetic music of New York-based, Norwegian-born composer Ola Gjeilo, Northern Lights contains five world premiere recordings and three choral pieces which were either commissioned, composed, or dedicated to the Phoenix Chorale. When he first heard Gjeilo's Ubi caritas, Charles Bruffy was instantly hooked, finding the music refreshing and magnetic. Bruffy brought Gjeilo's music to the Chorale and its audiences, and the response was immediate. Soon after, Gjeilo was invited to be the Chorale's first Composer-in-Residence. Phoenix, a setting of the Agnus Dei, is dedicated to Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix Chorale in honour of its fiftieth anniversary. When Gjeilo first visited the choir in Arizona, he had never been to the desert before, and the 'quiet beauty and barrenness of the landscape' moved him deeply. He describes Phoenix as 'symphonic in nature... one of those pieces where the text is very much the servant of the music, not the other way around'. In contrast, Northern Lights takes its inspiration from Gjeilo's homeland, Norway, and the 'terrible beauty' of the natural phenomenon that may be observed there. The music reflects the powerful and electric quality of the northern lights, which must have seemed both mesmerising and terrifying to people in the past when no one knew what they were, and superstition prevailed.

Songlist: The Ground , Serenity, Ubi caritas, Northern Lights, Dark Night of the Soul, The Spheres, Tota pulchra es, Prelude, Phoenix, Unicornis captivatur, Evening Prayer

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2918c | SACD | $17.95 || Ola Gjeilo

Swedish Radio Choir : Nordic Sounds: Music of Sven-David Sandstrom

Review: When composing for choir, Sven-David Sandstrom (1942 ) does not hold back in terms of expression or technical demands. This contributes toward a powerfully emotional tonal language, to which the Nordic sound of the Swedish Radio Choir is perfectly suited. Composer and choir have worked together for years and their close relationship is evident in the excellent performances heard here. Channel s usual superb multi-channel recording provides the perfect ambience to allow the music to speak.

Songlist: Lobet den Herrn, Ave Maria, Hear my prayer, O Lord, Est ist genug, A new song of love, Laudamus Te, Agnus Dei, Singet dem Herrn: I, Singet dem Herrn: II, Singet dem Herrn: III

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6157c | SACD | $24.95 || Swedish Choral Music | Sven-David Sandstrom

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.

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2916c | SACD | $19.95 || Arvo Part

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 | SACD | $19.95 |

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 | SACD | $19.95 | A Cappella |

Voces8 : Lux

Review: This recording features a selection of pieces spanning over 400 years: from Thomas Tallis and Gregorio Allegri to Massive Attack (Teardrop) and Ben Folds (The Luckiest - which appeared on the soundtrack for Richard Curtis's film About Time). The album title 'Lux' refers to the Latin word 'light,' which has inspired composers throughout history with the meaning of hope, banishing darkness, and nurturing both the body and the spirit. Voces8's celestial performances on the album prove how few can better evoke the power of light in all its physical, spiritual and mystical guises than the timeless sound of a choir.

Songlist: Ubi Caritas , O Nata Lux , Lux Aeterna (Nimrod), Teardrop , Mother of God, Here I Stand, Miserere, Stars, Ave Maria 1, Prayer to a Guardian Angel, Bogoroditse Devo, O Nata Lux (from Lux aeterna), The Luckiest, Corde Natus Ex Parentis, My Lord Has Come, Ubi Caritas

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22246c | SACD | $13.95 | A Cappella |

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