September 30, 2005

Dale Warland Singers - Harvest Home

Harvest Home originated in England as a festival for “bringing in the harvest” around the autumnal equinox. The community would work together to get the harvest (usually wheat, barley, corn, and oats) in before the autumn weather closed in. This bringing of the "harvest home" would be an occasion for great rejoicing accompanied by feasting, music, and dancing. Our “Homecoming” takes its origins from this festive term. This recording is a collection of familiar spirituals, folk songs, and hymns. Exquisitely sung and beautifully recorded, this CD offers some of the most heartfelt singing we’ve heard in awhile. Perfect intonation, sumptuous sound, and familiar tunes - this is Dale Warland at his best. Includes “Deep River,” Simple Gifts, “The Water is Wide,” Beautiful River (“Shall we gather at the river”) “We gather together,” and many more. The booklet features full text and notes on each song. The Grammy-nominated Dale Warland Singers, during their 31 years of concerts and recordings, set the standard for excellence in American choral singing. This was recorded before the group disbanded in 2004. 7891 CD 15.98
Listen to "By and By""

Posted by acapnews at 2:34 AM

September 22, 2005

Theater of Voices: Arvo Part - A Tribute

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 Pärt’s music to the West. 7867 CD 16.98

Posted by acapnews at 2:56 AM

September 20, 2005

Latvian Radio Choir - On Photography

This all a cappella recording features some most interesting and talented composers. Gavin Bryars’s numerous recordings have been among the bestselling CDs by any contemporary composer. Two of his albums, "The Sinking of the Titanic" and "Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet", have sold more than 250,000 copies. This recording is notable for the extraordinary beauty of its choral sound, the precision of its ensemble, the perfection of its intonation, the subtlety of its phrasing, and the striking individuality of its soloists. 7836 CD 15.98

Posted by acapnews at 2:02 AM

Clerks' Group - Guillaume de Machaut

The Clerks' Group is a highly sophisticated ensemble of young singers whose immaculately polished performances show Machaut's extraordinary lyrical gift - even in the genre of the motet, so often thought of as abstract and unapproachable. Edward Wickham clearly views Machaut as a medieval romantic, drawing out the finely wrought lines and wallowing in the luscious sonorities of his music; and the effect is enhanced by a resonant acoustic, though the recorded sound is somewhat over-glossy. Each singer has a naturally light, straight-toned voice and can effortlessly flat over the vocal lines like 'a feather on the breath of God'. The highlights of this disc are three motets by Machaut based on love songs in performances which sound every bit as poetic and expressive as 18th-century Lieder; and the rapturous Marian motet Felix virgo / Inviolata genitrix, in which the group's intimately veiled sound is especially apt. Alongside the Machaut works are a handful of anonymous motets from the Ivrea Codex, a major 14th-century source containing some fine compositions, if never quite matching Machaut's genius. With the caveat that a few motets go a long way, this is a truly haunting collection. 7852 CD 15.98

Posted by acapnews at 1:59 AM

Cincinnati's Women's Choir - Growing Into Our Roots

Fifty Six-strong MUSE is a women's choir dedicated to musical excellence and social change. Believing that diversity is strength, they are feminist women of varied ages, races and ethnicities, with a range of life experiences, political interests and musical abilities. Heterosexual, lesbian and bisexual, these are women loving women united in song, seeking out pieces composed by women, songs that enhance women's voices, and a concert experience that entertains, inspires, motivates, heals and creates a spirit of community in their audience. Some of our favorites of these 20 songs were commissioned by MUSE, Holly Near's "Foolish Notion" and "I Ain't Afraid" (with the spot-on refrain about religious fundamentalism, "I ain't afraid of your praying, I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your god"), Therese Edell's "Emma," and Sweet Honey in the Rock's Beatrice Johnson Reagon's "Greed" (from "Anybody Here"). Other favorites are "Step By Step," "Three Walking Songs," Connie Kaldor's "Mother's Prayer," Jennifer Stasack's "Wage Peace," Daniel Galay's "Mayim Maya" and "Emily Remembers" by Shirley Eikhard. Also wonderful are George Gershwin's "S'Wonderful," Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean A Thing" and Ysaye Maria Barnwell's lovely a cappella "Wanting Memories." Extensive to light accompaniment on most songs. "Growing" is a powerful, thought-provoking, inspirational CD that touches us on many levels! 7788 CD 15.98

Posted by acapnews at 1:54 AM

September 13, 2005

Bulgarian Voices - Balkan Passions

An old Balkan proverb goes, "There are no limits to a song." "Balkan Passions" combines the talents of 20-woman Angelite and their conductor Georgi Petkov with guest musicians Maria Farantouri of Greece, percussionist Okay Temiz and pop star Sezen Aksu, both from Turkey, and Romanian brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia to create a powerful recording that touches and effects us across international boundaries. "Sadba" (Our Destiny), the driving "Damba," the rhythmic dance tune "Dilele," the joyous "Mi ideme preko pole" (We Are Coming Across the Field," the Albanian folk song "I Went to Elbasan," "Makedonsko devoiche" (A Macedonian Girl), "Devoiche belo, tsurveno" (Hey, You Girl, All White and Red), "Krai rekata" (by the river) and "Sasedi" (in the neighborhood) are particularly fine. All songs are accompanied; most only lightly. Beautiful, full-color liner notes tell us about the groups and the music. "Balkan Passions" is excellent - a spirited, romantic collection of music from another world. 7801 CD 15.98

Posted by acapnews at 1:00 AM

Dresden Boys' Choir - Romantic Choral Music

With a tradition going back to the 13th century this highly regarded boyschoir, with its full compliment of 120 voices is ideally suited to large scale compositions. The accoustics of the Kreuzirche contribute to a romantic sound even when the emphasis is on transparency, subtly shading of expression and clarity of articulation. Apart from sacred composistions by Johannes Bach, Asnton Buckner and Max Reger, all masterpieces of romantic choral music, this program also includes some lesser-known composers. Among them are Heinrich Kaminski, director of the Berlin Choir, whose works were banned by the Nazis. 7819 CD 15.98

Posted by acapnews at 12:57 AM