March 29, 2008

Stile Antico - Heavenly Harmonies

Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Stile Antico returns with its second recording for harmonia mundi. Heavenly Harmonies juxtaposes the highly expressive Latin motets of William Byrd (c. 1540–1632) with the austere, homophonic psalm tunes of Thomas Tallis (c.1505–1585) in a performance notable for the British group’s “staggeringly beautiful singing” (The Sunday Times) and recorded in a fittingly majestic acoustic. At the heart of the religious disputes which ravaged 16th-century England, the towering figures of the Catholic Tallis and Protestant Byrd embody two opposing tendencies. What is sometimes overlooked is how much the motets from Byrd’s Cantiones sacrae I and II (1589 and 1591) owe to the concise and expressive language pioneered by Tallis a generation earlier, when he also contributed the nine psalm tunes to a new psalter by Archbishop Matthew Parker (1567) – printed but regrettably never offered for sale. The program also includes Byrd’s Mass Propers for Pentecost from his Gradualia of 1607. 8880 CD 18.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:08 AM

March 21, 2008

BBC Singers - Man I Sing, Choral Music of Bob Chilcott

The world-renowned choral composer and conductor Bob Chilcott leads the BBC Singers, as well as the internationally recognised soloists Simone Rebello and Paul Silverthorne, in these new performances of some of his best and most loved choral works. The choir is renowned as an expert ensemble and here they sing splendidly under Chilcott's direction. The selection of music on this disc has been well made to give a good variety of perspectives on Bob Chilcott's choral output - a resourceful composer and one who writes exceptionally well for voices and he is superbly served here by the virtuosity of the BBC Singers. This is a glorious showcase of one of the finest choral composers at work in Britain today. 8883 CD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 11:49 PM

March 15, 2008

University of Utah Singers - If Music Be the Food of Love

The Singers proudly present their first 2-disc set! Disc 1 features music from the University of Utah Singers triumphant 2006 European Concert Tour, during which they won the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Tolosa, Spain! Reminisce with “I Have Had Singing”, “Daemon Irrepit Callidus”, “A Boy and a Girl”, “Cloudburst” and “Ah, El Novio”. Disc 2 offers an engaging program of your favorites from the 2006-2007 season, including Selections from “Into the Woods”, “One of Those Moments”, “Prayer of St. Francis”, “J’entends le Moulin”, “Stars I Shall Find”, “Conversion of Saul”, “How Can I Keep From Singing” and “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” Packed with a delightful variety of music, this album has something everyone will love! 8872 2CDs 24.95

Posted by acapnews at 3:55 AM

March 4, 2008

St. Olaf Choir - Where Peace and Love and Hope Abide

F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the Music Department at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, planned and directed the first St. Olaf Christmas Festival in 1912. Over the next 96 years the Festival has grown to include, as individual groups and as a massed ensemble, the St. Olaf Choir, the St. Olaf Orchestra, the St. Olaf Cantorei, The Manitou Singers and the Viking Chorus and Chapel Choir. The result of the coming together of all this huge and joyous talent easily fills two CDs, 30 pieces with some narration that tell the story of Christmas, beginning with the all-instrumental "Messiah, Prince of Peace" and ending with F. Melius' gorgeous "Beautiful Savior." It's hard to pick favorites, but "For Unto Us a Child is Born" from Handel's "Messiah," Steven Sametz' "Noel!," Carl Schalk's "Before the Marvel of This Night," Donald Fraser's "This Christmastide" (Jessye's Carol), the 6-part medley "Carols for the Choirs" arranged by John Ferguson, F. Melius' lovely "Lullaby on Christmas Eve" and Arthur Honegger's "And God Said: One Day Shall Dawn" (King David) come easily to mind. The recordings from this powerful event never fail to touch and move us. Magnificent! 8703 2CDs 24.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:04 AM