November 26, 2008

Amabile Youth Singers - Early Classics & Late Greats

Composer's Notes (Stephen Hatfield): The first pieces I wrote for the Amabile Youth Singers, beautifully conducted by John Barron, were the cornerstone of my career. People often ask why they can't get those early classics on one CD. Now you can. Here in one collection are the legendary performances of "Nukapianguaq", "African Celebration", "Heaven Bound Train", "Missa Brevis", "The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy", and more from those astonishing early sessions in 1991-95. Spanning fifteen years of recordings, the CD also features the choir under my direction in superb live performances of new material such as "Geordie" and "The Sparks Fly Upward", plus gorgeous concert versions of "Once I Had A Sweetheart" and the 2nd movement of "Three Ways To Vaccum Your House". I am especially delighted that the CD includes several beloved performances that have never been commercially available before, such as the ferocious live version of "TJAK!", the first, unreleased recording of "La Lluvia" which remains my favourite version of the piece, and a radiant, mystical "Amazing Grace", performed here with oboe instead of bagpipes. 8925 CD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 2:35 AM

Collegium Regale - Vox in Rama: Giaches de Wert

The Flemish-born Giaches de Wert was one of many foreigners to dominate the Italian music scene in the mid to late sixteenth century, therefore to this day his music is largely unknown to many. It is the second of three books of Motets which appears on this disc, written when his skill as a madrigalist had reached its height. As part of the Kings College Choir, the choral scholars of Collegium Regale perform independently of the choir, singing a repertoire that encompasses 15th Century sacred music, jazz, folksongs and pop. Directed by Kings College's and the BBC Singer‚s renowned director Stephen Cleobury. 8974 CD 19.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:02 AM

November 19, 2008

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir - Toivo Tulev

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. 8950 SACD 19.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:05 AM

November 18, 2008

Moscow New Choir - Sviridov: Russian A Cappella Music

"Sviridov balances simplicity and originality to perfection in his Three Choruses for Tolstoy’s Tsar Feodor Ioannovich. The melodic lines are cleanly projected by members of Moscow New Choir, with scrupulous concern for text, the harmonies (Orthodox with a Sviridov twist) atmospherically supportive….Sviridov’s emotional range is wider, and it is incredible just how many effects and subtleties he achieves…..This marvellous choir’s bright, intelligent and dynamically varied approach, their attention perfectly focused on both the words and the music, should help to establish the reputation of Pushkin’s Garland as one of the richest Russian choral works of the 20th century as well as a firstrate tribute to Russia’s greatest poet....the rich blend of Orthodox ritual and passionate response in the ‘child’s burial’ of Night Clouds seems to touch a special emotional chord… Sviridov’s late-flowering choral garlands and wreaths; they should enter the repertoire of our own chamber choirs sooner rather than later."- Gramophone 8944 CD 9.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:05 AM

November 17, 2008

Amadeus Choir - American Choir Music

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 ˆ as well as in recording studios ˆ 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. 8973 CD 16.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:01 AM

November 14, 2008

Robert Wagner Chorale - Laud to the Nativity

Long out-of-print, and eagerly sought by collectors, Roger Wagner’s recording of Respighi’s intimate tableau, Laud to the Nativity retuns to the catalogue. This recording comes from a series made by the Roger Wagner Chorale in the 1960’s. Coupled with the Respighi on the original LP recording is Monteverdi’s glorious setting of the Magnificat from the Vespers of 1610. The solos, sung here by Marie Gibson, Marilyn Horne, and Charles Bressler, featured in the Respighi Laud, are fresh and clear, and the choir sings in typical Roger Wagner warmth and strength. 8920 CD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:09 AM