December 11, 2010

Elektra Women's Choir - Chez Nous

Diane Loomer, C.M. and Morna Edmundson, Artistic Director, co-founded the Elektra Women's Choir in 1987, giving it a mandate to lead and inspire in the choral art form through the creation, exploration and celebration of women's repertoire. Adding to a long tradition of honors and awards, Elektra once again won first place in the women's voices category of the 2010 NNational Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. The choir's many recordings are best sellers in the catalog, and are in demand all over the world—the choir is also proud to offer ongoing programs that train and encourage young singers, conductors and composers. They have commissioned and premiered over 60 new works, many of which have become standards of women's choral literature. "Chez Nous" (French for "Our House") is a gorgeous Christmas collection of 20 songs, featuring such favorites as Michael Praetorius' "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," Edward Henderson's lovely "Star Song," Benjamin Britten's wonderful 12-song "A Ceremony of Carols," Jeffrey Enns' "Da Pacem," Robert Buckley's "December," and "Night of Silence" by Daniel Kantor. All of these songs are lightly accompanied by piano, but the focus is on the sweet, angelic leads, harmonies and rounds by the perfectly trained and led voices of Elektra. Simply beautiful! 6021 CD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:10 AM

December 10, 2010

Concordia Choir - Journey to Bethlehem

The re-imagined Christmas story takes viewers and audience members on a musical "Journey to Bethlehem," combining the pageantry of opera and the grandeur of choral orchestral masterworks. Composer Dr. René Clausen weaves sonorous and celebratory Christmas music throughout the concert. 6023 DVD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:07 AM

December 8, 2010

Amasong - Bridges of Song

Since 1990, Amasong: Champaign-Urbana’s Premier Lesbian/Feminist Chorus has been connecting with far-away cultures and next-door neighbors through music. Time and again, singing has built bridges that help us to understand one another, just as it has around the world for thousands of years. In the hope of bringing you, our listener, into the atmosphere of an Amasong concert, this collection includes live recordings from the past six years (2002-2008). We feature songs from thirteen countries that celebrate the communion of cultures, the search for unity, the joys of sisterhood, and the enduring power of making music together. 2315 CD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 7, 2010

Orphei Drangar - Christmas Songs

Formed in 1853, the choir Orphei Drängar (OD) has constantly striven to discover and develop new directions for the male-voice choir, while not neglecting its splendid traditions. The first OD disc recorded together with the choir’s new artistic director, the celebrated choral conductor Cecilia Rydinger Alin, is no exception. Described by Choir & Organ (UK) as ‘a tremendous choir, with superb technique and an immense, expressive range’, OD gives proof of its versatility in a highly varied program which still manages to stay within the theme of Christmas: original settings and new arrangements of Swedish folk songs and Christmas classics, English carols and Broadway songs – with Stille Nacht, a Russian hymn in praise of the Holy Virgin, and Eric Whitacre’s widely admired Lux aurumque added for good measure. Supplying even more nuances to the palette is the choir’s guest artist, the young Swedish soprano Ida Falk Winland, as well as a brass ensemble, supporting choir and soloist in parts of the program. 6007 CD 18.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 3, 2010

Chanticleer - A Chanticleer Christmas

One of our all-time favorite groups since their founding in San Francisco in 1978, 12-man professional a cappella vocal ensemble Chanticleer has gained an international reputation, performing over 100 concerts a year around the world. But they have been most sought after at Christmas. In its extensive discography, which includes several Grammy winners, Chanticleer's Christmas recordings are best-sellers. To us, "A Chanticleer Christmas is a particular treat because it was recorded live at Stanford University's magnificent Memorial Church. The soaring, glorious harmonies (including some of the purest and cleanest male soprano leads we've heard) are simply stunning. The 15-tune songlist includes classical music like Handl's "O Admirabile Commercium," Giovanni Nanino's "Hodie Nobis Caelorum Rex" and Michael Praetorius' "En! Natus Est Emanuel/Psallite;" traditional carols such as "Caroling, Caroling/Bright, Bright the Holly Berries," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Un Flambeau, Jeannette Isabella," "Away in a Manger," "O Holy Night" and "The First Nowell;" and goodies such as Peter Warlock''s "Bethlehem Down" the Plainsong "Hodie Christus Natus Est" and Robert Young's "There is No Rose of Such Virtue." A powerful, joyous collection by Chanticleer, who are clearly in their element, and we, well, we are fortunate enough to be listening to them do their wondrous thing! 6001 CD 15.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 1, 2010

Don Cossack Choir - Christmas in Russia

Christmas Eve of the Russian Orthodox Church (January 6) is traditionally celebrated with the Christmas Vigil (vsenoschnoye bdeniye), a Vespers service lasting hours with much singing and illuminated processions. The present recording contains chants from the Christmas Vigil and works by Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian composers, performed by the eminent Don Cossacks Choir under the direction of Marcel Verhoeff. 6005 CD 17.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:13 AM