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Los Angeles Chamber Singers
Romancero Gitano   

Song NameComposer
Baladilla de los tres riosMario Castel-Tedesco
La GuitarraMario Castel-Tedesco
PunalMario Castel-Tedesco
Procesion - Paso - SaetaMario Castel-Tedesco
MementoMario Castel-Tedesco
BaileMario Castel-Tedesco
CrotaloMario Castel-Tedesco
En Une Seule FleurMorten Lauridsen
Contre Qui, RoseMorten Lauridsen
De Ton Reve Trop PleinMorten Lauridsen
La Rose CompleteMorten Lauridsen
Dirait-OnMorten Lauridsen
Sure On this Shinging Night Op. 12, No. 3Samuel Barber
Weepe, o mine eyesHalsey Stevens
Like as the culver on the bared boughHalsey Stevens
Go. Lovely roseHalsey Stevens
Vitas hinnuleoRandall Thomson
Felices terRandall Thomson
O fons bandusiaRandall Thomson
Bitter for SweetJohn Chorbajian

Directed by Peter Rutenberg

The Castelnuovo-Tedesco work comes as one of my bigger surprises of recent times: written in 1951 upon powerful and emotional texts by Garcia Lorca (translations included in the CD booklet) Romancero Gitano, op. 152 proves to be genuinely attractive work, its wide guitaristic range well essayed by Gregory Newton, whose style suits well the composer's familiar refinement and musical craftsmanship. Is this song accompaniment? Or is it a concerto with voices instead of instruments? Whichever way you look at it, here is an interesting and substantial piece by one of the guitar's 20th century luminaries. Newton is to be congratulated on this revelation (for me, at least), his accomplished playing complementing a fine choir and thus providing a most listenable and substantial item with a real difference. A fascinating timelessness pervades Morten Lauridsen's purely vocal Chansons based on poems by Rilke: simply put, they are quite beautiful in both construction and execution, the eventual arrival of the piano in the fifth (and last) a miniature masterstroke. The Samuel Barber work is as rich as it is brief, while the set of madrigals by Halsey Stevens reveals a fine sonority, as does the group of odes by Randall Thompson: the notes mention that he felt that "a composer's first responsibility is... to write music that will reach and move the hearts of his listeners in his own day." A not unworthy aspiration, and with composition of this ilk it is easy to see how he could justifiably have had the confidence to utter such words. John Chorbajian's Bitter for Sweet, a setting of a Christina Rossetti poem, concludes and - like the music throughout this disc - was all the more touching for its stringency, quite delightful. So, there's only guitar on the Castelnuovo-Tedesco, but that in itself is worth the admission fee: elsewhere the felicitous blend of fine music and equally fine singing makes this CD a pleasing surprise, one to recommend wholeheartedly.

Item code: 7568C | 1 CD | $9.95 ON SALE $4.95 add item to cart
Choral | Some a cappella | Mixed | United States

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