In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Germany has always flourished culturally and the choral music that developed along the way is no exception to the richness prevalent in other art media. Some of the world's most renowned composers hail from Germany, including Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner and many other names that have become household names in Classical, Baroque, and Romantic music.
Displaying 1-50 of 72 items.
Review: All the compositions on this CD may justifiably be classified under the noble seal of 'Romantic choral music'. Even though they are all, without exception, religious works: How multifarious were the composers' incentives, how diverse were the places and occasions, for which the Motets and Cantatas were composed! Religious music in the secular 19th century: for Anton Bruckner alone, this would have meant divine service and the cathedral. For Mendelssohn, by contrast, it would have meant festivals or concert halls as well - and for Brahms a personal dialogue with God. In the case of Joseph Rheinberger lastly, whose 'Abendlied' (Evensong) forms, from his home town of Munich, the final chord of this anthology, the Lutheran biblical text irrevocably transforms into a prayer full of genuine feeling, which would be sung in the home as well as by choral societies.
Songlist: Jauchzet Dem Herrn SAlle Welt, 100 Plam, Warum Ist Licht Gegeben, Dem Muhselgin, Lasset Uns Unser Herz, Sieha, Wir Preisen Selig, Mit Fried Und Frued Ich Fahr Dahin, Schaffe In Mir Gott, Ave Maria, Christus Factus Est, Locus Iste, Os Justi, Vexilla Regis, Virga Jesse, Abendlied
Review: 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, as well as in recording studios, 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.
Songlist: Agnus Dei, Four Motets, Lux Aurumque, Cloudburst, Water Night, My Song In The Night, Nocturnes, The Rose, Lord God, Thy Sea Is Mighty, Crossing The Bar, The Battle Of Jericho, I'm Gonna Sing, Elijah Rock, Variations On "America"
Review: Aurelius Sangerknaben Calw (ASKC) (Aurelius Boys' Choir, Calw), was founded in 1983 by Hans-Jorg Kalmbach, who continues to direct and decisively shape its activities to the present day (2001). From simple beginnings the choir has become a much-requested bod of singers capable of both choral and solo duties. Work with famous conductors and orchestras became increasingly important during the 1990s, as the group appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony and even the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Delighting their audiences in radio, tv and CD appearances, the ASKC brings us here a lovely collection of traditional and classical music, some accompanied, and all sung in German. We particularly enjoyed the title tune, the sweet a cappella 'Heimlich Liebe,' 'Es klappert die Muhle,' 'Kein schoner Land,' 'Wurttemberger Hymne,' the rich a cappella tune 'Untreue,' 'All mein Gedanken,' 'Der Lindenbaum'- we could go on and on. A beautifully-sung collection of classic tunes from one of Germany's finest boy choirs.
Songlist: Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen, Kein schoner Land, Wurttemberger hymne, Heidenroslein, Heimliche Liebe, Es klappert die Muhle, Im schonsten Wiesengrunde, Untrue, Jenseits des Tales, Annchen von Tharau, Die Gedanken sind frei, Horch, was kommt von draussen rein, Es steht eine Muhle im Schwarzwaldertal, Auf de schwab'sche Eisebahne, Mein eigen soll sie sein, All mein Gedanken, Guter Mond, du geshst so stille, Der Lindenbaum, Nehmt Abschied BruderMuss I den, Nehmt Abschied BruderMuss I denn
Review: This release by the Leipzig-based Calmus Ensemble follows on the ensemble's recent tour of the US and features remarkable a cappella arrangements of more than a century of popular songs made popular by artists from the Comedian Harmonists to Queen, plus three original songs composed for the Calmus Ensemble by Fredo Jung, including their signature encore Rondo.
Songlist: Wenn ich Vergnugt Bin, Muss Ich Singen, Wohlgefuhl, Bongo Bong, Lullabye / Good Night My Angel, One More Night, Son of a Preacherman, Bring Back that Leroy Brown, Barbara, Wochenend und Sonnenschein, Fragile, Summertime, Kiss from a Rose, Got to Get You Into My Life, Ich Hab Ka Lust, Rondo
Review: Considered to be one of America's foremost contemporary composers Morten Lauridsen is a master of writing choral music that is harmonically lush, contrapuntally interesting, melodically memorable, and gratifying to sing. This disc brings together four of his most popular works, which include three cycles -- Les Chansons des Roses, Lux Aeterna, Madrigali -- as well as his setting of O Magnum Mysterium. The Chamber Choir of Europe, conducted by Nicol Matt, sings with warmth and a secure tone. Matt conducts with sensitivity, giving the music plenty of room to breathe, with tempos generally on the relaxed side. The choir is particularly effective in the moving and densely chromatic a cappella O Magnum Mysterium. Lux Aeterna is heard in its version with organ, played by Jorg Halubek, rather than with instrumental accompaniment. The composer provides sensitive accompaniment on the piano in 'Dirait-on,' the final (and only accompanied) song in Les Chansons des Roses. The sound is warm and intimate. While the performances fall short of being sublime, this CD would be a good introduction to the variety of Lauridsen's work for anyone interested in accessible and gratifying new choral music.
Songlist: Les Chansons Des Roses, Lux Aeterna, Madrigali, O Magnum Mysterium
Review: Paul Simon is certainly one of America's finest contemporary songwriters and his songs with Art Garfunkel are pop classics. This recording is a wonderful choral setting of some of the best of these songs as performed by this top-notch vocal ensemble.
Songlist: The Sound Of Silence, Scarborough Fair Part 1, Scarborough Fair Part 2, The Boxer, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mrs. Robinson, April Come She Will, (What A) Wonderful World, Bright Eyes, El Condor Pasa, Still Crazy, Cecilia, Crying In The Rain, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
Review: Their repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to contemporary music - all the way to easy listening. After 25 years in the limelight, the six-voice vocal ensemble can look back on over 1000 concerts throughout the world. For the first time, however, the Singphoniker are releasing a CD with German folksongs. Their program consists of works by Silcher, Brahms and Reger, each of whom had a completely different approach to handling old tunes. Their common goal, however, was a desire to reacquaint their contemporaries with the vast treasures in the folk repertoire. The Singphoniker's CD will contribute to making known as well as unknown folksongs - which are not very at-home in the concert hall - resound again in the private environment: singing or humming along is expressly desired!
Songlist: Lore-Ley , All' mein' Gedanken, die ich hab, Trutze nicht, Annchen von Tharau , Erlaube mir, fein's Madchen , Wach auf, mein's Herzens Schone , Sehnsucht , Altes Volkslied , Gut Nacht, Frisch gesungen, Das Lieben bringt grob Freud , Mein Madel hat einen Rosenmund, Burschenlust - Der Mai ist gekommen (Silcher Friedrich), Ich geh durch einen grasgrunen Wald , Suss Liebe liebt den Mai , Wohin mit der Freud , Abschiedslied , Da unten im Tale , Scheiden, Ach Baumchen, du stehst grune , Abschied , Lebewohl , Die drei Roslein , Der Lindenbaum, Die Sonne scheint nicht mehr , Ich schwing mein Horn ins Jammertal, Es steht ein Lind in jenem Tal , Ich hab' die Nacht getraumet , Verlorenes Lieb' (Es steht ein Lind) , Untreue (In einem kuhlen Grunde), Der Tod als Schnitter
Vom Himmel Hoch
Review: This release from the remarkable male vocal group is a celebration of the intimate connection between music and Christmas throughout the world, regardless of different customs and languages. In this case the focus is on Europe, but the point is that no other celebration is so closely associated with such an abundant repertoire of songs, many of which are shared and often adapted to suit a particular culture or tradition. As usual, the six singers (plus a couple of 'guests' on several tracks) perform first-rate arrangements (especially those by ensemble member Ludwig Thomas) of hymns and carols, including 'Adeste fideles', 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen', 'Quelle est cette odeur agreable', and 'Stille Nacht'. Along the way we hear other songs (many less-familiar) from Norway, Italy, England, the Netherlands, and Catalonia.
Songlist: Adeste Fideles, Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant, Wilfried Hiller: Harfenklange 3 Weihnachtslieder, Mary's Boychild, Du Grenne Glitrende Tre, O Sanctissima, Nu Zijt Wellekome, Quanno Nascete Nino, Entre Le Boeuf Et L'ane Gris, Canco De Nadal, Interlude From Ceremony Of Carols, Von Himmel Hoch, Quelle Est Cette Odeur Agreable, Romance De Virgen y el Ciego, Still O Himmel, Heilgste Nacht, Kling No Klokka, Kings Of Orient, Venid Cantad, Stille Nacht
Review: Die Singphoniker, six talented German male singers, love to perform in concert and they love 19th century vocal chamber music, and audiences and judges clearly enjoy listening to them follow their hearts! Here we are treated to 23 such works by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847). All are delightful, but some particular favorites are 'Turkisches Schenkenlied,' 'Sommerlied,' 'Liebe und Wein,' 'Wanderlied,' 'Trinklied,' 'Abschiedstafel,''Jagdgesang,' 'Lob der Trunkenheit,' and 'Worauf kommt es uberall an.' Beautiful, rarely-performed material, sung with spirit and panache by one of the world's finest male sextets.
Songlist: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847), The Part Songs for Male Voices:, Sechs Lieder fur vier Mannerstimmen op. 50, Zwei geistliche Chore fur Mannerstimmen op. 115, Erstaz fur Unbestand op. posth., View Lieder fur vierstimmigen Mannerchor op. 75, Nachtgesang op. posth., View Lieder fur vierstimmigen Mannerchor op. 120, Lieb und Hoffnung, Jagerlied, Lob der Trunkenheit, Lob des Weines, Worauf kommt es uberall an
Review: The six German men who call themselves Die Singphoniker are virtuosos who specialize in very difficult pieces, from Gregorian chant to the Avantgarde, in this case bringing us some rarely-heard works of Romantic European music, partsongs by Richard Strauss and Max Reger. New interpreters of vocal chamber music of the 19th century, the group's success is measured in many awards and rave reviews: its last five CDs have received prizes. Included are 20 pieces, favorites are 'Frohlich im Maien,' 'Hut du dich!,' 'Liebe op. 42,1,' and Der Brauttanz op. 45,3' by Strauss; and 'Liebchens Bote,' Frohsinn op. 38,5,' 'Hochsommernacht op. 83,5' and 'Minnelied op. 83,7' by Reger. Difficult, eclectic choral music, effortlessly and beautifully performed.
Songlist: Vor den Turen, Traumlicht, Frohlich im Maien, Hut du dich!, Der Gutzgauch, Liebe, Tummel dich, gut's Weinlein, Schwabische Erbschaft, Lied der Freundschaft, Der Brauttanz, Max Reger:, Liebchens Bote, Ausfahrt, Wie ist doch die Erde so schon, Frohsinn, Hell ins Fenster, Lieblich hat sich gesellet, Hochsommernacht, Ein gantz neu Schelmweys, Minnelied, Abschied
Review: Focussing on little-known and rarely performed Romantic European vocal chamber music of the 19th century, the 6 men of Singphoniker bring us 12 difficult works by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), and two by Franz Schubert, 'La Pastorella' and 'Der Gondelfahrer.' Some favorites are 'Chant funebre' (which includes some drums), 'La Notte di Santo Natale,' (with piano), 'Choeur de chasseurs democrates,' 'L'invito,' 'La Danza,' 'Un Sou,' and 'Overture Guillaume Tell' (with piano). It's very clear, especially in this last cut, with the addition of silly sound effects, that the group is having big fun on stage and not taking themselves or the material too seriously. Good stuff!
Songlist: Preghiera, Chant funebre, La Notte di Santa Natale, Toast pour le nouvel an , Choeur de chasseus democrates, Overture - Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Pastorella, Der Gondelfahrer, I Gondolieri , Overture - La gazza ladra , L'invito , La Danza , Un Sou , Overture - Guillaume Tell
Review: The German Die Singphoniker emerged from the Music Academy of Munich in 1980. These six educated fellows were enchanted by the Comedian Harmonists, who preceded them as one of Germany's most popular vocal harmony groups; Die Singphoniker sound much like them (and bear more than a passing resemblance to England's King's Singers, as well). The sextet's scholarship led them to the works of Schubert, Lasso, Mendelssohn and others, and has resulted in many recordings through the years. This particular CD takes as its theme the 'serenade,' a song performed to express love for another. From this departure point, songs as disparate as 'Paper Dolls' and Saint-Saens' 'Serenade d'Hiver' are devoted companions; whether a madrigal ('Bon Jour Mon Coeur, ' Lasso), or a standard ('Serenade In Blue,' Warren), every track is impeccable. Three of the songs are accompanied by piano.
Songlist: Paper Doll, Liebeslied im Garten, Bon Jour Mon Coeur, Standchen, Til There Was You, Derenade d'Hiver, Peramata, Serenade in blue, Minnelied, Tu Sai Madonna Mia, You and Me, Matona Mia Cara, Es Fuhrt Kein and'rer Weg Zur Seeligkeit, Standchen, Andenken, Zu irh!, Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand, Dankenshon
Review: 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.
Songlist: Unser lieben Frauen Traum (Und unser lieben Frauen), Locus iste in C major, Ave Maria for Chorus, Wie liegt die Stadt so wust, Psalm 130, Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille, Erquicke mich mit deinem Licht, Motets (2), Op. 74: no 1, Warum ist das Licht gegeben, Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen uber dir, O Vos Omnes, Herr Christ, der einig Gottes sohn, Erquicke mich mit deinem Licht, Schonster Herr Jesu / Darum sage ich euch, Nachtlied (Die Nacht ist kommen)
Review: The church's four most recent directors of music are united in this collection, in which great sacred choral music illustrates the development of the boys' choir from the beginning of the stereo era to the present day.
Songlist: Kyrie, Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt SWV 36 aus Psalmen Davids: 100. Psalm, Ein Kind ist uns geboren SWV 302 aus Kleine geistliche Konzerte, Kryri, Gloria, Cum Sancto Spiritu, Jauchzet, frohlocket, Locus iste, WAB 23 (1869), Ave Maria, WAB 6 (1861), Wie liegt die Stadt so wust (1945), Warum ist das Licht gegeben, Motette op. 74 Nr.1
Review: Psalm recitals played a large role in Schutz's composing life, and the reason the Psalms of David play such a significant part in the repertoire of the boys' choir of the Dresden Kreuzkirche is the spiritual and stylistic wealth of works, which can be plumbed for so many solemn or joyful occasions. To imagine the Dresden Kreuzchor without the music of Heinrich Schutz is all but impossible in this day and age. Though Schutz was himself never a choirboy there, his oeuvre represents the most significant and long-lasting contribution to the repertoire of this boys' choir, which looks back on a musical tradition of more than 700 years.
Songlist: Ich freu mich des, das mir geredt ist, An den Wassern zu Babel saban wir und weineten, Wohl dem, der den Herren furchtet, Alleluja, lobet den Herren in seinem Heiligtum, Jauchzet dem Herren, alle Welt, singt, ruhmet, lobet, Der Herr sprach zu meinem Herren, Herr unser Herrscher, wie herrlich ist dein Name, Danket dem Herren, denn er ist freundlich, Zion Spricht, der Herr hat mich verlassen, Love den Herren, meine Seele, Danket dem Herren, den er ist freundlich
Review: The songs on this recording rangs from simple numbers like ' Gluck auf!' (the miners call of good luck) and ' Der Mond ist aufgegangen' (the moon has risen) to variant forms with astringent harmonies, like Max Reger's ' Bald gras ich am Neckar'. The artful polyphony of ' Es geht ein dunkle Wolk' in the setting by Hugo Distler and in Ludwig Senff's 'Entlaubet ist der Walde' also shows how fruitfully composers of various periods have engaged themselves with folk songs. Beautifully sung, well recorded, all a cappella.
Songlist: Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen, Die wilden Schwane, Feinsliebchen, Tritt zu! (Wenn alle Brunnlein flieben), Ach Elslein, liebes Elselein, Es waren zwei Konigskinder, Ich hort ein Sichelein rauschen, Bruderlein fein, Es fuhrt uber den Main, Gluck auf, Gluck auf!, Aus grauer Stadte Mauern, Aus grauer Stadte Mauern, An der Saale hellem Strande, Das Ringlein (Bald gras ich am Neckar), Lieb Heimatland, ade, Es geht ein dunkle Wolk, Nr. 3: Es fiel ein Reif in der Fruhlingsnacht, Im Mai op. 47 Nr. 1, Fruhlingsgrub, Nr. 2: Die Primel, Im schonsten Wiesengrunde, Entlaubet ist der Walde, Sandmannchen (Die Blumelein, sie schlafen), Verstohlen geht der Mond auf, Der Mond ist aufgegangen
Review: The top-notch children's choir sings traditional Christmas carols including works by Brahms, Max Reger, Anton Bruckner, Handel and Mendelssohn.
Songlist: O Heiland Reif Die Himmel Auf, Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland, Es Kommt Ein Schiff Geladen, Tauben Weif, Ave Maria, Ubers Gebrig Maria Geht, Maria Durch Ein Dornwald Ging, Tochter Zion Freu Dich, Warum toben Die Heiden, Maria Auf Dem Berge, Joseph Lieber Joseph, Schlaf Mein Kindelein, Laft Uns Lauschen, Ihr Kinderlein Kommet, Angelus Ad Pastores Ait, In Dulci Jubilo, Es Ist Ein Ros Entprungen, Leise Riesel Der Schnee, Lieb Nachtigall Wach Auf, Frohlich Soll Mein Herze Springen, Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht
Review: Dresden's famous Kreuzchor, one of the most traditional boys' choirs in the world, embarks on a new project! This recording marks the launch of a spectacular CD series oriented towards the great Ecclesiastical festivals and high days, capturing the mood and religious background of the church calendar in musical form. The selected works are all taken from the choir's popular repertoire, with special emphasis on composers of Saxony.
Songlist: Machet die Tore weit, Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit, Freut euch un jubiliert, Uns ist ein Kind geboren, Das Wort ward Fleisch, Verbum caro factum est, Wie schon singt uns der Engel Schar, Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, Virga Jesse floruit, Joseph, lieber Joseph mein, Sei wilkommen, Jesulein, Jerusalem gaude gaudio magno, Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis, Singet und klinget, ihr Kinderlein, Das neugeborne Kindlein, Ach, mein herzliebes Jesulein
Clic, clac, dansez sabots
Review: After three extremely successful CDs with vocal music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, amarcord turns this time to the wonderful French vocal music of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The exquisite singers from Leipzig once again demonstrate their amazing versatility. Starting in the second half of the 19th century, amarcord present some less well-known facets of the works of Rossini and Saint-Saens. Meanwhile the 1920s with their pioneering spirit are represented by compositions by Cras, Milhaud, and the young Poulenc, whose entire works for male voices recorded here stretch into the post-war period. But one thing that all the items in this album have in common is their deep rootedness in France and the French: in for instance tradition, dialects, dances, incidents, feelings and savoir vivre. In a nutshell, this album is 'tres francais'!
Songlist: Salut, Dame Sainte, Tout Puissant, Seigneur, je vous en prie, O mes tres chers freres, Choeur/Quelques Mesures de Chant Funebre, Priere, Psaume 121 op. 72, O jesu, O proles, Laus Regi, Si quaeris, L'appel de la cloche, la route, un jeune sapin se balance, Soir, Nuit, Serenade d'hiver, La belle si nous etions, Clic, clac, dansez sabots, Chanson a boire, Saltarelle op. 74
Review: Former choristers from Bach's own church make up this German version of The King's Singers. This contemporary a cappella program ranges from Billy Joel to Supertramp to a Cuban love song, and a superb cover of Sinead O'Connor's 'In This Heart'. These are great male choral interpretations of popular songs that are sure to delight.
Songlist: The Longest Time, New York, New York , Breakfast In America, Blackbird, Juramento, In This Heart, Somebody To Love, Only You, Hit The Road Jack, Rain In May, Since You Went Away, Can't Buy Me Love, Strangers In The Night, Good Vibrations, That Lonesome Road, And So It Goes
Review: A musical journey to sixteenth-century Europe with secular vocal music of the Renaissance! The vocal ensemble amarcord brilliantly interprets the music of this epoch in its newest production 'The Book of Madrigals' (RK ap 10106). With this CD, the young ensemble presents Renaissance music and madrigals by European composers such as John Dowland, Thomas Morley, Ludwig Senfl, Adriano Banchieri, Orlando de Lasso, and Josquin des Prez. Cipriano de Rore's 'Anchor che col partire' - one of the most popular madrigals of its time, and in arrangements and adaptations still an 'evergreen' over a century later - is also masterfully sung here. With the release of 'The Book of Madrigals,' amarcord has added another impressive CD to its discography.
Songlist: Now Is The Month of Maying, Bonjour Et Puis Quelles Nouvells?, Bonjour Mon Coeur, Come Away Come Sweet Love, Anchor Che Col Partire, Ach Elslein, Liebes Elselein, Remember Me My Dear, Since Robin Hood, Strike It Up, Tabor, Vecchie Letrose, Innsbruck, ich Muss Dich Lassen, I Love, Alas I Love Thee, Il Est Bel Et Bon , Come Again Sweet Love Doth Now Invite, Mein Gmuth Ist Mir Verwirret, Weep, O Mine Eyes, Pastyme With Good Companye, Contrappunto Bestiale Alla Mente
Review: 'Hear the Voices' is not just the line of a prayer appearing several times on this CD, but also an appeal to the listeners - to listen between the lines, to hear the centuries between the lives of the various composers, between them and us, to hear the links between their styles of composition, the subtle nuances with which certain words are interpreted by sounds. This all calls for more careful attention than simple 'listening'. The musical journey starts in France, before taking us back half a millennium to the Flemish region with Luther as our guide. Then there's a little detour to the Iberian Peninsula, a trip to the British Isles, before we finally return to amarcord's native skies in present-day Germany.
Songlist: If Ye Love Me - Tallis, Quatre Petites De St. Francois d'Assise, Herr, Lehre Doch Mich - Mauersberger, Magnus es Tu Domine - Des Prez, Psaume 121 - Milhaud, Ave Verum Corpus - Byrd, Sunt Lacrimae Rerum , O salutaris hostia, Ach Wie Nichtig Ach Wie Fluchtig - , De Profundis - , Hear The Voice And Prayer - , Tenebrae -
Review: Christmas has been celebrated for many centuries in all corners of the world, and this tradition has brought forth what are probably some of the most beautiful and enduring folk songs. The present CD is as diverse as the cultures. It goes from the well-known 'Es ist ein Ros entspungen' by way of Sicily ('O sanctissima') to Trinidad, and from Gregorian chant through the Renaissance to a Christmas motet by Thomaskantor Erhard Mauersberger (1903-1982). 'In adventu Domini' contains Advent and Christmas pieces from a period of over a half a millennium, including real gems that are gems not just because they are not to be found on any other Christmas CD. And of course the Leipzig vocal ensemble Amarcord once again arouses enthusiasm with its incomparable sound.
Songlist: Hosianna Dem Sohne Davids, Hymnus - In Adventu Domini, Ante Luciferum Genitus, O Heiland Reiss Die Himmel Auf, Angelus Ad Virginem, Maria Durch Ein Dornwald Ging, Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu, Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen, O Sanctissma, The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy, In Dulci Jubilo, O Regem Coeli, Weinacht, Schlaf, Mein Kindlein, Riu Riu Chiu, Rise Up Shepard And Follow, La Baylere, O Jesulein Suss, Ich Steh An Deiner Krippen Hier, Ding Dong Ding, Stille Nacht
Review: 'INCESSAMENT' - hidden behind this mysterious title is an exciting CD program at whose center stands the world premiere recording of the Missa Incessament by Pierre de la Rue (c. 1452-1518). Gregorian chant from the Moosburg Gradual supplements the Mass. Two of de la Rue's compositions with close connections to the Mass frame the program: the French chanson Incessament, on which the Missa Incessament is based, and its incarnation as a Latin motet - Sic deus dilexit - for Protestant Germany. The program was planned in collaboration with J. Evan Kreider, the leading de la Rue researcher, and Gregorian-chant expert Godehard Joppich. This CD was recorded in the marvelous basilica of the Benedictine Monastery at Wechselburg, Saxony, providing the music with an appropriate atmosphere.
Songlist: Sic Deus Dilexit, Introitus, Kyrie Incessament, Graduale, Alleluia, Credo, Offertorium, Sanctus, Agnus Dei Incessament, Communio, Incessament Mon Povre Ceur Lamente
Review: 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland', containing Early and Renaissance Christmas music, won a CASA award in 2006 for 'Best classical album' and is a most rewarding of the award. The tale told by the booklet stretches back to St. Augustine and his role in early Christian church music, all by way of explaining the origins of Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Now come, savior of the Gentiles), the hymn that gives the album its title. It got started as a Latin hymn, Veni redemptor gentium, by Saint Ambrose, the bishop of Milan who baptized Augustine of Hippo; translated into German and simplified somewhat by Martin Luther, it became a pan-Protestant hit. The group's singing is intonationally dazzling and splendidly controlled, fully the equal of any of the world's more flamboyant male vocal ensembles but without drawing attention to itself.
Songlist: Alle Psallite Cum Luya, Veni Redemptor Gentium, Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland, Angelus Ad Virginiem, Magnificat Sexti Toni, Veni Redemptor Gentium, Stella Splendens, Pastores Loquebantur Inter Se, Officium Nativitatis Domini, Vetus Abit Littera Vid erunt Omnes, Sys Willekomen Heirre Kerst, In Dulci Jubilo, O Viridissma Virga, There is No Rose Of Swych Vertu, Es Ist Rose Entsprungen, Veni Redemptor Gentium, Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland, Alleluya: A Nywe Werk, Veni redemptor gentium
Review: With its tenth recording Ensemble Amarcord takes a stroll through the musical Leipzig of the nineteenth century. Simultaneously, this anniversary release is a reverence to the hometown of the five world-class vocalists. They obviously feel very much at home in this repertoire, and the listener is accorded many a musical discovery in Restless Love. Besides widely known songs from which they elicit new nuances by means of their just as fresh as knowledgeable creative will, eight of the titles appear for the first time on this CD, including a piece for male choir by Mendelssohn! The Weihgesang (Consecration Song) for Goethe's funeral service was rediscovered by the Leipzig Mendelssohn researcher Ralf Wehner. Yet, besides the music of the then Gewandhaus music director Felix Mendelssohn and his friend Robert Schumann, it is exactly the today hardly known composers that make this CD so remarkable. This is music by Adolf Eduard Marschner, a relative of the crazy, brilliant Heinrich Marschner, who was also active in Leipzig or the musical jewels by Carl Steinacker, August Muhling, and Carl Friedrich Zollner, whose works have long been forgotten by the history of musical reception. Unjustly, for the songs of love and pain that amaracord has bundled together in Restless Love are without exception musical treasures.
Songlist: Rastlose Liebe, Die Minnesanger, Die Lotosblume, Fruhlingsglocken, An den Mond, Die Hoffnung, Sehnsucht, Turkisches Schenkenlied, Der Jager Abschied, Sommerlied, Wasserfahrt, Liebe und Wein, Wanderlied, Gesellschaftslied, An's Liebchen, Abendlied, Weihgesang, Die Rose sand im Thau, Zurne nicht, In Meeres Mitten, Der Speisezettel, Testament, Liebeserklarund eines, Schneidergesellen, Standchen, Zigeunerlied, Im Suden, Standchen
Review: Although it's hard to tell from the cover, this is a compilation of music from six discs by Germany's Kammerchor Stuttgart, under longtime conductor Frieder Bernius. It's a good pick for those interested in this 18-member a cappella group, or in unaccompanied choral music generally; the Stuttgarters must rank among the world's best mixed-gender adult choirs in the sheer consistency and suppleness of their vocal blend. The seven Mendelssohn psalm settings and small vocal works included here are drawn from the group's multi-disc complete recording of Mendelssohn's sacred music, and the works performed here are fine samples that illuminate a largely forgotten repertory and may inspire many buyers to go in search of the original recordings. Beyond Mendelssohn you get good examples of other aspects of the group's work: music by an unfamiliar composer (Gottfried August Homilius), some favorites of the later nineteenth century by Brahms, and some black-belt pieces from the end of the century: hear the tonal consistency at a punishingly high pitch of the Sanctus from Rheinberger's Cantus Missae, Op. 109 (track 13), and marvel. No original recording dates are given, but the recordings must span a considerable length of time; the choir has been in existence since the mid-'80s, and the Mendelssohn project alone involved 12 CDs. Given this, the remastering job is impressive; the sonic ambience is consistent and never less than clear and warm.
Songlist: Psalm 2 ("Warum toben die Heiden"), Denn er hat seinen Engeln Coro SSAATTBB, Trauergesang (Op. 116) Coro SATB, Beati mortui (Op. 115, 1) Coro TTBB, Psalm 43: Richte mich Gott (Op. 78, 2), Hebe Deine Augen auf (aus Elias, op. 70) Coro SSA, Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu Dir (op. 23, 1) Soli ATB, Coro SATB, Organo, Da es nun Abend war Coro SATB/ SATB, Herr, wenn Trubsal da ist, Die richtig fur sich gewandelt haben Coro SATB, Ave Maria (op. 12) Coro SSAA, Organo, Warum ist das Licht gegeben (op. 74, 1) Soli SATB e Coro SSATBB, Sanctus (aus Cantus Missae, op. 109) Due Cori SATB/ SATB, Abendlied (op. 69, 3) Coro SSATBB
Review: Musical and artistic success depends to a great degree on the ability of all those involved to work together harmoniously, in every sense of the word. At the same time, the diversity and individuality of each member of an ensemble needs to be taken into account and nurtured. These are the guidelines which the founder of the boys' choir and present choir director of capella vocalis, Eckhard Weyand, has adopted. The success of his concept is demonstrated by numerous concerts both at home and abroad and the way in which the choir has rapidly built up a reputation since it was founded. Following on the success of the ensemble's debut 'Kein schoner Land' here is their latest release featuring this top-notch boys' choir singing sacred choral works
Songlist: Jauchzet Dem Hern , Gehet Hin In Allle Welt, Es Ist Das Heil Uns Kommen Her , Herr, Ich Habe Lieb , Psalm 130 , Ad Dominium, Rex Gloriose , Nunc Dimittis, Salve Regina, Ubi Caritas, Ave Maria Stella , Locus Iste , Laudes de Saint Antoine de Padoue, Cantate Domino, Hugo Distler , Wer Nur Den Lieben Gott Lasst Walten, Alta Trinita Baeta
Review: Founded in 1992 and not associated with any religion or institution, Holzgerlingen, Germany-based Capella Vocalis performs religious and secular music in churches as well as in other venues. 'Christ ist Geboren' (Christ is born) is a nice collection of 25 Christmas songs (sung all in German, and by mostly German composers, with some light accompaniment) that feature the angelic voices of this talented boys' choir. J. Heinrich Lutzel's 'Machet die Tore weit,' Michael Praetorius' 'Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen,' W. Herrmann's 'O schlafe, schlafe, gottlinger Knabe' and Franz Gruber's 'Stille Nacht, heilage Nacht' give us a sweet taste of what the spirited young voices of Capella Vocalis can do.
Songlist: Three angels sang a sweet hymn, Machet die Tore weit, Mary went through thorny wood, O Saviour, tear open the skies, Now come the heathens' Saviour, There comes a ship, laden, The morning star has risen, Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming, Komm, du Heiland aller Welt, O Schlafe, Schlafe, Gottliche Knabe, Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, Kolenden, Polnische Weihnachtslieder , Christus est geboren, Triumphe, Gestern abend, Bruder, Shepherds travelled with, Solitude is all around, Lulaley, sweet Jesus, Let us all go, In the manger, Shepherds, rest a while, In Bethleh, Jesus, boy child, On the day, The New Year is a-coming
Review: Here's a lost musical form if ever there was one: songs for male chorus. While the form was explored in the early nineteenth century by Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Schumann, among others, it had fallen into disuse by the middle of the century, nearly vanished by the end of the century, and became virtually forgotten by the early twentieth. The main reason for its disappearance was that the ensemble for which it was intended had disappeared. German men, who had once loved going down to the village bar and to drink themselves into a stupor while singing choral drinking songs, had found other ways to amuse themselves. But, in their day, songs for male chorus, while surely not a threat to the aesthetic hegemony of solo songs, were a popular form, and its almost complete disappearance is a small but palpable aesthetic loss.This disc by the Neue Detmolder Liedertafel directed by Thorsten Roth goes some small way toward redressing that loss. With a rich tone and a superlative ensemble, the Liedertafel's singing is beyond reproach, and, as guided by Roth, its interpretations are affectionate and enthusiastic. All the songs on this disc are heartwarming, especially the Ritornelle on poems by Friedrich Rckert, but most appealing to the initiated may be five Jagdlieder of Heinrich Laube, the only songs on the disc with accompaniment. And what an accompaniment: four horns, masterfully played by the Detmolder Hornisten, evoking the joys and mysteries of the hunt and the forest. Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm's sound is, as it always is, absolutely real
Songlist: Der Traumende See , Die Minnesanger, Die Lotosblume , Die Zecher Als Doktrinar , Rastlose Liebe, Fruhlingsglocken, Zur Hohen Jagd, Habet Acht! , Jagdmorgen, Fruhe, Bei Der Flasche, Der Eidgenossen Nachtwache, Freiheitslied, Schlachtgesang, Deutscher Freiheitsgesang, Schwarz-Rot-Gold, Zu Den Waffen, Die Rose Stand Im Tau, Lasst Lautenspiel Und Becherklang, Blut' Oder Schnee , Gebt Mir Zu Trinken , Zurne Nicht Des Herbstes Wind, In Sommertagen Ruste Den Schlitten, In Meeres Mitten Ist Ein Offner Laden
Review: Born in 1955, Bob Chilcott has a fast-growing reputation as one of Britain's most popular and accessible composers of choral music. Bob Chilcott has been involved in choral music for most of his life, as a boy chorister and choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge, and as a member of the vocal group The King's Singers for twelve years. Over the past seven years he has poured his energy into the amateur choir world as a composer, conductor and choral clinician, with an emphasis on work with and for young singers. Chilcott has contributed a growing body of work to the repertoire of adult and children's choirs. As reflected in Canticles of Light, Chilcott's gifts are not limited to writing for adults, and he has gained an international reputation for his work with, and compositions for, children and young people. His song with sign language, 'Can you hear me? has become one of the most widely-performed pieces in the children's choir world and in March 2001 Chilcott himself conducted a performance sung by 2000 children at The World of Children's Choirs Festival in Vancouver, Canada. Bob Chilcott continues to be in great demand as a conductor and workshop leader worldwide. As a conductor Bob has worked extensively with choirs and festivals throughout the world. For seven years he was conductor of the 200-voice Chorus at the Royal College of Music in London. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers, with whom he works regularly in studio recordings and concerts. He has also guest conducted the RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin, and the Elmer Iseler Singers in Toronto.
Songlist: Come buy, The flower of Cities all, London bells, Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802, Good morrow, The Skin, The Barrel of the Drum, The Two Curved Sticks of the Drummer, Gourds and Rattles, The Gong-Gong, The Runner, Canticles of Light, My Prayer, The Sheperd's Carol, God so loved the world, For him all stars have shone, And So It Goes
Review: Conductor and composer John Rutter has worked in many facets of music, but is best known for his work in the choral realm. On this recording his work is interpreted by the Nordic Chamber Choir led by Nicol Matt. This dynamic CD shows the stylistic and subject variety found in Rutter's music. The first set of five sacred pieces includes the amazingly beautiful wedding song, 'I my Best-Beloved's am,' which combines sacred Latin texts with an English love poem, the jubilant 'Cantate Domino' and virtuosic 'Deck the hall.' The set of Birthday Madrigals, written for jazz pianist George Shearing combine madrigal era texts in very jazzy settings, three of them include double-bass. The recording is rounded out with five settings of traditional songs and five childhood lyrics.
Songlist: Five sacred Pieces:, I my Best Beloved's am, Cantate Domino, Musica Dei Donum, Deck the Hall, Hymn to the Creator of Light, Birthday Madrigals:, It was a lover and his lass, Draw on, sweet night, Come live with me, My true love hath my heart, When daisies pied, Five traditional Songs:, The girl I left behind me, O waly, waly, The British Grenadiers, Golden slumbers, Dashing away with a smoothing iron, Five Childhood Lyrics:, Monday's child, The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, Windy nights, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Sing a song of sixpence
Review: Between the late Baroque and the twentieth century, musical literature was enriched by a great variety of choral forms. From the simplest (the Lutheran chorale as practised by Bach, or the chorus a cappella) to the most complex (double choruses, combinations with soloists and orchestra), they are all here in this exhaustive survey drawing on the finest recordings of one of the world's most highly acclaimed choirs, the RIAS-Kammerchor of Berlin.
Songlist: CD One: 18th Century, Christmas Oratorio , Famous Opera Choirs, The Seasons , CD Two: 19th Century, Choral Lieder, Motet, Choral Works, Motette, Vier Gesange, Zigeunerlieder , CD Three: 20th Century, Shakespeare Songs , Motets Pour Le Temps de Noel , Choral Works , Sacred And Profane
Review: 'It is an art to conceal art' : Mendelssohn had never presented a more perfect illustration of this maxim than in his Motets, Op.69. Composed in the year of his death, they are probably the finest works of religious music by this composer whom Berlioz had accused of being 'a little too fond of the dead'. But the most romantic of Bach's votaries had more than one trick up his sleeve and it would be a mistake to underestimate these extraodinary psalms and motets that Mendelssohn went on producing throughout his life, in spite of his rather strained relationship with the eccelsiastic authorities. Tradition and inventiveness are the leading principles of an artistic credo based on the skilful and beguiling mixture of counterpoint and melody, of harmony and brilliant orchestration. After having devoted three universally acclaimed recordings to the choral music of Brahms, the RIAS-Kammerchor is here on familiar ground
Songlist: Psalm 100: "Jauchzet dem Herrn alle Welt", Psalm 2 op. 78 Nr. 1: "Warum toben die Heiden", Psalm 43 op. 78 Nr. 2: "Richte mich, Gott", Psalm 22 op. 78 Nr. 3: "Mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen?", Choralmotette op. 23 Nr. 3: "Mitten wir im Leben sind", Motette op. 69 Nr. 1: "Herr, nun lassest du deinen Diener in Frieden fahren", Motette op. 69 Nr. 2: "Jachzet dem Herm alle Welt", Motette op. 69 Nr. 3: "Mein Herz erhebet Gott, den Herrn", Missa breve, Zum Abendsegen: "Herr, sei gnadig unserm Flehn"
Review: Poulenc's choral works constitute a high point in the choral art of the twentieth century. Figure humaine is probably Poulenc's most original choral score. Written in the middle of World War II, this cantata set to eluard's texts includes the famous Liberte, a poem that the RAF dropped in the form of leaflets over France. Quatre petites prieres de saint Francois d'Assise was composed in 1948 at the request of the composer's nephew, Brother Jerome Poulenc. These four short prayers to texts by Saint Francis of Assisi are dedicated to the Friars Minor of Champfleury. Poulenc's Sept chansons for mixed chorus bring together poems by Apollinaire and eluard. Influenced by Monteverdi, they belong to the tradition of Debussy's Trois chansons de Charles d'Orleans. Since its foundation after the Second World War, the RIAS-Kammerchor has played an important role in the musical life of Berlin. Contemporary music has always been at the heart of its repertoire and these performances, led by Daniel Reuss are presented with innate understanding and deep reverence.
Songlist: Sept Chansons, Un Soir De Neige, Figure humaine, cantata for 12 voices, Quatre Petites De St. Francois d'Assise, Chanson a boire, for male chorus
Review: Born in Sussex, UK, and schooled at Cambridge, London and Oxford, Marcus Creed became chorusmaster at Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and was appointed artistic director of the elite RIAS-Kammerchor in 1987. 'Nachtgesang' (Night Songs) is a collection of works by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), composer of an abundant body of choral music. In these 11 pieces with the common romantic theme of the night, Schubert is in his element, but surprisingly little importance is given to these masterly pieces. Monumental pieces like 'Gesang der Geister uber den Wassern' will be juxtaposed with more descriptive pieces like 'Der Gondelfahrer' and sweet, soaring arias like 'Im Gegenwartigen Vergangenes.' Some light accompaniment. Schubert is one of the greatest of all time, as is the RIAS-Kammerchor, and each of these songs, whether its focus be romantic or spiritual love, is a choral gem! Extensive, multilingual liner notes.
Songlist: Nachtgesang im Walde, , Grab und Mond, , Der Gondelfahrer, Gott ist mein Hir, Im Gegenwartigen Vergangenes, Coronach, Nachthelle, Die Nacht, Standchen, Gesang der Geister uber den Wassern, Gott im Ungewitter
Review: Considered by W. Siegmund-Schultze as 'formally the most perfect of Schumann's choral compositions', The Pilgrimage of the Rose was composed in 1851, a few months after the composer had received a manuscript from the poet Moritz Horn with a subject he found fascinating. This fairy tale, deeply impregnated by the spirit of the Biedermeier period, tells the story of a little rose that aspires to the human condition - and thus, to love. In a few weeks Schumann composed this huge fresco for chorus, soloists and piano, orchestrating it in 1851-52 with the aim of reaching a larger audience. But it is undoubtedly in its original form that the work is most pertinent, because it is entirely in the glorious tradition of the Romantic Lied.
Songlist: Die Fruhlingslufte bringen, Johannis war gekommen, Elfenreigen: Wir tanzen, wir tanzen, Und wie sie sangen, So sangen sie, Bin ein armes Waisenkind, Es war der Rose erster Schmerz!, Wie Blatter am Baum, Die letzte Scholl' hinunterrollt, Gebet: Dank, Herr, dir dort im Sternenland, Ins Haus des Totengrabers, Zwischen grunen Baumen , Von dem Greis geleitet, Bald hat das neue Tochterlein, Bist du im Wald gewandelt, Im Wald, gelehnt am Stamme, Der Abendschlummer, O sel'ge Zeit, Wer kommt am Sonntagsmorgen, Ei Muhle, liebe Muhle, Was klingen denn die Horner, Im Hause des Mullers, Und wie ein Jahr verronnen ist, Roslein!
Review: Christmas has always been a feast of particular importance in German tradition. A large number of works have been written specially for the occasion, right up to the twentieth century. This anthology offers a specific choice of Romantic and post-Romantic pieces for a cappella choir.
Songlist: Tristet mein Volk, Macht hoch die Tur - Lasset uns frohlocken, Unser lieben Frauen Traum, Es kommt ein Schiff geladen, Das Volk, das im Finstern wandelt, Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, Ehre sei Gott in der Hohe , Kommt und laBt uns Christum ehren, Un dulci jubilo - O freudenreicher Tag, LaBt uns das Kindelein wiegen, Mein Herz will ich dir schenken, Schlaf, mein Kindelein, Das Wort ward Fleisch, Kommet, ihr Hirten - Auf, auf, ihr Hirten, Herbei, o ihr Glaub'gen, Kindelein zart - O Jesulein suB, Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, Frohlocket, ihr Volker auf Erden - O du frohliche
Review: Mendelssohn once said, 'The most natural music of all occurs when four people go out together in the woods or in a boat, and carry the music with them and inside them!' These pieces for chorus, sparkling musical miniatures, are perhaps the fi nest illustration of this profession of artistic faith. Mendelssohn's lovely choral music tends to get overshadowed by that of Brahms and by Mendelssohn's own works in other genres. This disc makes a strong case for a reassessment of the musical merit of his work in this genre. Berlin's RIAS-Kammerchor has established itself as a world-class ensemble which owes its reputation chiefl y to the performance of a cappella works. Led here by their new principal conductor, Hans-Christoph Rademann, the group continues its tradition of heartfelt music making.
Songlist: Im Walde, Entfieh' Mit Mir, Es Fiel Ein Reif, Auf Ihrem Grab, Mailied, Auf Dem See, Fruhlingshnung, Die Primel, Fruhlingsfeier, Lerchengesang, Morgengebet, Herbslied, Im Grunen, Fruhzeitiger Fruhling, Abschied Vom Walde, Die Nachtigall, Ruhetal, Jagdlied, Neujahrslied, Der Gluckliche, Hirtenlied, Die Waldvogelein, Deutschland, Der Wandernde Musikant, Andenken, Lob Des Fruhlings, Fruhlingslied, Im Wald
Review: The Stuttgart Hymnus Boys Choir under the direction of Eckhard Weyand present a classical Christmas. These traditional songs transport the listener on a musical journey of Europe during the Christmas season.These beloved melodies have touched the hearts of millions for generations just put this disc on and you'll be tempted to join in singing yourself. The sound of the Stuttgart Hymnus Boys Choir will transport you to that magical Christmas kingdom where memories are made and wishes are fulfilled.
Songlist: Maria durch ein' Dornwald ging, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, Freu dich Erd und Sternezelt, Schlaf mein Kindlein, Den geboren hat ein' Magd, Es ist fur uns eine Zeit angekommen, Vom Himmel hoch, o Englein kommt, Kommet, ihr Hirten, Aus der Kantate "Singt und klingt", O du frohliche, Sei uns willkommen, Jesus Christ, Zu Bethlehem der Engel sprach (Noel), O Bethlehem, du kleine Stadt, Heut kam ein Engel, Inmitten der Nacht, Hort der Engel helle Lieder, Still, still, still, Stille Nacht
Review: Last year, in celebration of Elliot Carter's 100th birthday, the thoroughbred of choral ensembles performed and recorded a program of the great man's complete works for choir - a cappella, men's voices, and accompanied. Now, for the first time, a thoroughly modern recording of Carter's complete works for choir is available - and in performances that will serve as the template for all future ensembles. Once again, the SWR Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Marcus Creed has distinguished itself as one of the most adventurous and capable choirs performing in the world today!
Songlist: Tarentella, Let's Be Gray, Emblems: Maryland, Virginia, Caroline, Emblems: When it is All Over, Emblems: By the Great River, Heart Not So Heavy as Mine, Musicians Wrestle Everywhere, To Music, The Defense of Corinth, Harvest Home
Review: Here is a highly intelligent collection of reflective and joyous music for the Christmas season! Soprano McFadden and Baritone Olaf Bar join the Mainz Cathedral Choir and Stuttgart Vocal Ensemble in this all-accompanied collection of some of the most beautiful, classical Christmas music of all time. Ten songs, the 3 movements of Michael Praetorius' '3 Motetten aus Polyhymnia Caduceatrix & Panegyrica,' Bach's 'aus dem Weihnachtsoratoium BWV 248 Hirtenmusik,' Haydn's 'Ein Magd, ein Dienerin,' Otto Nicolai's 'Weihnachtsouverture' and Benjamin Britten's 'Men of Goodwill' are favorites. Wondrous Christmas pieces from the 16th to 20th centuries, sung by a multitude of talented voices.
Songlist: Motetten aus "Polyhymnia Caduceatrix & Panegyrica, In dulci jubilo, Puer natus, Wachet auf, Hirtenmusik (Sinfonia), Arie "Großer Herr, o starker Koig", Ein' Magd, ein' Dienerin, O Jesulein sub, stimmiger Chor a-cappella, Weihnachtsouverture, Vom Himmel hoch, Variations on a Christmas Carol
Review: The Petite Petite Messe solennelle is one of Rossini's last large-scale works. Even though a late work, and a religious work at that, Rossini manages to bring his sparkling wit and operatic flair to the proceedings. The present recording is the first CD recording of the original version for four voices accompanied by two pianos and harmonium. Rupert Huber and the SWR Vocal ensemble Stuttgart perform with style and commitment bringing their enthusiasm for 'New Music' to this rediscovered masterwork.
Songlist: Kyrie, Gloria, Gloria in Excelcis Deo, Gratias agimus tibi, Domine Deus, Qui Tollis, Quoniam, Cum Sanctus Spiritu, Credo, Credo in unum Deum, Crucifixus, Et Resurrexit, Preludoio Religioso, Sanctus, O Salutaris Hostia, Agnus Dei
Review: Rare recordings of the music of this popular contemporary composer. Amazing choral virtuosity from the SWR Vocal Ensemble and director Marcus Creed. Gyorgy Kurtag was long overshadowed by his fellow Hungarian Gyorgy Ligeti, but in recent years his music has become far better known. Kurtag was the teacher of the renowned pianists Andras Schiff and Zoltan Kocsis at the Liszt Academy in Budapest.
Songlist: Omaggio a Luigi Nono op. 16, Eight Choruses to Poems by Dezo Tandori op. 23, Songs of Despair and Sorrow op. 18
Review: Few composers have exercised as vigorous a political conscience as did the late Luigi Nono. Beginning his career as a dedicated 12-tone composer (and Schoenberg's son-in-law), Nono consciously sought to revolutionize both music and society in his large output. Significantly, many of Nono's compositions were highly expressive and individualistic settings of texts from authors as diverse as Nietzsche and Latino Labor Leader, Caesar Chavez, to the anonymous inscriptions of political prisoners. The miracle of Nono's music is the tremendous beauty and intensity he was able to forge using such disparate material. The compositions on this disc, masterfully performed by Rupert Huber and the Vokalensemble Stuttgart, are definitive readings of some of the most difficult choral music EVER composed. And yet, despite all the avant garde techniques, the sonic impact of these scores has the otherworldly beauty of Gregorian chant. Make no mistake; this is an essential recording of music by one of the 20th century's greatest composers!
Songlist: Da Un Diario Italiano , Cori Di Didone , Das Atmende Klarsein
Review: Rachmaninov's passionate setting of the Russian 'All Night Vigil' is to the Eastern Orthodox liturgy what Bach's B Minor Mass is to the West. Consulting Rachmaninov's manuscripts and correspondence, and working with Russian language and cultural specialists, the virtuoso SWR Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Marcus Creed, has drawn upon every artistic source available to make this new recording of Rachmaninov's transcendent Vespers.
Songlist: Vespers ("All Night Vigil"), Op. 37
Review: Robert Schumann's a cappella choral works have established themselves on the concert stage far less than those of Mendelssohn or Brahms. He himself, however, accorded them a much higher position among his works, writing that they were composed 'with true passion,' and that nothing of their kind existed. The 37 mixed voices of SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart show us exactly what he was talking about. Here we have 'Romances and Ballads I, II, III and IV, five songs in each, and op. 69 and op. 91, six tunes in each, for a total of 32 cuts. These are impassioned, romantic vocal gems. Some favorites: 'Schon Rohtraut,' 'Ungewitter,' 'Schnitter Tod,' 'Im Walde,' 'Der Schmid,' 'Der Sanger,' 'Romanze vom Gansebuben,' 'Brautgesang,' 'Tamburin' and 'Jager Wohlgemuth.' Masterful compositions by Schumann, wonderful, spirited interpretations by SWRVS. Recommended!
Songlist: Romances and Ballads I op. 67, Romances and Ballads II op. 75, Romances and Ballads III op. 145, Romances and Ballads IV op. 146, Romances and Ballads op. 69, Romances and Ballads op. 91
Review: The Motet is the oldest compositional genre in European polyphonic art music. Its history can be followed without interruption from the 12th century to the present day. The form was regular part of liturgical services in the two principle churches of Leipzig where JS Bach was employed from 1723 until his death in 1750. Scholars are divided as to the purpose of the six Motets. Though most of them were thought to be funeral music, they cover a lot of ground in terms of creativity, originality, choral and vocal techniques. Marcus Creed and the Vocalconsort Berlin offer small scale, intimate readings of these evergreen masterpieces.
Songlist: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, Jesu, meine Freude, Furchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, Komm, Jesu, komm!, Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, Ich lasse dich nicht
Review: Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 - 11 October 1896) was an Austrian composer known primarily for his symphonies, masses, and motets. His symphonies are often considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, complex polyphony, and considerable length. Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies. Here are seven hymns for unaccompanied SATB choir. German text.
Songlist: Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Locus Iste, Os Justi, Virga Jesse, Vexilla Regis, Afferentur Regi