In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Displaying 1-15 of 15 items.
Review: This new anthology of Part's choral works replaces the earlier one published in 1999. It is even more representative of Part's work, not only because of the recent additions, but because of the very welcome decision to include two selections from his major a cappella work, Kanon Pokajanen. The revised selection is also carefully geared towards the music represented on three CDs, all of which were recorded in consultation with the composer. introduced by Paul Hillier.
Songlist: Arvo Part, Observation on the Performance of Arvo Part's choral music, Bemerkungen zur Auffuhrungspraxis der Chorwerke Arvo Parts, Remarques sur l'interpretation des oeuvres chorales d'Arvo Part, Werkvezeichnis- List of Works- Catalogue des oeuvres, An den Wassen zu Babel saben wir und weinten, Beatus Petronius, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Da pacem Domine, De profundis, Dopo la vittoria, Gebet nach dem Kanon, I Am the True Vine, Littlemore Tractus, Magnificat, Memento (Ode VII), Missa syllabica (a cappella), Most Holy Mother of God, Nunc dimittis, Salve Regina, Sieben Magnificat- Anthiphonen, Solfeggio, Statuit ei Dominus, Triodion, Veni creator, Which Was the Son of ..., Zwei slawische Psalmen
Review: The small country of Latvia on the Baltic Sea had been independent for 23 years in 1941 when it was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. Today the Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) have begun their struggle for independence.This struggle is often reflected and reinforced in folk song. Collections of Latvian folk music and song were made in the mid-to-late 19th century, and today the collection of the Latvian Academy of Sciences comprises 1 1/2 million texts and 30,000 melodies. Many choirs perform this material, some sticking to the traditional ways and others compose new settings of traditional texts. Dzintars, the Latvian word for amber, is Latvia's leading female choir, and they have won many competition awards: some favorites: the folk songs 'Blow, Wind, Blow,' 'The Sun Moves Quickly,' and 'The Forest Shook From Dancing,' Selga Mentse's 'Where Have You Been, Brother' and 'Orphan Girl In White,' Peteris Vask's 'Christmas Masquerade' and the Yiddish folk song, 'Oi Hanuke.' Marvelous, spirited music, sung with tremendous feeling by this 67-strong, brightly-costumed chorus! Some light accompaniment.
Songlist: Blow, Wind, Blow, Breaking Flax, The Sun Moves Quickly, Sleep My Child, Song Of The Wind, So Silent Is The Ukranian Night, The Forest Shook From Dancing, Where Have You Been, Brother?, Orphan Girl In White, Di Raike, Christmas Masquerade (Mummery Song), Oi Hanuke, Autumn Landscape, The Tomtit's Message
Review: Richard Strauss, though better known as a composer of operas and tone poems, wrote significantly in other genres as well. One of those mediums that fascinated him throughout his entire life was the a cappella choral work. The earliest pieces recorded here-the Zwei Gesange - come from 1897, the year of Ein Heldenleben; the latest piece-Traumlicht, the second of the Drei Mannerchore - from 1935-36, those years in which Strauss was occupied with the operas Friedenstag and Daphne. The most extensive work here, and perhaps the most difficult to perform, is the Deutsche Motette. Written in 1913, between his work on the operas Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Frau ohne Schatten, it is a one-movement tone poem for voices. There are moments of incredible difficulty, requiring the basses to perform notes more than two octaves below middle C for passages at a time. The sopranos, on the other hand, are asked to sing passages requiring high Cs, more than two octaves above middle C. The singers here are up to the challenge. This is no small feat for a piece that contains at its highest number 23 individual parts! The earlier Zwei Gesange are also given very fine performances. The ensemble work here is much better in terms of blend. In the beginning of Der Abend (the first of the two Gesange) the singers are very good at overlapping and matching, creating a seamless wall of sound as they transfer from one section to the next. Each entry proceeds smoothly, through the odd chromatic wandering, until the very end when the ensemble creates an almost organ-like sonority. The two remaining pieces are equally thrilling and well done.
Songlist: Deutsche Mottette, op 62, Trumlicht, op 123, Zwei Gesange, op 34, Der Abend / Hymne
Review: In recent years Gavin Bryars has concentrated to a great extent on writing for the human voice - and a great deal of this is choral music. He has a close relationship with ensembles from the Baltic, especially the Latvian Radio Choir, now without doubt one of the world's greatest choirs. His first collaboration with them on GB Records was the superb On 'Photography', which was an Editor's Choice in Gramophone and extensively played on BBC Radio 3. This very fine choir is at home in all forms of contemporary music, but also in music from the baroque as well as early music. Many of Gavin Bryars' works on this recording take forms from early music, and some pieces originate in collaborations with early music ensembles - such as the Hilliard Ensemble and Trio Mediaeval. Here we have the stunning female voices of the Latvian Radio Choir in 9 and 11 part laude; the whole choir a capella in Glorious Hill and, in Cadman Requiem, accompanied by Riga Cathedral's magnificent organ in the cathedral's stunning acoustic. As on the first recording with the Latvian Radio Choir, Gavin Bryars has included works by Latvian composers close to his heart. Eriks Esenvalds is a young composer whose work recorded here was awarded first place at the 2006 International Rostrum for Composers. Peteris Vasks is perhaps the best known of all living Latvian composers. The work of both composers has a profound concern for the spiritual, which has led it to be linked with the music of composers such as Arvo Part or Giya Kancheli.
Songlist: Lauda 22, Fammi cantar l'amor, Lauda 23, Glorious Hill, Legende de la femme emmuree, Dammi conforto Dio, Lauda 24, Ziles zina, Cadman Requiem, -Kyrie/Requiem, -Creation Hymn Paraphrase (Bede), -Agnus Dei, -Creation Hymn, -In Paradisum
Review: Jonathan Harvey is Britain's foremost composer of electronic music and has developed a complex and personal musical language for which he is globally recognized. His catalogue of works explores unique sound worlds and imaginative ensembles. The works on this disc, composed within seven years of each other during one of the most productive periods of Harvey's career, demonstrate the stylistic range of his choral writing and his unique approach to the combination of live performance and electronic sound, as well as his innate sympathy for the voice. The Latvian Radio Choir have been labelled as the creators of a new choral paradigm: a testament to their diverse range of voices and skilful performances of challenging experimental works. The choir champions the works of many leading Latvian composers and much focus is placed on exploring the capabilities of the human voice. The singers explore their skills by turning to the mysteries of traditional singing, as well as every other vocal utterance, from speech to breath. They make their Hyperion debut with thrilling performances of Jonathan Harvey's The Angels, Ashes Dances Back, Marahi and The Summer Cloud's Awakening.
Songlist: The Angels, Ashes Dance Back , Marahi, The Summer Cloud's Awakening
Review: Founded in 1940 by 'father of Latvian choral conductors' Teodors Kalnins, the Choir's repertoire embraces Renaissance polyphony as well as works by 20th century composers. Normally performing with 23 singers, the Choir can expand to 100 singers for larger projects. Featured on some cuts is the powerful Riga Cathedral Organ, where this recording was made. 12 sacred pieces: Arvo Part's angelic 'Magnificat,' Randall Thompson's 'Alleluia,' wonderful tenor solos on Gabriel Faure's 'Tantum Ergo' and Cesar Franck's 'Panis Angelicus,' Brahms' lovely 'Agnus Dei, Dona Nobis Pacem-Mass in C Major,' Dvorak's 'Benedictus-Mass in D major,' Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's, Schubert's and Bach's compositions of 'Ave Maria,' Handel's 'O, cor Jesu' This is some of the most beautiful music ever written, performed by one of Latvia's finest mixed choirs.
Songlist: Magnificat (Part), Alleluia, Tantum ergo, Panis angelicus, Tota pulchra es, Maria, Agnus dei, dona nobis pacem, Ave Maria, O, cor Jesu, Ave Maria, Sanctus: Messe solennelle de Sainte Cecile, Ave Maria, Benedictus - Mass in D major
Review: This all a cappella recording features some most interesting and talented composers. Gavin Bryars's numerous recordings have been among the bestselling CDs by any contemporary composer. Two of his albums, 'The Sinking of the Titanic' and 'Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet', have sold more than 250,000 copies. This recording is notable for the extraordinary beauty of its choral sound, the precision of its ensemble, the perfection of its intonation, the subtlety of its phrasing, and the striking individuality of its soloists.
Songlist: And so ended Kant's Travelling in this World (Gavin Bryars), Three Poems of Cecco Angiolieri, Da ispravitsa molitva moja (Arturs Maskata), Expessa Solis, Resonare Fibris, Diptychon (Silvestrov), The Lord's Prayer, Testament
Review: Peteris Vasks (1946), Latvia's most prominent composer, was the son of a Baptist minister, and while he always felt a strong affinity for sacred music, he didn't feel free to express it through vocal music since it would never have been allowed to be performed under the Communist regime. Since the early '90s, he has turned his attention more and more to religious texts, and this CD includes three of his most significant sacred choral works, including a setting of the Mass. Vasks' style of choral writing links him to the composers who have come to be described as 'holy minimalists,' a group that includes Part, Gorecki, Kancheli, and Tavener, whose music, while stylistically diverse, tends to rely on tonal and modal harmonies, is frequently harmonically static or slow-moving and is often linked to plainchant and ancient liturgical traditions. Vasks' choral music is firmly rooted in Western polyphony and is for the most part traditional-sounding; there is little in it apart from certain unconventional harmonic progressions that would make it immediately identifiable as a product of the late twentieth century. Among the other holy minimalists, the sound of his music is most closely related to that of Gorecki in its harmonic textures and the somber earnestness of its moods. The three works recorded here are polyphonically and harmonically sensual, in spite of their serious tone. An exception to the sober tone is the Mass' Sanctus, which, while not exactly lighthearted, is lively; the composer imagines it 'sung by happy, little angels.' The Latvian Radio Choir sings with warmth and passion and with excellent control in the composer's extended, sustained vocal lines. Sigvards Klava, conducting Sinfonietta Riga, leads them in deeply felt performances. The CD should be of interest both to fans of choral music and of new trends in minimalism tinged with Romanticism.
Songlist: Pater noster, Dona Nobis Pacem, Missa
Review: Peteris Vasks' songs for mixed choir, like all of his compositions, provide a look at events, a portrait of the times. Quality, not quantity, is the keyword. This recording contains those compositions which the composer feels to be his best contributions to a genre which he has approached relatively sparingly.
Songlist: Three Poems By Czeslaw Milosz, Window, So Little, Encounter, Zemgale , Mate Saule (Mother Sun), Madrigals (Madrigal)#, Litene# (Ballad for 12-voiced chorus to a text by Uldis Berzins ), I, II, Dona nobis pacem
Review: Sergei Rachmaninov's setting of the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom - Eastern Christianity's common Eucharistic service liturgy - is regarded as one of the great cornerstones of 20th-century sacred music. This work of symphonic proportions was composed in the summer of 1910, in less than three weeks. After its completion, Rachmaninov wrote to a friend that he had been carried away by the project and that it had been a long time since he had written music with such pleasure. The outcome was judged by contemporary church officials as '...absolutely wonderful, even too beautiful... it is not church music.' This a cappella choral work is performed by one of the foremost choruses in the world, the Latvian Radio Choir, under the direction of Sigvards Klava. The soloist roles are sung by K rlis R tent ls (tenor; celebrant priest) and Gundrars Dzi ums (bass; deacon). The recording was made at the Riga Dome Cathedral.
Songlist: Blessing, Bless the Lord, o my soul, Glory to the Father ? Only begotten Son of God, In Thy Kingdom, Come, let us worship, O Lord, Save - Holy God, Cherubic Hymn, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Creed, A Mercy of Peace, We hymn Thee, Hymn to the Mother of God, The Lord's Prayer, Communion Verse, We have seen the true light, Let our mouths be filled, Blessed be the name of the Lord, Many years
Review: Conductor Kaspars Putni leads this wonderful choir on the works by Rytis Mazulis.
Songlist: Canon Solus, Sybilla, Cum Essem Parvulus, Ajapajapam
Review: Peteris Vasks' strong attachment to his Latvian home country shows particularly in his choral music. Nature, customs and traditions as well as the idea of freedom are the central themes of the texts he sets to music, while carefully using modern techniques of choral singing as well. Alternating with traditional, even archaic singing, the music creates a multi-faceted, immediately effective sound image in the listener's mind
Songlist: Musu Dziesma (Our Song), Miedzins Jaja (Sleep Was Riding), Maminai Klausidama (Following Mother's Advice)
Review: Peteris Vasks' strong attachment to his Latvian home country shows particularly in his choral music. Nature, customs and traditions as well as the idea of freedom are the central themes of the texts he sets to music, while carefully using modern techniques of choral singing as well. Alternating with traditional, even archaic singing, the music creates a multi-faceted, immediately effective sound image in the listener's mind. These six songs for female choir centre on the themes of man, nature and transience, and home in aphoristic brevity. Vasks wrote music on these folk poems which contains rewarding tasks for the choir and opens up a fascinating world of sound to the listener.
Songlist: The Sad Mother, Small, Warm Holiday, Sunmmer
Review: The live performance last year of this major and substantial work by the young Latvian composer Esenvalds thrilled critics and audiences alike. As a new liturgical work that looks set to enter the repertoire it is comparable to Arvo Part's Passio. Eschewing the single narrative perspective that characterizes the great Passion settings of the past, the composer has assembled an interlocking mosaic of texts from the gospels, from Byzantine and Roman liturgies, and from the Old Testament. Stephen Layton's commitment to new Baltic music is well-known and he has a deep understanding of the musical language of the area - reflected by performances of great integrity and passion. This recording is particularly splendid, featuring not only the matchless Polyphony and Britten Sinfonia but also Carolyn Sampson, acclaimed for her performances of early music on Hyperion but heard here to dazzling effect, crowning the performance with her extraordinary singing.
Songlist: Passion and Resurrection, Evening, Night Prayer, A Drop In The Ocean, Legend of the Walled-in Woman, Long Road
Review: Royal Holloway's debut Hyperion recording (of the Latvian composer Rihards Dubra) received a rapturous response from the critics. Now they have produced a second volume of Baltic delights, turning this time to Lithuania and the sumptuous music of Vytautas Mi kinis, the doyen of current Lithuanian choral culture.His music, while bearing identifiable Lithuanian roots, is a synthesis of different influences carefully shaped and moulded with an experienced understanding of choral orchestration. Like many other Baltic composers of the same generation, Mi kinis takes an essentially diatonic approach but with much overlaying of harmonies and coloured cluster-chords. What makes the music unmistakably Lithuanian is the influence of two folk-song genres. The overall effect is luscious, radiant and exotic. This music is passionately performed by these talented young singers and sensitively recorded in a generous church acoustic.
Songlist: Dum medium silentium, O sacrum convivium, Pater noster, Tenebrae factae sunt, Neiseik, saulala "Don't leave me, sun", O Antiphons (7), Oh, it's getting cold, O magnum mysterium, Ave Maria no 2, Salve regina, Ave Maria no 3, Time is endless
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