In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Chants, rounds, liturgical work, secular or sacred, folk from around the world - the one constant is the beauty of their harmony. Women’s choirs today disprove, over and over, the out-of-date myth that only men’s voices can deliver choral music with any true authenticity. Some of the ensembles we carry sing work written for the male voice, some music written for women’s voices some even sing music originally written as instrumental. Whatever they’re singing, they all do it with passion and a purity of sound that will please even the most discerning of choral music fans.
Displaying 1-50 of 144 items.
Review: 'Amai', the title of Amasong's second CD release, means 'mother' and 'woman' from the Shona Language in Zimbabwe. Amasong is a 60 women strong Premier Lesbian/Feminist chorus from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Graced with traditional arrangements from around the world, this CD is both enjoyable and educational. Favorites include; 'The Stove,' a short and humorous Feminist composition, Four Russian Peasant Songs by Igor Stravinsky, and 'Cradle Song,' an Amasong original of prayer and inspiration. Intense emotion and sensitivity are generated through dynamic movement and rhythmic expression. Having chosen so many languages the degree of difficulty is incredible, yet these women sing with ease. Their diction and sympathetic perception of the music are right on the money, and their dedication is admirable.
Songlist: Blood and Gold, Women of Ireland , Lauluja Merelta , Draum om Nedsnodde Bruer , Orientis Partibus , There is no Rose , The Stove , Four Russian Peasant Songs , On Suuri Sun Rantas Autius , Fisher Lid, J'ai Fait Mon Idee / La Danse de Marti Gras, We Will Walk with Mother and Mourn , Cradle Me , All is Well , Shenandoah , Keep Your Lamps , Job, Job, Amai
Jsniejze mi, usnij
Review: 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.
Songlist: Come Dance and Sing, Omama Bakudala, I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day, Mouth Music, Laulusild/ Bridge of Song, Ach! Synku Synku, I Went To The Market, Yonder Come Day, Hoj Hura Hoj!, A Ma Lei A Ho - Chinese Mountain Songs, Gathering in the Naked Oats - Chinese Mountain Songs, Ga Da Mei Lin - Chinese Mountain Songs, Cuncti Simus, Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind, Rain, Gonja, Jsniejze mi, usnij, I Thank You God, Mrs. McGrath, March of the Women, The Parting Hand, Deep Peace, Singabahambayo Thina
Review: The pride of Champaign-Urbana, IL, premier lesbian/feminist chorus Amasong, over 100 strong, brings us an exuberant collection of 21 folk songs, some accompanied, from many different traditions. 'Laulu's' smorgasbord of cultures begins with Brazilian (the joyful 'O Xote Das Meninas'), Chinese (the love song 'Kangding Qing Ge'), Estonian (the lilting 'Tantsides'), Afghani (the mourning dance song 'Lailaw'), Scottish ('Gone the Boat'), Finnish ('Taivas On Sininen' The Sky Is Blue), Quaker, Sephardic, Italian, Provencal, Guadeloupe, Bulgarian, American Indian and others. Beautiful, extensive liner notes with all lyrics. Amasong's third excellent CD-'Laulu' is a sumptuous joy!
Songlist: O Xote das Meninas, Kangding Qing Ge , Laulu Voim , Lauliku Lapsepolv , Tantsides , Lailaw , A Waulking Trilogy: Gone the Boat, Hame oor Bottachan, and Na Himbo , Taivas on Sininen , Song from Cymbeline and Ballade with. Skydellh Christine de Pisan , How Can I Keep from Singing? , Puirt a Beul
Review: Amasong is an inclusive women's chorus that brings together women from all lifestyles and experience in the pursuit of choral excellence. Largely a cappella, though several of the tracks are judiciously accompanied (e.g., the horns, trombones and bells of 'Ave: Meditation on Two Marian Chants'), this recording integrates works from a variety of cultures, be it from the World War II Jewish ghettoes of Lithuania ('Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern') or 'Strange Fruit,' written for Billie Holliday. The interpretation is exclusively Amasong's (as directed by Kristina Boerger, their founder), though thoroughly consistent with classical values in structure and arrangement. A 1998 GLAMA winner.
Songlist: Caritas Abundat, Dios Te Salve, Maria, Ave: Meditation On Two Marian Chants, Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern, Strange Fruit, Poor Man Laz'rus, All My Trials, Soon I Will Be Done, Coventry Carol , Greensleeves, Grey Funnel Line, Doffin' Mistress, Hotaru Koi , Dig My Grave Both Long And Narrow , Todor Todorka, Pajdu Vydu , Burial Society Song , Asikatali, Vesle Kari Rud , Vesi Vasyy Lumen Alle
Review: The Philadelphia-based, 33-strong Anna Crusis Women's Choir has been pleasing audiences for over 25 years now. 'Spaces Between the Stars' is a lyric from Track 12, 'what I want,' and it was chosen to honor departed member Pat Lowther, as a spiritual metaphor for the span of women's lives here on earth. 14 songs, some favorites: 'Kaval Sviri,' the traditional 'My True Love's Hair,' a jazzy arrangement of 'How Do I Love Thee,' 'Crushes,' 'Kore Evohe,' the rhythmic 'Chompilche,' 'Warrior' and the final cut, 'Higher Ground.' Some light accompaniment, and lyrics and information in the large liner notes booklet.
Songlist: Dilika Town Hall, Kaval Sviri, My True Love's Hair, How Do I Love Thee?, Crushes, Finally Here, Menopause, Kore Evohe, Put Vejini, Corazon Coraza, Chompliche, What I Want, Warrior, Higher Ground
Review: The unique mystical music of Hildegard von Bingen has captivated all who listen. The German nun, who was barely educated, put forth an enormous body of work as a result of visions. At the age of 43 she had a vision of tongues of flame which compelled her to write down her spiritual experiences. She wrote several liturgical works for the feast of St. Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins, which was probably an important date at her convent. Anonymous 4 has chosen some of these pieces for this recording of Hildegard's music. The framework of the album consists of portions of Vigil, Lauds and Vespers. They have included other liturgical chants and psalms in addition to Hildegard's works to recreate the powerful impression they first made. With their vocal clarity and passionate singing, Anonymous 4 has been lauded for their brilliant interpretation of the music of Hildegard.
Songlist: Auctori vite psalmis, Venite exsultemus domino, O dulcissime amator, Jesu corona virginum, Spiritui sancto, Specie tua, Favus distillans, Benedicamus domino, Studium divinitatis, Dominus regnavit/Studium divinitatis, O Ecclesia, Benedictamus domino, Domine deus meus, Mirabilis deus, Cum vox sanguinis, Magnificat anima mea/O rubor sanguinis, Te lucis ante terminum, Benedicamus domino
Review: Anonymous 4 are known for their scrupulous recordings of 13th and 14th century English chant and polyphony. 'Lammas' refers to the Celtic festival of harvest, celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Much of the music of the time-at least that still existing today-was written to accompany the Catholic Mass. Therefore each part of the service, which was and is very specifically structured, assumed a certain form, depending on the context: motet, Antiphon, Conductus, introit, hymn, etc. The four women of Anonymous 4 take these relics and give them new life, gently and sweetly entreating them into the present day.
Songlist: Que Est Ista, O Quam Glorifica, Ave Tuos Benedic, In Adore, Salve Mater Salvatoris, Salve Sancta Parens, Kyrie, Gloria, Benedicta Et Venerabilis, Ave Gloriosa Mater, Virga Ferax Aaron, O Maria Stella Maris, O Ceteris Preamabilis, O Quam Glorifica..., Recordare Virgo Mater, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Alma Dei Genitrix, Salve Mater Salvatoris, Paradisi Porta, Ite Missa Est, Pangat Melos Grex Devotus
Review: This must be how the angels sound! That is the often evoked response of listeners to this exemplary quartet who explore, research, and bring to life medieval polyphony and chant. The blend of voices and virtuosity of creation is unparalleled by any other singers on earth. Once again, by research, the 4 have created a mass, this time 'A Mass For The End Of Time.' The end of time refers to the Last Judgement which is most strongly expressed in the liturgies of the Advent season, the Requiem mass, and the feast of Jesus's Ascension celebrated forty days after Easter. This work is based on the Ordinary and Proper chants of the Ascension mass with added tropes (newly written text and music) to enhance the feel of the music. Historically, the approach to the first millennium saw the collapse of Charlemagne's empire and alliances which yielded a tremendously unsettled period in European history. The church under the charismatic leadership of Pope Sylvester II created a spiritual anchor. Great cathedrals were begun and Christianity was seen as a primary civilizing influence. Musically, the traditional Roman plainchant was being renewed and greatly enlarged while developments in music such as staff line notation allowed these new creations to be rapidly learned and disseminated. Though the church provided a dynamic anchor, it also tended to foster a millennial belief in the end of time and that the Last Judgement was at hand. From this milieu, Anonymous 4 has recreated another incredibly beautiful liturgical testament.
Songlist: Judicii Signum, Quem Creditis Super Astra/Viri Galilei, Celestis Terrestrisque, Prudentia Prudentium, Dominus in Sina, Ascendens Cristus, Salavator Mundi/Rex Omnipotens Die Hodierna, Elevatus Est Rex Fortis/Viri Galilei, Ante Secula, Omnipotens Eterne, Corpus Quod Nunc/Psallite Domino, Apocalypse 21:1-5, Regnantum Sempiterna, Cives Celestis Patrie
Review: A selection of liturgical and paraliturgical Christmas pieces, taken from medieval Hungarian sources. Most are monophonic, but there is a modest sprinkling of simple polyphonic pieces for two, three and four voices. The charm of the performance lies in its unpretentious, almost childlike simplicity - suggested, maybe, by the delightful extracts from the Christmas story as quoted in the notes. These extracts come from the 'Peasants' Bible' - Paraszbiblia: Magyar Nepi Biblikus Tortenetek - which contains Bible stories retold in simple language, with homely, imaginative details and an atmosphere of fairy-tale. The classic liturgical pieces, which include the Introit Dum medium silentium, the splendid Gradual Speciosa forma, and others, are heard in a version which tends to use the pentatonic scale, thus avoiding both B natural and B flat. The sung readings are impressive with their polyphonic settings. I enjoyed the rich Genealogy (Liber generationis) with its beautifully constructed and compelling melody. Some of the vernacular pieces, as well as the Latin song for New Year's Day, have a regular ternary rhythm. The Hungarian Te Deum (which appeared in an earlier recording by the Schola Hungarica on Quintana) offers an interesting alternative for the concluding verses: it simply transposes the original theme up a fourth. The 110-page booklet, lavishly produced with both colour and black-and-white illustrations, is a marvellous little tool and a joy to handle.
Songlist: Ave spes nostra, Mi Atyank Atya Isten, Veni domine, O mundi domina, Fuit virgo, Vox clara, ecce, intonat, Omes unanimiter, Dum medium silentium, Primo tempore alleviata, Speciosus forma, Novum decus oritur, Letentur cele, Salvator noster, Az idvozitor regenten, Novus annaus adiit, Exulta filia Syon, Liber generationis, Gaude et letare, Exordium quadruplate"/"Nate dei"/"Concrepet infanti"/"Verbum caro, Isten, teged
Review: Anonymous 4 turns from the medieval repertoire to explore the roots of American sacred music. Developed in Toni Morrison's Atelier program at Princeton in spring 2003, American Angels includes songs of redemption and glory from the time of the American Revolution to the present day: 18th-century psalm settings from rural New England, 19th-century shape-note and camp revival songs from the rural South, and some of the nation's best-loved gospel songs. Drawing from collections including 'The Southern Harmony,' and 'The Sacred Harp,' - the album explores the beauty and power of early American sacred music and the relatively obscure form of a cappella choral singing known as Sacred Harp.
Songlist: Holy Manna (Brethren we have met to worship), Abbeville (Come, Holy Spirit, come), Wondrous Love (What wondrous love is this!), Sweet Hour of Prayer, Jewett (Amazing grace, how sweet the sound), The Morning Trumpet (O when shall I see Jesus), Resignation (My shepherd will supply my need), Poland (God of my life, look gently down), Wayfaring Stranger (I am a poor, wayfaring stranger), Sweet By and By (There's a land that is fairer than day), Blooming Vale (O, were I like a feathered dove), Idumea (I) (And am I born to die), Idumea (II) (My God, my life, my love), Sweet Prospect (On Jordan's stormy banks I stand), Shall We Gather at the River, Amanda (Death, like an overflowing stream), Invitation (Hark! I hear the harps eternal), Parting Hand (My Christian friends, in bonds of love), Angel Band (My latest sun is sinking fast)
Review: Here is a record to dispel the old myth that chant and early polyphony are really uniquely the province of male voices, men and boys. It is often forgotten that communities of nuns, within the walls of their enclosure, sang exactly the same liturgical repertoire as the monks, their male counterparts. Individual names of female singers do, in fact, emerge from time to time: the noble Blesilla in the fourth century, for example, commended by St Jerome for her excellent singing of the Alleluia, or Abbess Hildegard in the twelfth century, who composed ravishingly beautiful hymns and sequences. In our own century we have some good recordings of nuns' choirs, Argentan in Normandy is one, and St Cecilia's, on the Isle of Wight, another. But this disc represents something quite new: here is a professional all-female vocal quartet uniquely devoted to the performance of chant and early polyphony. Anonymous 4, whose very title recalls the authorship of a famous medieval music treatise, have brought to the early-music scene a new approach and a refreshingly new sound. They sing with clean, unpretentious voices a programme of music that follows the basic structure of the Lady Mass, once so popular in England. They fill it out with a well-chosen selection of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century pieces in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary: chants and polyphonic items, mainly in Latin, but including two items in the vernacular, namely the charming early strophic song Edi beo thu and the gentle sequence Jesu Christes milde moder. There is a captivating simplicity and directness about their performance, which naturally avoids many of the pitfalls of an overstretched attempt at reconstruction.
Songlist: Prosa: Gaude virgo salutata (chant), Polyphonic song: Edi beo thu hevene quene, Introit: Salve mater redemptoris/ Salve lux langentium/ Salve sine spina/, Salve sancta parens, Motet: Lux polis refulgens/ Lux et gloria, Kyrie: Kyria christifera, Gloria, Motet: Spiritus et alme/ Gaude virgo salutata, Song: Miro genere, Gradual: Benedicta et venerabilis, Alleluia: Alme iam ad gaudia/ Alme matris dei/ Alleluya per te dei, Sequence: Missus Gabriel de celis, Prosa: Gaude virgo gratiosa (chant), Polyphonic song: Salve virgo virginum, Offertory: Felix namque (chant), Sanctus and Benedictus, Sequence/Song: Jesu Cristes milde moder, Agnus dei: Virtute numinis, Communion: Beata viscera (chant and song), Rondellus: Flos regalis, Chant setting: Ite missa est, Hymn: Ave maria stella
Review: Ruth Cunningham, Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer and Johanna Maria Rose are the acclaimed, prolific a cappella group, Anonymous 4, and the beautiful polyphonic music in this CD almost didn't make it to us because of the invasion of Hungary by the Turks in 1541. The iconoclastic Turks destroyed artworks in all forms, including liturgical manuscripts. Fortunately some of the manuscripts were copied or carried away by fleeing monks, nuns and clerics. These plainchants are remarkably consistent, part of a major effort towards liturgical and musical uniformity. Ethereal, hauntingly beautiful, one can close one's eyes and be in the cathedral where the choir sent this perfect, sacred music heavenward - as prayerful, meditative and joyful for the singers as for the worshippers. 20 sublime pieces.
Songlist: Ave Spes Nostra, Mi Atyank Atya Isten, Veni Dommine, O Mundi Domina, Fuit Virgo, Vox Clara, Ecce, Intonat, Omnes Unanimiter, Dum Medium Silentium, Primo Tempore Alleviata, Speciosus Forma, Novum Decus Oritur, Letentur Celi, Salvator Noster, Az Idvozitot Regenten, Novus Annus Adiit, Exulta Filia Syon, Liber Generationis, Exordium Quadruplate, Lsten, Teged
Review: For those who love the purity of chant, for the audiences who are discovering chant (or returning to it) as listeners or as singers, and also for those who are new to the work of Anonymous 4, the celebrated vocal quartet presents a stellar collection of some of the greatest medieval chants culled from its many acclaimed recordings. This special mid-priced release documenting the history of chant, presented in deluxe packaging with in-depth liner notes, would make a perfect holiday gift selection.
Songlist: Prosa: Gaude virgo gratiosa, Offertory: Felix namque, Hymn: Ave Maris Stella, Processional Hymn: O gloriosa domina, Sequence: Stabat iuxta Christi crucem, Antiphon: Ave regina celorum, Te Deum: Isten, teged, Responsory: Spritui sancto, Antiphon: Que est ista, Hymn: O quam glorifica, Offertory: Recordare virgo mater/ Trope: Mater patris et filia, Responsory: Ex eius tumba/ Prosa: Sospitati dedit egros, Processional hymn: Judicii signum, Vespers hymn: O lux beata trinitas, Alleluia: Quinque prudentes virgines, Sequence: O ignis spiritus paracliti, Hymn: Beata nobis gaudia
I'm On My Journey Home
Review: On the heels of their successful hit album American Angels, the four-woman vocal group Anonymous 4 sets off on another musical journey into the rich songbook of traditional American folk music on the stunning new album Gloryland. Conceived as a collaboration between A4 and new-grass stars Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, Gloryland layers together lyric folk songs, religious ballads, shape-note tunes, and spiritual and gospel hymns into a musical tapestry that shimmers with joy and creativity.
Songlist: I'm On My Journey Home, An Address For All, Wayfaring Stranger, Where We'll Never Grow Old, Ecstacy, The Wagoner's Lad, Mercy-Sat, Return Again, The Lost Girl, Palmetto, Pleading Saviour, Merrick, The Shining Shore , Saint's Delight, Just Over In The Glory Land, You Fair And Pretty Ladies, Parting Friends / Wayfaring Stranger, Green Pastures
Review: The four beautiful, talented women who call themselves Anonymous 4 stun usonce again with a soaring collection of a cappella choral music from the early Christian church. One of the most respected and prolific choral groups(we like to think of them as an institution) performing today, Anon 4 discovers the timeless choral works that otherwise might never be heard, or heard by only a few, and brings them to us in perfect, bell-like tones and harmonies--an unexpected gift from centuries past. There are 17 songs here, all in Latin, and an amazing, comprehensive set of illustrated liner notes that tell us everything we want to know about the music. Put this CD on a really good music system, sit back and let the music of the angels wash over you.
Songlist: O maria o felix puerpera, Pia mater gratie, De la mere au sauveor, O maria virginei, Verbuym bonum et suave, Ave salus hominum, Mainte chancon ai fait, Ave maria gracia plena, Beata viscera, Mundum renovavit, Je te pri de cuer par amors, Salve sancta parens, Serena virginum, De la tres douce Marie, Ave virgo virginum, Mater patris et filia, Ave nobilis venerabilis
Review: 1999 recording, celebrating the legend of St. Nicholas ('Jolly St Nick,' or 'Santa Claus'); as with most folk heroes, the actual biography of Nicholas, born in Turkey somewhere around 300 A.D., is much removed from present day interpretation. The New-York based classical women's quartet Anonymous 4, whose focus is medieval chant and polyphony, enliven these motets, hymns and conductus (medieval setting of Latin text) with an attention to historical realism that brings them very much to life. As the function of these chants was in the context of Catholic liturgy, they are by definition, an embodiment of all that is divine; neither rhythmically or harmonically complex, their appeal is their quiet beauty and distinctive texture.
Songlist: intonent hodie, exultemus et letemur, gaudens in domino, seint nicholas was borne in the citee of patras, confessor dei nicholaus, cantu mirro, summa laude, sainte nicholaes, whanne the bisshop of the citee of myre deied, nicholai presulis, cum quidam fluctuantia, novus presul prodiit, sainte nicholaes, all the province of seint nicholas suffered..., plaudat letitia, salve cleri speculum/ salve iubar presulum, sainte nicholaes, a worschipfull man hadde thre doughtres virgines, fulget nicolaus, ex eius tumba/ sospitati dedit egros, gaudens in domino, and whanne oure lorde lust to take seint nicholas..., psallar chorus/ eximie pater/ (aptatur), nicholae presulum, micholaus pontifex
Review: One could easily imagine that a programme such as this, of 29 thirteenth-century motets, all composed around the same theme of fin amours and all sung unaccompanied by an all-female vocal ensemble, might end by becoming wearisome on the ear. Anonymous 4 have proved conclusively in this recording that this need not be so, that, in any case, there is already an infinite variety of mood and style among the songs-compare, for example, No. 14 (Joliement/Quant voi la florete/Je sui joliete) with No. 18 (Ne m'oubliez mie)-and that it is possible further to vary them in performance, using no other means than the voices themselves.The directness of the group's approach is always refreshing: their tone is unaffected, their pitch secure. The songs are presented with simplicity in a clear acoustic. There is a total absence of any improvised doodling on reconstructed medieval instruments, which is rather a relief. One gets a sense of quiet satisfaction and enjoyment from the singers themselves. I also get the feeling that the singers are trying to teach us something about the music, the mechanics of the motet and how it works, almost as if they were demonstrating to a class of music students. They sometimes go out of their way to sing a single part and then to repeat it with another part added, and then finally to give us a polished rendering of the whole motet, complete with all its parts. Occasionally they add a drone-once with a doubling at the fifth above.
Songlist: Plus bele que flor/ Quant revient/ L'autrier joer/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 21), Puisque bele dame m'eime/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 231), Amours mi font souffrir/ En mai/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 111), Ne sai, que je die/ IOHANNE (Mo 185), Se je chante/ Bien doi amer/ ET SPERABIT (Mo 311), Or ne sai je que devenir/ P uisque d'amer/ KYRIELEYSON (Mo 267), He Dieus, de si haut si bas/ Maubatus/ CUMQUE (Mo 92), Celui en qui/ La bele estoile/ La bele, en qui/ IOHANNE (Mo 20), Qui d'amours se plaint/ LUX MAGNA (Mo 215), Amours, dont je sui/ L'autrier, au douz mois/ Chose Tassin (Mo 270), Au cuer ai un mal/ Ja ne m'en repentirai/ Jolietement (Mo 260), Quant voi la fleur/ ET TENUERUNT (Mo 241), Quant se depart/ Onques ne sai amer/ DOCEBIT OMNEM (Mo 131), Joliement/ Quant voi la florete/ Je sui joliete/ APTATUR (Mo 34), Amor potest conqueri/ Ad amorem sequitur (Mo328), Ce que je tieng/ Certes mout/ Bone compaignie/ MANERE (Mo 33), J'ai si bien mon cuer assiz/ Aucun m'ont/ ANGELUS (Mo 128), Ne m'oubliez mie/ DOMINO (Mo 236), Blanchete/ Quant je pens/ VALARE (Mo 168), Dame, que je n'os noumer/ Amis donc est/ Lonc tans a (Mo 337), Li savours de mon desir/ Li grant desir/ Non veul mari (Mo 323), Entre Copin/ Je me cuidoie/ Bele Ysabelos (Mo 256), S'on me regarde/ Prennes i gardee/ He, mi enfant (Mo 256), Quant yver l a bise ameine/ IN SECULUM (Mo 223), Ne m'a pas oublie/ IN SECULUM (Mo 207), On doit fin(e) Amor/ La biaute/ IN SECULUM (Mo 134), Ja n'amerai autre que cele/IN SECULUM (Mo 3) , Quant je parti de m'amie/ TUO (Mo 200)
Review: Susan Hellauer's lucid introduction to the contents of Jacobus, the Liber Sancti Iacobi (the Codex Calixtinus) makes fascinating reading. Following Christopher Hohler, she points out that this extraordinary collection of liturgical items, non-liturgical pilgrim songs, sermons, chants and lessons in honour of St James, was originally destined for the use of French schoolboys, presumably with voix blanches. That being so, this recording by a group of high female voices may be easily vindicated: Anonymous 4 bring to their performance that smooth, unsophisticated vocal blend we have come to expect from them. It is a lovely sound, and their intelligent and imaginative approach sticks resolutely to middle ground, avoiding excesses of orientation and extremes of interpretative theory.
Songlist: Venite Omnes Cristicole, Salve Festa Dies, Voc Nostra Resonet, Nostra Phalanx Plaudat Leta, Ad Sepulcreum Beati Iacobi, Ad Superni Regis Decus, Iacobe Servorum, Benedicamus Domino, In Hac Die Laudes, Cunctipotens Genitor, Psallat Chorus Celestuim, Alleluia: Gratulemur Et Letemur, Ascendens Ihesus In Montem, Qui Pius Ac Mitis, Gratulantes Celebremus Festum, Iacobe SancteTuum, O Aditor Omnium Seculorum, Portum In Ultimo, Congaudeant Catholici, Clemens Servulorum
Hodie Christus natus est
Review: The four female members of Anonymous 4 are dedicated to the preservation of Gregorian chant from medieval times, and this holiday selection of English plainchant, songs, motets and carols are all derived from this period. As one might expect, the texts are often sacred in nature, to be performed during religious rites and devotions, such as Advent (hymn, 'Vox Clara, Ecce, intonat'). Carols often use the multiple verse and refrain format, that was a typical form ('Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu,' and others). Much more could be said about the historical and musical context of these works - and is, in the extensive liner notes - but this background, though fascinating, is not necessary to simply appreciate the supple grace and open sound of these gentle voices, which is more than enough.
Songlist: Hodie Christus natus est, O nobilis nativitas"/"O mira dei"/"Odecus virgineum"/"Appruit, Lux de luce, Alleluya: A nywe werke, Verbum supernun prodiens, Balaam de quo vaticianas, Ave Maria, Gabriel, fram heven-king, Lullay: I saw a swete semly syght, Prolis eterne genitor"/"Psallat mater gracie, Vox clara, ecce, intonat, De supernis sedibus, Qmnes de Saba, Puellare gremium, Lullay, ullay: Als I lay on Yoolis night, Tria sunt munera, Orto sole serene"/"Origo viri"/"Virga Iesse, Peperit virgo, Ecce quod natura, A solis ortus cardine, Ther is no rose of swych vertu, Videntes stellam, Owt of your slepe aryse
Review: The culmination of a variety of skills and training, Anonymous 4 is one of the world's finest medieval singing groups. This CD celebrates the success of several of their recordings. Excerpts are taken from Miracles of Sant' Iago, The Lily & the Lamb, A Star in the East, Love's Illusion, An English Ladymass, On Yoolis Night and 11,000 Virgins. Their exquisite singing blends together the original spiritual intent with the modern artistic view of these ancient pieces. You will be moved by their breathtaking sounds.
Songlist: Venite Omnes Cristicole, Ad Superni Regis Decus, Portum In Ultimo, O Maria Stella Maris, Stabat Iuxta Christi Crucem, Stillat In Stellam Raduim, Primo Tempore Alleviata, Speciousus Forma, Mi Atyank Atya Isten, Puisque Bele Dame M'eime/FLOS FILIUS, Ne Sai, Que Je Die/IOHANNE, Amor Potest Conqueri/Ad Amorem Sequitur, Quant Yver La Bise Ameine/IN SECULUM, On Doit Fin(e) Amor/La Biaute/IN SECULUM, Edi Beo Thu Hevene Quene, Ave Maris Stella, Salve Virgo Virginum, Ther Is No Rose Of Swych Vertu, Prolis Eterne Genitor/Psallat Mater Gracie, Ecce Quod Natura, Spiritui Sancto
Review: The women of Anonymous 4 revisit their favorite era with repertoire from the Codex Las Huelgas. Spanning the entire 13th century - from virtuosic motets and conductus to heartfelt laments, plainchants and sacred songs - this important manuscript was compiled for a convent of aristocratic Castilian women who (in spite of a rule forbidding Cistercian nuns from singing polyphony) sang the most beautiful and demanding music from all across Gothic-era Europe.
Songlist: Virgines egregie, Ave maris stella, Claustrum Pudicicie / Virgo Viget / Flos Filius, Fa fa mi / Ut re mi, O Maria Virgo / O Maria Maris Stella , Benedicamus domino: cum cantico, Salve porta / Salve salus / Salve sancta parens, Kirie: Rex virginum amator, Gloria: Spiritus et alme, Verbum bonum et suave, Salve Virgo Regia / Ave Gloriosa Mater , Sanctus & Benedictus, Gaude Virgo Nobilis / Verbum Caro Factum / Et Veritate, Agnus dei: Gloriosa spes reorum, O monialis conscio, Benedicamus domino: Belial vocatur, In virgulto gracie, Ave Regina Celorum / Alma Redemptoris Mater, Benedicamus domino a 3, Si vocatus ad nupcias, Mater patris et filia, Benedicamus domino a 2, Omnium in te christe
Review: This offering from Anonymous 4 is a selection of pieces dedicated to the Virgin Mary from medieval England. These span some 200 years from the thirteenth century to the early fifteenth. During this period, celebration of the Virgin increased with a gathering impetus until the Marian cult dominated devotional worship, and this is reflected in an outpouring of verse, in Latin and the vernacular, much of which was set to music. Many of the verses are glosses on established liturgical texts such as the Stabat mater or Salve regina, and it is the image of the grieving mother at the foot of the Cross which prevails here, hence the symbolism of the title: the virginal lily and the sacrificial lamb. Much of the poetry - and the music - is very fine, and fans of Anonymous 4's previous discs will not be disappointed. Their distinctive, all-female sound is as pure and clear as ever and exerts a powerful attraction, especially if one is plunged into it by hearing a track or two in isolation: very refreshing.
Songlist: O Gloriosa Domina, Pe Milde Lomb Isprad O Rode, Ave Maria Gracia Plena, Oh Maria Stella Maris, Stabat Iuxta Christi Crucem, Stillat In Stellam Radium, Salve Virgo Singularis, Stond Wel, Moder, Under Roode, Oh Maria Virgo Pia, In Ti Concipitur, Jesu Cristes Milde Moder, Veni Mater Gracie/ Dou Way, Robin, O Mors Moreris/ O Vita Vera/Mors, Salve Virgo Tonantis Solium, Miserere Miseris, Ave Maria Salus Hominum, Memor Esto Tuorum, Ave Regina Celorum
Review: 'Origin' is the 16th recording by the four angel-voiced women of Anonymous 4, of music by 12th century German abbess and mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard's intensely emotional chants and visions (including the monumental hymn 'O ignee spiritus' and some of her finest antiphons) are performed here framed by hymns and sequences that she and her convent sisters would have heard and sung every day. 17 songs, the hymns 'Veni creator spiritus' and 'Beata nobis gaudia,' ' the antiphon 'O quam mirabilis est,' the vision 'The fire of creation,' the sequences 'Veni spiritus eternorum' and 'Oignis spiritus paracliti,' and the responsory 'O felix anima' are particularly wonderful, but we are deeply touched throughout this recording by the spirit and power of this music, hauntingly and perfectly performed by the stunningly talented Anonymous 4.
Songlist: Veni creator spiritus, Veni spiritus eternorum, O quam mirabilis est, The fire of creation, O ignis spiritus paracliti, Wisdom and her sisters, O felix anima, The fiery spirit, O ignee spiritus, Love, Caritas habundat in omnia, O eterne deus, Beata nobis gaudia
Review: 'Second Circle' is the latest release from the acclaimed and prolific Anonymous 4, who are Johanna Maria Rose, Marsha Genensky, Jacqueline Horner and Susan Hellauer. These are 14th century Italian love songs by Francesco Landini, an early 'renaissance man,' left blind by smallpox, who became a master musician, composer and poet, becoming the chief musician at the church of San Lorenzo in Florence. Anon4 gives us 18 of his beautiful songs, and to deepen our appreciation of them, there is one of the most lovely and extensive liner notes we have seen, actually a 46-page full-color booklet with a number of incredible paintings from the period. Much more than a group of lovely, obscure songs, we are treated to a short course in music appreciation and art history of the composer and his fascinating times!
Songlist: Echo La Primavera, Angelica Bilta, Che Chos'e Quest' amor, Nella Partita, Non Do La Colp' a te, Quanto Piu Caro Faj, Se Pronto Non Sara , Lasso! Per Mie Fortuna , Ochi Dolenti Mie, Muort' Oramai, Per Allegreca, Nella Mi Vita, Abbonda Di Virtur, Non Ara Ma' Pieta, La Bionda Trecca, Cara Mie Donna , Gran Piant' Agli Ochi, Echo La Primavera
A God and Yet A Man
Review: Andrew Lawrence-King's virtuoso harp joins the voices of Anonymous 4 in a wealth of Yuletide music, favourite and rare, from the British Isles. Juxtaposing pagan and Christian traditions, the programme interweaves English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ballads and carols with well-loved pieces by John Tavener (The Lamb), Benjamin Britten, and a newly commissioned work by Peter Maxwell Davies. Andrew Lawrence-King adds special colour playing a variety of instruments: psaltery, Baroque harp, and a remarkable Irish 'Queen Mary' harp which sounds as if it contains its own peal of heavenly bells.
Songlist: Awake and join the cheerful choir, Good people all, The seven rejoices of Mary, The Lamb, A Scots Lilt, Balulalow, Balulalow (Richard Rodney Bennett), The holly and the ivy, The Reel of Tullochgorum, I saw three ships, A Calendar of Kings (Peter Maxwell Davies), Air: La fuar geimhreadh, An teicheadh go hEigipt, A God, and yet a man? (Geoffrey Burgon), Grene growith the holy (Henry VIII), Wel, dyma'r borau gorau, The Cherry Tree Carol, Can wassel, A New Year Carol (Benjamin Britten)
O My Dear Heart
Review: Pride of Vermont since their founding by the renowned Dr. Willis, the 40-strong Bella Voce Women's Chorus brings us a bright, ringing Christmas album of 20 songs, some of them familiar and beloved, like 'The Sussex Carol,' 'Wexford Carol,' John Rutter's 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,' 'A La Nanita Nana,' the spirituals 'Mary Had A Baby' and 'Glory and Honor to the Newborn King;' 'Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head,' 'I Wonder As I Wander,' the Christmas medley 'Christmas Intrada,' Benjamin Britten's 'This Little Babe' and Brahms' 'Ave Maria.' and many of them less familiar to us, like 'Masters in this Hall,' 'O My Dear Heart,' Eleanor Daley's 'What Sweeter Music,' 'La Virgen Lava Panales,' 'The Moon of Wintertime,' 'A la Ru, A la Me' and Steven Rickards' 'Angels Did Sing.' Most songs have some light to heavy accompaniment, and the lovely, extensive liner notes have all the lyrics.
Songlist: The Sussex Carol, Masters in This Hall, Wexford Carol, O My Dear Heart, Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day, A La Nanita Nana, Mary Had A Baby, Jehovah Hallelujah, Glory and Honor to the Newborn King, Christmas Intrada, What Sweeter Music, La Virgen Lava Panales, The Moon of Wintertime, This Little Babe, Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head, I Wonder as I Wander, A la Ru, A la Me, Angels Did Sing, Magnificat
Walk That Valley
Review: Founded in 2004 by Dr. Dawn Willis, Bella Voce consists of 40 to 45 auditioned singers, performing existing and newly-commissioned sacred and secular works for women's voices. The ensemble is drawn from four counties throughout Vermont, many of whom also sing in a variety of school, church and community choruses across the region. One of the highlights of the last few years for Bella Voce has included several collaborations with Gwyneth Walker. The members have enjoyed working closely with this gifted composer, whose catalog includes over 170 commissioned works, reflecting both serious and light-hearted musical styles. These 17 works are surprising, refreshing, witty, innovative and inspiring. Some favorites are 'Women Should be Pedestals,' the dramatic 'How Can I Keep From Singing,' 'Gifts From The Sea,' the delicate 'Mornings Innocent,' the a cappella tune 'The Name is Changeless,' the joyous 'Love Is A Rain of Diamonds,' the love song 'I Will Be Earth,' the lovely a cappella song 'So Many Angels,' 'Walk That Valley,' 'Never Sit Down,' the traditional songs 'Crossing the Bar,' 'Peace I Ask of Thee, O River' and the title tune. There is some light accompaniment on most songs. The beautiful liner notes contain all the lyrics. An uplifting treat from Bella Voce and the wonderful composer Gwyneth Walker, that will touch and move you from beginning to end!
Songlist: How Can I Keep from Singing?, Gifts from the Sea, Let Evening Come, Women Should Be Pedestals, Mornings Innocent, The Name is Changeless, Love is a Rain of Diamonds, In Autumn, I Will Be Earth, I Thank You God, So Many Angels, Walk That Valley, Never Sit Down, Crossing the Bar, Hebrides Lullaby, Peace I Ask of Thee, O River, Now Let Us Sing!
Review: The Nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, from a remote region of France near Avignon, won a worldwide search to find the world's finest female singers of Gregorian Chant. The search took in over 70 convents, including communities as far afield as North America and Africa. The Nuns' album features the most ancient form of Gregorian Chant, which the sisters sing eight times a day, and was the first music ever to be written down.
Songlist: Invitatory 'Surrexit Dominus' & Psalm 94, Introit 'Exsurge', Lamentation 'Oratio Jeremiae', Annunciation Bells, Sequence 'Dies irae', Tract ' Commoivisti', Offertory 'Recordare', Alleluia 'Oportebat pati Christum', Alleluia ' Cognoverunt', Communion 'Panis', Hymn 'Adoro te', Introit 'Esto mihi', Offertory 'In te speravi', Sequence 'Veni Sancte Spiritus', Antiphon 'Ubi caritas', Antiphon 'Nonne cor' & 'Magnificat' , Response ' Regnum mundi', Gradual 'Christus', Offertory 'Dextera Domini', Antiphon 'Alleluia' & Ps. 116, Hymn 'Benedictus es', Annunciation Peal of Bells
Review: The Choir of Sofia, conducted by Ludmila Dimova, interprets the songs of Christmas in the tradition of the Bulgarian polyphonies. Between classical music and folk-world music of the eastern countries; like the successful Mysteries of the Bulgarian Voice with its antique, pre-Christian and Hellenistic roots, the Choir interprets with grace the songs of Western heritage: Silent Night, Tino Rossi's Petit Papa Noel, Jingle Bells, Schubert's Ave Maria and more. A new discovery of these Christmas songs' heritage for every age.
Songlist: Silent Night, Hey Maiden, A Virgin Is Bearing Today, Get Up, Host, Jingle Bells, Foom, Foom, Le Petit Papa Noel, It Will Snow, Ostinato, Dignity, Glorify, Ave Maria, In Suffers is Bearing Mother Mary, Many Years, The First Noel, Deck The Halls, We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Review: Singing is an important tradition in Bulgaria, especially at Christmas, whether at church or caroling in people's homes. There is a unique sonority specific to Christmas within the incredibly rich musical palette. This recording contains Bulgarian folk carols, Orthodox Church music and more familiar Christmas tunes, such as 'Silent Night.' The simple melodies and sincere lyrics of these songs will bring joy and peace to your Christmas celebration.
Songlist: Rozhdestveni kambani (Christmas bells) - Petar Liondev, Koledna nosht (Christmas night) - Petar Liondev, Koledna pesen (Christmas song) - Gentcho Gentchev, Momata s chudna riza (The lass with a spended dress) - Georgy Petkov, Divnitza (Wonderful star) - Gerogy Petkov, Koledna zvezda (Christmas star) - Stefan Dragostinov, Bogorodize Devo (Holy Virgin) - Orthodox / arr. Priest Kiril Popov, Sveti Petar (Saint Peter) - Petar Liondev, Hei pastiri (Hey, shepherds) - trad. Arr. Georgy Petkov, La Notte Di Natale (Christmas night) - Silvio Pedrotti/ arr. Ivan Spassov, Vitleemska zvezda (Ihr Kinderlein, kommet) - arr. Alexander Josiffov, Koledna prilazka (A Christmas tale) - Georgy Petkov, Tiha nosht, svjata nosht (Silent night, Holy night) - Franz Gruber / arr. Alexander Josiffov, Rozhdestvo Hristovo (Christmas) - Dobri Hristov / arr. Georgy Petkov
Review: An old Balkan proverb goes, 'There are no limits to a song.' 'Balkan Passions' combines the talents of 20-woman Angelite and their conductor Georgi Petkov with guest musicians Maria Farantouri of Greece, percussionist Okay Temiz and pop star Sezen Aksu, both from Turkey, and Romanian brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia to create a powerful recording that touches and effects us across international boundaries. 'Sadba' (Our Destiny), the driving 'Damba,' the rhythmic dance tune 'Dilele,' the joyous 'Mi ideme preko pole' (We Are Coming Across the Field,' the Albanian folk song 'I Went to Elbasan,' 'Makedonsko devoiche' (A Macedonian Girl), 'Devoiche belo, tsurveno' (Hey, You Girl, All White and Red), 'Krai rekata' (by the river) and 'Sasedi' (in the neighborhood) are particularly fine. All songs are accompanied; most only lightly. Beautiful, full-color liner notes tell us about the groups and the music. 'Balkan Passions' is excellent - a spirited, romantic collection of music from another world.
Songlist: Sadba, Damba, Dilele, Mi ideme preko pole, Barisha, barisha, I Went to Elbasan, Vila sei gora, Bulgarian Pastorale, Jenala e Dyulber Jana, Makedonsko devoiche, Devoiche belo, tsurveno, Povdigni si milo libe, Vassilke, mlada nevesto, Zemiata na Orfei, An Ohrid Legen about Bilyana, Bouzuki taqsim, Krai rekata, Sasedi
Review: The much beloved Bulgarian Voices Angelite is a 19-strong, beautifully and authentically costumed women's World/Folk choir, which has performed practically everywhere in Europe. They have a new conductor for 'The Pop Album,' Ivan Topalov, and he takes the choir into new realms, of accompanied music, in this exploration of the common ground between generations. The group crosses over from Folk music to modern music, from the Orient to the Occident, pop song to disco, cryptic music to the computer. Some favorites are the funny (we assume, most of the lyrics are in Bulgarian), manic opening cut, 'Pippero,' the Folk masterpiece 'Devoiko,' the soaring, techno-pop tune 'Jana,' 'Guns and Paprika,' 'Sofia Sound Machine,' and the manic 'Plodiv,' All songs lightly to heavily accompanied. Good stuff!
Songlist: Pippero, Bulgarian Rhapsody, Devoika, The Voyage, Jana, Guns and Paprica, Dancing to the Bagpipe, Sofia Sound Machine, The Balcanic, Plovdiv, Pippero
Herr Erbarme Dich
Review: When Bulgarians, at the end of the 20th century, look back to find their national history, they saw the Bulgarian orthodox church with its canonic ritual and religious traditions that few people had access to under the socialist regime in Bulgaria. 'Mercy for the Living,' for a 'man's voice and a women's Folk Choir, places us in a seat in the early church, with beautiful music from the orthodox services, beginning with the lovely 'Great Litany,' 'Rejoice, Mother of God,' 'Great Song of Praise,' and 'Is It Honorable.' The four final pieces, 'Small Litany,' 'The Mystical Sacrifice, 'Holy God,' and 'Our Father,' are all very fine. Throughout, however, the sound is that of angels in this rarely-heard collection of Bulgarian orthodox church music. Beautiful and touching.
Songlist: Great Litany, Rejoice, Mother of God, Unto Thee We Sing, Kyrie Eleison, Great Song of Peace, It Is Honourable, Praise The Name of the Lord, Lord, Have Mercy, Blessed Be the Lord, Small Litany, The Mystical Sacrifice, Holy God, Our Father
Review: Bulgaria is a musical empire of ancient times. This unknown style of female vocal singing is finally receiving the recognition it deserves after years of isolation. Demonstrating mastery in advanced harmony and developed breath control, these women will amaze you with tonality and resonance that suggests a deeper look into the oppression and humanity of this mystical land of the Rhodope Mountains. 'There is a clarion purity to their singing which continues to express timeless sentiments of the human condition.' Created by contemporary classic composers the music is rich with traditional melodies yet complex in harmony and texture, using the distinctive vocal timbres and techniques indigenous to Bulgaria. This is a fascinating introduction to a musical legacy.
Songlist: Nov Den, Polegnala e Toudora, Pilentze Pee, Kalimanko Denko, Triptih, Utopia, Begala e Vena, Mechmetio, Sestro Dobriano, Jano, Hubavo Jano, Trista Pushki, Zavesata Pada
Review: The 19-strong Bulgarian Voices combine with two smaller instrumental groups, the Moscow Art Trio and Huun-Huur-Tu to create an authentic, eclectic collection of folk tunes that explore the similarities and differences between Russian, Bulgarian and Tuvan folk music. The 28 musicians create a surprising, spirited, energetic, all-accompanied sound on 10 songs: 'Midnight Tale,' 'Sunrise,' 'Early Morning With My Horse,' 'New Skomorohi,' 'Sad Harvest,' 'Mountain Fairy-Tale,' 'Dancing Voices,' 'Grand Finale,' 'Epilog' and '300 Pushki.' Often the all-women Bulgarian Voices reminds us of Solstice, who did a great set recently at the Bay Area Sweeps Regionals. Particularly nice is 'Dancing Voices,' when the soprano and tenor solos soar above the rhythmic bass chanting, the sweet, sensual 'Epilog,' and the lovely lament, '300 Pushki,' the story of the death of a hero. Some great pix of the group(s) in the liner notes, in authentic costumes.
Songlist: Midnight Tale, Sunrise, Early Morning With My Horse, New Skomorohi, Sad Harvest, Mountain Fairy-Tale, Daning Voices, Grand Finale, Epilog, 300 Pushki
Vetchera I Rado
Review: Melody Rhythm & Harmony was recorded live by the Bulgarian Women's Choir during their 1993 tour in Norway. The songs presented here encompass the wide variety of styles from the various Bulgarian regions. Many of the arrangements include those of Philip Koutev, who was largely responsible for preserving the folk tradition. These songs are largely a cappella with a few accompanied by traditional Bulgarian instruments. The diverse history of the country has lent itself to produce music which requires great skill and feeling. And its rich culture continues to be preserved by this group.
Songlist: Polegnala e Toudora (Todora's dream) (Philip Koutev), Grozda Moma (Young Groda) (Dimitar Dinev), Dragana i slavei (Dragana and the nighingale) (Philip Koutev), Bre Ivane (Hey, Ivan) (Anastas Naumov), Jano, hubavo Jano, Listni se goro (Green Forrest) (Stefan Moutafchiev), Tapan bie (Beating the drum) (Zdravko Manalov), Kazhi, kazhi, Angio (Tell me, Angio) (Philip Koutev), S'gaida na horo (Dancing to the bagpipe) (Peter Lyondev), Ozdole Ide devoitche (A young maiden is arriving) (trad arr. Dimitar Dinev), Tin vjater vee (The wind is blowing) (trad. arr. Stehan Kanev), Sestro Dobriano (Sister Dobrjana) (Krassimir Kroumov), Tri biulbiui pejat (Three birds are singing), Dimjaninka (Philip Koutev), Pilentze pee (A bird is singing) (Krassimir Kyurkchiyski), Lale li si (Are you a tulip) (Philip Koutev), Kalugerine (The monk) (Nikolai Staikov), Mechmetio (Ivan Spasov), Dyulmano, dyulbero (Krassimir Kyurkchiyski), Kalimanko Denko (Godmother Denka) (Krassimir Kyurkchiyski), Polegnala e Toudora (Todora's dream) (Philip Koutev), Vetchera I Rado
Where Can I Turn for Peace?
Review: Emerging with beauty and grace, well-known Utah choral conductor Jean Applonie has ushered the BYU Women's Chorus into the ranks of BYU's premier auditioned choirs, featured on Tantara Records. Heard previously on best-selling Tantara CDs A Thanksgiving of American Folk Hymns and The Road Home, the BYU Women's Chorus presents its first complete CD with the beautifully executed Wondrous Love.
Songlist: Grace, Wondrous Love, The Snow, Ave Maria, For Good, Sing Creation's Music On, Where Can I Turn for Peace?, The Cloths of Heaven, Bonny Wood Green, Psalm 23, Things that Never Die, The Erie Canal, How Do I Love Thee, Without a Song, Hallelujah
Aj, zelena je vsa Gora
Review: Carmina Slovenika ('Slovenian songs') is a choral association that consists of children's, youth, girls' or chamber choirs, with an aim to offer musical education at the highest level, develop members' musical talent and interest in music, encourage friendship and community spirit, and to travel and meet people from other countries. In doing just that, all-girl concert choir Carmina Slovenika has won many international choir competitions in Canada, the US, Belgium and Denmark. 'Music in the service of Peace' is an important objective of the group, through the performance of the the Slovenian and international musical heritage, which they have done to acclaim throughout the world. Citira includes works by distinguished Slovenian contemporary composers. Some of our (translated) favorites of the 13 songs are the vocal suite 'The Four Seasons, 'Hope,' 'Ave Maria,' Winter Song,' 'Evening,' 'Even the Flowers,' 'God Bless Us With A Good Evening' and 'Ay, the green mountain.' Some light accompaniment. There's a dramatically beautiful picture of the group in concert, dressed in striking white outfits. Just beautiful!
Songlist: Suita stirje letni casi, Pomlad, Poletje, Jesen, Zima, Ave Maria, Zimska, Vecer, So se rozce, Bog daj, bog daj, dober vecer, Kresnice, Aj, zelena je vsa gora, Carni kus II, Da pa Canynu, Da citira Kafolawa, Ta crni patok, Da hora ta Caninawa, Upanje
Review: Carmina Slovenica is generally well known as one of the foremost avant-garde vocal ensembles, creating contemporary music projects 'Choregie Ð vocal theatre' with introducing new concept which incorporate music, drama, movement and other stage elements. However, this time we can hear choir performing chamber music, life recorded on international festival Music September. Concerts were performed by international renowned musicians (Radovan Vlatkovic, Maria Graf, Nicoletta Sanzin, Ale Kacjan, Andreas Stopner, Miljenka Grdan, etc.), performing Brahms's Four songs for female choir with the accompaniment of two horns and a harp, op.17, Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, Villa-Lobos's Quartour and Wesman's Water under Snow. Concerts were conducted by Karmina ilec.
Songlist: Vier Gesange fur Frauenchor In Begleitung Von Zwei Hornen und Harfe - Brahms, A Cermony Of Carols - Britten, Quartor - Vill-Lobbos, Vesi Vasyy Lumen Alle - Wessman
Review: Under the able direction of Karmina Silec, who has conducted the all-girl Carmina Slovenika choirs since 1987, 'Drumlca' features the Concert Choir alternating songs with the older, elite Chamber Choir. Here are 20 songs, all in Slovenian, which are not described or translated in the liner notes, (although many seem to be Christian sacred songs) so we must simply enjoy them for the wonderfully sung pieces they are. Some favorites are the title tune, one of four by Radovan Gobec ('Ne ouri, ne sejaj,' 'Nmau cez izaro' and 'Vse rozice rumene' are the others), several by Jacobus Gallus ('Benedictus, qui venit,' 'Praeparate corda vestra' and 'Pueri Hebraeorum'), Two by Fran Gerbic, 'Sirota' and Gondolirijeva pesem,' Fran Ferjancic's lovely 'Na morju' and a pair by Danillo Bucar, 'Dve let in pol' and 'Nocoj pa oh nocaj.' Beautiful Slovenian music by rising international choral stars Carmina Slovenika!
Songlist: Ne ouri, ne sejaj (prekmurska ljudska), Nmau cez izaro (po koroskem napevu), Dve let in pol (ljudska), Aj, zelena je vsa gora (crnomaljsko kolo), Drumlca (Borovlje, Koroska), Lepo moje ravno polje (nardna iz Strekljeve zbirke), Vse rozice rumene (iz Kokosarjeve zbirke), Nocoj pa oh nocoj (ljudska), Fticek mi sedi (ljudska), Benedictus, qui venit (SQM 8: Missa super Sancta Maria), Benedictus, qui venit (SQM 12: Missa super Ich stund an einem Morgen), Praeparate corda vestra (Op. mus. III./34), Pueri Hebraeorum (Op. mus. II/10), Sirota (Radoslav Razlag), Zalost (Miroslav Vilhar), Gondolirjeva pesem (po poljskem izvirniku), Na morju (Ivan Jenko), Vihar, vihar (Srecko Kosovel), Zabe (Oton Zupancic), Bu (Uros Rojko)
Review: International award-winning girls' concert choir Carmina Slovenika ('Slovenian songs'), under the direction of beautiful, talented conductor Karmina Silec, bring us another exquisite collection of songs. While 'Citira' concentrated on works by Slovenian composers, Veljo Tormis' 'Lauliku Lapsepoli' (The Bard's Childhood) and Randovan Gobec's Ne ouri, ne sejaj' are the only Estonian songs here. Instead we have Pablo Casals' 'Nigra Sum,' the spirited, rhythmic 'Aires de Quisqueya' from the island of Santa Domingo, Herman Rechberger's eclectic 'Postojna,' Benjamin Britten's 'This Little Babe,' Stephen Hatfield's 'African Celebration' and his Inuit chant 'Nukapinguac,' Eduardo Lakscehewitz' fiery Brazilian 'Sambalele,' Jean Sibelius' 'Finlandia Hymn' and the lovely and timely 'Let there be peace on earth.' Some light accompaniment. There's a wonderful photo in the liner notes of the girls dressed as Greek maidens scanning the horizon for their loves' return. 'Sledimo soncu' is a spirited treat from beginning to end by one of our favorite international girls' choirs.
Songlist: Nigra Sum, Aires De Quisqueya, Postojna, Lauliku Lapsepoli, This Little Babe, African Celebration, El Barquito, Recordata, Jaz Dam Svoj Glas Za Mir, Sambalele, Finlandia Hymn, El Jarabe Tapatio, Nukapinguaq, Muntanyes Regalades, Ne Ouri, Ne Sejaj, Fac Ut Ardeat
Review: Carmina Slovenika is devoted to stage performances-choral theatre, contemporary music and music written by women composers and repertoire of Southern European music. They incorporate dance, theatrical elements, traditional instruments and tape music into exciting artistic events. In their enthusiastic exploration of the international choral world they have come away with many awards. 'Kraji in casi' begins with Daniel Bell's dramatic 'Spring fjord,' Lojze Lebic's Haiku art piece 'Suita Stirje letni casi' (The Four Seasons, Donald Patriuquin's 'World suite #1,' which combines songs like the beautiful 'Cabbage Tree Hat' from Australia, Finland's lovely 'Taivas on sininen ja valkoinen,' Ireland's lilting 'The Stuttering Lovers,' the Czech folk song 'Ach! Synku Synku,' the African-American spiritual 'Deep River' and Canada's 'I Went to the Market.' Some generally light accompaniment. The recording closes with the traditional Zulu 'Siyahamba' and the spirited traditional Xhosa tune, 'Dubula.' In the center of the extensive liner notes is an exciting double-spread photo of the girls in costume, in concert. 'Kraji' is another winner from Carmina Slovenika, who, under the dynamic direction of Karmina Silec, are making some major waves on the international choir scene!
Songlist: Spring fjord, World Suite No.1 , Cabbage Tree Hat (Australia) , Taivas on sininen ja valkoinen (Finland), The Stuttering Lovers (Ireland), Ach! Synku Synku (The Czech Republic), Deep River (Afro-American spirtual), I Went to the Market (Canada), Siyahamba, Dubula
Review: Winners of numerous European choral awards and competitions this talented Norwegian womens choir has toured extensively and is much in demand. Founder and conductor Erland Dalen is an active and well-known figure in the Scandinavian music and choir scene and works with many other choirs and ensembles, many of who have also won awards under his direction. Great arrangements here on the many English songs as well as some traditional Norwegian folk songs. A worthy addition indeed to anybody's collection.
Songlist: It's Raining Men, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy), Crossing Countries, Big Spender, Lullaby Of Broadway, Nar du er naer meg, Famine Song, A vesle-Kar var, Folkenstadvisa, Music For A While, Ave Maria, Nei, nei gutt, A Time To Love, (Bonus) Our Little Kate
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: 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 Singers.com 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!
Songlist: Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, Star Song, Joys Seven, Procession - A Ceremony of Carols, Wolcum Yole! - A Ceremony of Carols, There is no Rose - A Ceremony of Carols, That yonge child - A Ceremony of Carols, Balulalow - A Ceremony of Carols, As dew in Aprillle - A Ceremony of Carols, This little Babe - A Ceremony of Carols, Interlude - A Ceremony of Carols, In Freezing Winter Night - A Ceremony of Carols, Spring Carol - A Ceremony of Carols, Adam lay i-bounden - A Ceremony of Carols, Recession - A Ceremony of Carols, Da Pacem, Yorkshire Wassail , December, Three in White: a suite of songs about snow, Night of Silence
How Far Is It To Bethlehem?
Review: Founded in 1987, and co-directed by Diane Loomer, C.M. and Morna Edmundson, the 57-strong, Vancouver, BC-based Elektra is now regarded as a leader in the classical women's choir movement worldwide. Seeking out music written specifically for women and frequently commissioning new works, the singers are selected by audition--and share an enthusiasm for challenging repertoire. 'Child of Grace,' a Christmas CD, is the group's 5th, and contains 21 songs, some with light accompaniment, piano and drums. This is a stunningly lovely collection of beautiful, little-known carols and Christmas songs, like Eleanor Daley's 'What Sweeter Music' and 'I Sing of a Maiden,' and Knut Nystedt's 'Mary's Song.' There's a joyous group of 8 songs by Derick Holman called 'Sir Christemas.' Songs we've heard many times like 'I Saw Three Ships,' 'How Far Is It to Bethlehem' and Malcolm Edwards' 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day' are the exceptions. Each song is a gem!
Songlist: Adam Lay Ybounden, O My Dear Heat, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, What Sweeter Music, Carol for the Animals, I Sing of a Maiden, Mary's Song, How Far is it to Bethlehem?, In the Bleak Midwinter , Sir Christemas:, -Proface, welcome!, -Sir Christemas, -The Wassail, -Omnes gentes plaudite, -Here comes holly, -Ivy, chief of trees, -Nay, ivy, nay, -Now have good day!, The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy, The Huron Carol, I Saw Three Ships, I Sing of a Maiden
Review: This much-acclaimed women's classical choir from Vancouver, British Columbia, performs a diverse, frequently modern, repertoire drawn from many cultures world over. The ethereal 'Hosanna,' combines a concise traditional text with a repetitive theme and mixed meter; 'The Snow,' by the Romantic English composer Edward Elgar, is accompanied by two violins and piano, a delicately melodic, tonally-centered work in sonata form. 'The Seeds Of Love,' begins with a jazzy, engaging piano intro, alternating with a cappella choir, gradually becoming homophonic in texture; a 'jazz/classical' fusion that is undeniably moving. Several Finnish composers, an Estonian, and Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield's interpretation of seven South African freedom songs, 'African Celebration,' round out this eclectic and adventurous recording.
Songlist: Laudate Dominum, Missa Brevis, Kyria, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei , Nigra Sum, Hosanna, The Snow, The Seeds of Love, In Praise of Music, First Section , Second Section, Third Section, Vesy Vasyy Lumen Alle, "Suite" de Lorca, Cancion de jinete, El Grito, La luna Asoma, Malaguena, Karjan Kotiinkutsu, African Celebration
Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary's
Review: Elektra's Garden is a collection of secular music from many parts of the world, including Spain, France, England, the United States and Canada. The music, much of it recently written, evocatively explores the human experiences of nature and love. Canadian composers Allan Bevan, Eleanor Daley, Allison Girvan, Diane Loomer, and Stephen Smith offer works ranging from new compositions to lyrical texts to exceptional folk song arrangements. The disc also includes two major suites: the delicate and deservedly famous Five Hebrew Folk Songs by Eric Whitacre and Stories of the Wind from Spain's Alejandro Yague, which was written for Elektra.
Songlist: Scarborough Fair, Temuna, Kala Kalla, Larov, Eyze Sheleg!, Rakut, To Morning, Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary's, Kaipaava, El Viento Venia Rojo, Viento Estancado, La Brisa, Que Doncella se Casa con el Viento , Harp of Wild, Les Angelus, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, V'la l'bon Vent, Love Went a-Riding, Here's to Song
Review: Founded in 1987, The 33-strong pride of Vancouver, British Columbia, this much-acclaimed women's classical choir, known for its adventurous programming, seeks out and commissions music written specifically for women. 'From The Heart' brings us 15 pieces from Elektra's touring repertoire. Eight of the selections are from Canada, most of them well-known folk songs, opening with David MacIntyre's electrifying 'Ave Maria,' which has captivated audiences since 1994. Fine works by European, and, in particular, British composers, and the 'Missa Brevis' by American composer Ron Jeffers round out a marvelous recording. All words and translations are there on the very nice liner notes.
Songlist: Ave Maria, Wie Lieblich Sind Deine Wohnungen, Missa Brevis In Tempore Violentiae, Kyrie, Gloria, Flos regalis, Linden Lea, Two Eastern Pictures, Spring, Summer, The Lass OF Richmond Hill, Follow Me Down To Carlow, Reel A Bouche, Away From The Roll Of The Sea, She's Like The Swallow, Wood River, The Log Driver's Waltz, Heaven Bound Train, J'entends Le Moulin
Review: Conductor, composer, organist and music teacher Josef Gabriel Rheinberger wrote many compositions for mixed, female and male voice ensembles. The majority of his secular part songs were written for male-voice choir while his sacred pieces featured female voices. In addition to the three masses, Rheinberger wrote twenty smaller pieces for two to four part female-voice choir. On this volume of Rheinberger's sacred music, the Elektra Women's Choir with soprano Lorraine Reinhardt sings many of his two and three part hymns and the Mass in E-flat for three part choir and organ.
Songlist: Drei lateinische Hymnen op. 96:, Ave vivens hostia, Regina coeli, Adoramus te, Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen op. 35, Missa in Es op. 155:, -Jyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei , Sechs zweistimmige Hymnen op. 118:, Salve Regina, Memorare, Quam admirabile, Inclina Domine, Ave maris stella, Puer natus in Bethlehem
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