In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

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Vocal Music from The Mediterranean

There is a long and unique vocal harmony music tradition in the Mediterranean and there are many talented ensembles that continue to sing in this ancient and fascinating style.

Displaying 1-8 of 8 items.

Barbara Furtuna : Adasgiu - Corsican Polyphony : 1 CD :  : BUD82300.2

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Barbara Furtuna : Adasgiu - Corsican Polyphony

Review: The talented singers of the vocal group Barbara Furtuna (meaning 'Cruel fate', it is the name of a traditional song about banned Corsicans) cover such prestigious bands as A Filetta and the like. Their repertoire is mainly traditional Corsican songs both sacred and secular, with a detour towards Georgian polyphony and a remake of the French song Le Temps des Cerises (A Bella Stagione). The great tradition of a cappella singing on the island is kept fresh and moving forward in this fine recording.

Songlist: Ave Maria Stella, Sanctus, Un Ti Ne Fa, Cantu D'Amore, Miseremini Mei, Fiure, T'Chemo, Agnus Dei, Furtunatu, A Bella Stagione, Barbara Furtuna, O Salutaris

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9881c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella |

Barbara Furtuna : In Santa Pace

Review: Barbara Furtuna is an all-male a cappella Choral quartet based on the Island of Corsica. Their chant is shaped by immoderate love for their country which they carry in their hearts, and which encourages them to continue their musical adventure with the same passion as when they were children. "In Santa Pace," their second album, refers to the way they sing and make their way through life, without rush and with a determination to enjoy every moment. Their repertoire is actually two repertoires, sacred and secular, remaining intimately linked, each nourishing the other. The 13 cuts segue seamlessly into one another and are sung mostly in Italian, although the liner notes are presented in French and English. "Anghjulina," "O Salutaris Hostia," "Maria le sette spade," "Lux Aeterna," the lively "Veni O Bella" (lightly accompanied), "S'he discitatu," "Suda Sangue," the soaring "Kyrie Eleison," the lovely "Lamentu chi ti cerca" (lightly accompanied), the plaintive "Plavi putevi mora," the haunting "Tota pulchra es Maria," the beautiful "L'innamurati" and "L'oru" (lightly accompanied), are all wonderful. We aren't sure of the translation of the lyrics for most of these songs, but the feeling comes through loud and clear. The powerful "In Santa Pace" will touch and move you!

Songlist: Anghjulina, O Salutaris Hostia, Maria le sette spade, Lux aeterna, Veni O Bella, S'he discitatu, Suda Sangue, Kyrie Eleison, Lamentu chi ti cera, Plavi putevi mora, Tota pulchra es Maria, L'innamuarti, L'oru

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9932c | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella |

Klapa Cambi / Klapa Jelsa : Songs of Croatia

Review: The tradition of Dalmatian Klapa (meaning a friendly crowd or gang--primarily male--singing group) singing began in the middle of the 19th century in small Mediterranean towns along the Croatian coast and islands, particularly in Dalmatia. Klapa songs are generally major key, deeply harmonic love songs, ranging from the very poetic to cheerful, optimistic, exaggeratedly sentimental and funny songs. Klapa Jelsa, founded in 1995 of students from Zagreb University, and award-winning Klapa Cambi, founded in 1986, are featured here. All songs are in Croatian, and they generally alternate between the two groups. Some favorites would have to include Klapa Cambi's "Lipa moja," "Tempera," "Divji cvit," "Dobri judi," "Judi, zviri I bestimje," "Ej, vapore;" and "Projdi vido;" and Klapa Jelsa's "Pismo cali," "Noa dobro ti dosa," "Ano, Ano," "Vilo, vilo, varala si mene," and "Cetri lita I cetiri zime." Lots of feeling, spirited harmonies and deep-voice basslines!

Songlist: Lipa moja (Klapa Cambi), O, jablane moj visoki (Klapa Jelsa), Nije vrime od nedije (Klapa Cambi), Pismo cali (Klapa Jelsa), Tempera (Klapa Cambi), Na dobro ti dosa (Klapa Jelsa), Divji cvit (Klapa Cambi), Ano, Ano (Klapa Jelsa), Sve cu prezivit (Klapa Cambi), Vilo, vilo, varala si mene (Klapa Jelsa), Dobri judi (Klapa Cambi), U poju se mala (Klapa Jelsa), Judi, zviri i bestimje (Klapa Cambi), Pod tvojin prozoron (Klapa Jelsa), Ej, vapore (Klapa Cambi), Serenada Mandini (Klapa Jelsa), Projdi vilo (Klapa Cambi), Cetri lita i cetiri zime (Klapa Jelsa), Sutra ce te ponit (Klapa Jelsa), Dobro juntro tugo (Klapa Cambi)

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9866c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella |

New London Chamber Choir : Iannis Xenakis - Choral Music

Review: In the oeuvre of many composers the vocal works are often the most personal, as if the primacy of the human voice and speech elicit an unguarded response. Xenakis' earliest works were based on a Bartokian approach to Greek folk music, which he rejected. However, his Greek origins continued to disturb him like subterranean tremors. His great love of ancient theatre, Greek philosophy and his mother tongue had to be married to a new musical language. The works on this CD all stem therefore from highly autobiographical sources. The works fall into three groups: the first intrumentalizes and orchestrates the voice stripped of text as in Nuits and Knephas; the second (Medea) is based on his beloved Classical Greek theatre with a dramatic context and text; and the third is a relatively new group, setting vocal texts where the language is left whole and undisturbed in a music which displays a limpid and strict modality

Songlist: A Colone, Nuits, Serment, Knephas, Medea

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2032c | 1 CD | $15.95 |

Tenores de Oniferi : Polyphonic Singing from Sardinia

Review: This delightful CD is a recording of a style native to the island of Sardinia known as "Cantu a Tenores." Thousands of years of tradition have evolved into a specific and defined structure, based upon four parts, and the familiar triadic intervals, plus lead; the scales are modal, and repetitive microphases are used as an underpinning to the lyrical content. What is most obvious to the ear are the rich harmonic overtones, creating a depth that belies the notion of a mere four voices. The joy-or sorrow-of amore and praises to the divine are the thematic concerns. An unusual and most pleasant musical interlude.

Songlist: Su Determinu, A S'Omine, Gosos Di San Gavino, Sos Antigos, Muttos, Ottava Del Tre, Sa Supposta Partenzia, S'Andira, Tiu Bustianu, Serenada De Ierru

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9721c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella |

Tenores di Bitti : Ammentos

Review: You can't help but feel that you are in the presence of antiquity when you first listen to the four men singing in the Canto a Tenore style. That's understandable for no one knows just how old the music actually is. It is found rooted most strongly in central Sardinia where it's traceable to the poets of antiquity. For the style is a trio of background singers who produce the nonsense syllable setting on which the bache, or solo voice, sings the melody and poetry text. But it isn't quite that simple. The bassu and contra singers produce a guttural effect by tension of the vocal chords with nasal overtones, creating a resonance found only in Morocco, Northern Syria, and Tuva. Combined with the mesa 'oche, a high register voice that we would think of as tenor, a cascade of natural harmonics is produced called concordu by the Sardinians.

Songlist: Ballate A Ballu Tundu, Misteriu, Satiras, Si Viti A Modu De Tinne Furare, Su Rosignolu, Muttos, Su Nenneddu, A Mama, Sa Ballarina De Carassecare

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9345c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella |

Tenores di Bitti : Caminos de Pache

Review: Fascinating music from a unique choral tradition. The Tenores' singing is one of the more ancient ways of singing in the Mediterranean area. Nothing about its origins is sure, but the historians maintain that this traditional polyphony goes back to 3000 years ago. The singing is made by four male voices (oche, mesu oche, bassu and contra), the main feature of this polyphony is represented by "bassu" and "contra" because of their guttural and ancestral sound. The songs are profane poems speaking about the shepherds and their solitude in touch with the nature, or religious, referring to the popular world and its traditions. All the members have been learning the traditional singing since they were children.

Songlist: Ite M'Importa Sa Vida, Operas Divinas, Satiras de Remunnu, Un Ojada a Sa Pache, S'Isposu de Battorone, Muttos, S'Occabulera, Sa Bella Armonia, Battos Turritas E Unu Caddone, S'Iscravamentu, Sa Cella Umidosa, Sa Grobes de S'Annussata

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2026c | 1 CD | $19.95 |

Various Artists : Corsica / Sardinia - Mystery of Polyphony

Review: This CD presents the miracle of the unique vocal tradition and compelling choral arrangements of Corsica and Sardinia. On both these islands, a unique choral tradition has developed over the centuries. The repertoire includes religious songs, folk songs, love songs, shepherd's songs, and madrigals from several centuries. The polyphonic singing of Sardinia and Corsica is virtually unknown in the rest of Europe. An article in the leading German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described this music as an "infinite wonder of tonal beauty and archaic phrasing" and went on to claim that "the musical development often has something of the majestic architectural quality of a liturgical chant." The collection presents Sardinia's five leading choirs, collected during a WDR recording tour, and the launneddas playing of Luigi Lai. The Tenores di Bitti, currently recording in Peter Gabriel's Realworld-Studios, were greatly admired by none other than Frank Zappa. The revival of traditional culture by Canta u Populu Corsu & A Filleta has contributed towards a new Corsican self-awareness. The five singers of Donnisulana, outstanding soloists of Corsican polyphonic music, are the islands' only female choir.

Songlist: Paghjella Four Hymns/Introitus, Four Hymns/Kyrie, Four Hymns/Sanctus, Four Hymns/Tantum Ergo, Diu VI Salvi Regina, Terzetti, Barbara Furtuna, Paghjella di Ponte Novu, Chjama/Paghjella, Eramu in Campu, Punto d'Organo, Boghe 'E Notte, Su Sartiu, Anninnia, Boch 'E Notte, Su Passu Torradu, Spinello

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9882c | 1 CD | $19.98 | A Cappella |