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Men's Choral Recordings

Men’s choral music spans the centuries, and well-sung choral music brings a lush joy to the ear, whether it is sacred or secular, plainsong, vocal chamber music, chant, madrigals, folk songs or even the music of U2! Many strong composers have written for the male ensemble over the centuries, and choirs today are singing the work of talents as diverse as Rutter and Henry VIII. Men’s ensembles around the world – and we carry recordings from such diverse nations as Estonia, Finland, Canada and Russia, to name just a few – deliver glorious, powerful work.

Displaying 301-323 of 323 items.

Choir of King's College, Cambridge : The Psalms of David

Review: The well-known psalms selected for these recording constitute a cross-section of the Psalter. Some are in praise of Jerusalem, both for its beauty and as the dwelling-place of Jehovah; some are the passionate cry of an exile; some are quiet songs of trust; some are triumphant hymns of praise. This package is a 2 CD digitally remastered release of the early Vol 1 and Vol 2 albums.

Songlist: I Was Glad, Like As The Hart-Give Sentence With Me, Praise The Lord O My Soul, Here My Crying O God, The Earth Is The Lord's, I will Lift Up Mine Eyes, The Lord Is My Shepard, God Is Our Hope And Faith, O How Amiable Are Thy Dwellings, Lord Who Shall Dwell, By the Waters Of Babylon, O Praise The Lord, O Praise The Lord Of Heaven, O Sing Unto The Lord, O Praise God In His Holiness, When The Lord Turned Again, Thou O God Art Praised In Sion, O Be Joyful In God All Ye LAnds, God Be Merciful Unto Us And Bless Us, When Israel Came Out Of Egypt, Not Unto Us O Lord, Help Me Lord, Behold How Good And Joyful, Behold Now, Praise The Lord, Sing We Merrily Unto God, My God My God Look Upon Me Hear My Law O My People, The Lord Is King, O Lord Is King, O Lord Is God To Whom Vengeance Belongeth, O Hear Ye This, All Ye People, and more

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8442c | 2 CDs | $16.95 || English Choral CDs

Choir of King's College, Cambridge : Voices of Praise

Review: Voices of Praise is a spiritually uplifting collection drawing from the rich catalog of King's College Choir. Programmed to the church calendar it is an album for all seasons. Known world over for their recordings of church music the Choir of King's College, Cambridge has a rich catalog of recordings on EMI Classics dating back more than 30 years. This new collection Voices of Praise offers the most popular church music from that catalog. Among the great church works included on this recording are the hymns " A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", " Morning Has Broken" and " All People That On Earth Do Dwell" (The Old Hundredth). This is a double CD release.

Songlist: All My Hope On God Is Founded (Michael), Morning Has Broken, Psalm 122 , Totus Tuus, The truth sent from above, The Lamb, Hail, Gladdening Light, Psalm 84 "Quam Dilecta!", Come Down, O Love Divine, If ye love me, Crucifixus a 8 Voix, My song is love unknown, Psalm 22: My God, my God, look upon me, Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, Thine be the glory (tune Maccabeaus, after Handel), No. 120, Psalm 148 O praise the Lord of Heaven, Set me as a seal upon thine heart, The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns, O clap your hands, God Is Our Hope & Strength, The lord ascendeth up on high (Nun freut euch), Dear Lord and Father of mankind, Gloucester Service, Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Ein feste Burg), Psalm 150 O praise the God in his holiness, All People That on Earth Do Dwell, The Lord Is My Shepherd, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, And I Saw a New Heaven, and more

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7942c | 2 CDs | $16.98 || English Choral CDs

Chor Leoni : Canadian Safari 2

Review: Diane Loomer, founder of Chor Leoni in 1992 with the purpose of singing the best, most difficult "classical" works for male choir, is unable to explain how the lions have now recorded their 3rd CD of folk songs. One good reason seems to be that Canadian folk music is the art of the people - sometimes rough, sometimes achingly beautiful, humorous, whimsical, warm and full of heart. Although they are using more accompaniment now and have performed with several symphony orchestras, the spirit, energy and sheer vocal power of Chor Leoni is as infectious as ever. "Safari 2" is a generous 2-CD collection of 25 tunes. Many favorites, but in particular "Royal Hudson," the foot-stomping "Watching the Apples Grow," "Feller from Fortune," "Trinque l'amourette," Gordon Lightfoot's classic "In the Early Morning Rain," the rousing "The Nancy," "The Black Fly Song," "The Mary Ellen Carter," "The Field Behind The Plow," "The Williams Lake Stampede" and "Canadian Pacific." A powerful, big fun 6th CD from the lions of the North country!

Songlist: Royal Hudson , RIse Again , The Skye Boast Song, The Old "Mayflower", Watching the Apples Grow, Feller from Fortune, Dondaine la ridaine, Indian Reels , Trinque l'amourette, In the Early Morning Rain, The Maple Leaf Forever , Amazing Grace , All the Diamonds , The Nancy, Heather Bonn/Island Ferry, The Black Fly Song, April in Whitehorse , The Mary Ellen Carter, Blow the Wind Southerly, Springtime in Alberta, Frobisher Bay, The Field Behind the Plow , Kettl Valley Railroad , The Williams Lake Stampede, Canadian Pacific

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7276c | 2 CDs | $18.95 | A Cappella || Canadian Choral Recordings

Harvard Glee Club : A Spring Farewell onsale

Review: This is a live, 2-CD set, recorded at a Celebration of the Career of Dr. Jameson Marvin (Director of Choral Activities at Harvard from 1978 to 2010) from April 30, 2010; featuring the Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society and Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, all conducted by Dr. Marvin and Associate Conductor Kevin Leong. Disc 1 has 20 songs, some favorites are Palestrina's "Sicut cervus," Thomas Tomkins' "When David Heard," Schubert's "Nachthelle-Opus 134," Randall Thompson's "Stopping by Woods," Pablo Casals' "Nigra sum," Zoltan Kodaly's "Esti dal," Stravinsky's 4-part "Podbliudniye," the American Folk song "He's Gone Away," Conductor Marvin's "Each Future Song," Steven Sametz' "Munus," and Brahms' "Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk." Disc 2 features the World Premier of Robert Kyt's two-part "Song of Awakening;" Part I is "Lament-O Lord Hear My Cry," and Part II is "Psalm-Through God Within." Kyt's work was composed in honor of Dr. Marvin's retirement, and it is followed by remarks by Rev. Peter Gomes and Jack Megan. "A Spring Farewell" is a rich, moving collection by three of America's best collegiate choruses, to honor their great Director, Conductor, teacher and friend as he steps down from his work of molding and making them what they are today!

Songlist: Sicut Cervus, When David Heard, Gazapkhuli , Nachthelle- Opus 134, All Through the Night, Stopping By Woods, Nigra Sum, Tenebrae factae sunt, Esti dal, U Spasa f Chigisah (Near the Savior's Church in Chigisy) , Ovsen, Shchuka (The Pike), Puzishche (Fatso), He's Gone Away, Laudate pueri Dominum, Alma redemptoris Mater, Each Future Song, Abendlied, Munus, Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk

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6511c | 2 CDs | $9.95 | A Cappella || Men's Choirs CDs

King's Singers : Great American Songbook

Review: Around the time The King's Singers was starting up, one of the most productive periods of songwriting in history was coming to a close in America, starting with composers such as Gershwin, Kern, Berlin and Porter in the early 1920s, and continuing through to the early 1960s. In this new 2-CD studio recording - featuring brand new a cappella arrangements by jazz composer and arranger Alexander L'Estrange, and swing-orchestra performances with the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra - The King's Singers bring their own unique performance style to this wonderful music.

Songlist: I've Got the World on a String, Begin the Beguine, I've Got You Under My Skin, It's De-Lovely, Night and Day, Let's Misbehave, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, I Won't Dance, Cry Me a River, Beyond the Sea, When I Fall in Love, Cheek to Cheek, My Funny Valentine, The Lady is a Tramp, The Best Is Yet To Come, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, At Last

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22161c | 2 CDs | $18.95 || English Choral CDs

King's Singers : Greatest Hits

Review: Considering the longevity of the King's Singers' career (which began in the 1960s with performances of the Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana, or, as they were more casually known, the Cam River Boys), it's only natural that a greatest-hits album would require two discs, each crammed full of arrangements of popular songs and vocal pieces from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Whether performing infectious versions of songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, smooth standards by Cole Porter and Harold Arlen, sublime motets by Adrian Willaert and Orlande de Lassus, or lush fin de siecle classics by Gabriel Faure and Edward Elgar, the King's Singers always deliver entertainment first and foremost, and make their virtuosic repertoire fully accessible to audiences. Of course, their singing varies from classically polished formality to a more relaxed, even humorous glee club delivery. Fans who appreciate their amazing sound and enjoy their lively manner will appreciate this generous retrospective, which brings together recordings made between 1974 and 1990. 48 songs in all.

Songlist: Penny Lane, Help!, Yesterday, Elanor Rigby, Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Sound Of Silence, You Are the New Day, Three Times a Lady, The Rhythm of Life, Here Comes The Sun, Barbara Allen, Early One Morning, She Moved Through the Fair, Bugeilo'r Gwenith Gwyn, Londonderry Air, O My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose, The Little Drummer Boy, Ding Dong! Merrily on High, Stille Nacht, Night and Day, Stormy Weather, The Barber of Seville - Overture, The Donkey Serenade, Walking in the Air, Something's Coming, O Dolce Vita Mia, Vecchie Letrose non Valete Niente, A Little Pretty Bonny Lass, Now Is the Month of Maying, Fine Knacks for Ladies, and more

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8863c | 2 CDs | $16.95 | A Cappella || English Choral CDs

King's Singers : J.S. Bach Christmas Oratorio

Review: A stunning new jazz arrangement by Bill Dobbins of J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio, performed by Grammy-award-winning ensembles The King's Singers and the WDR (West German Radio, Cologne) Big Band. Recorded live in concert last year, this performance captures the timeless and versatile nature of Bach's work, retaining the integrity of the original within a wholly new musical setting. Dobbins's aims in creating the arrangement were four-fold: to convey the Christmas story of the original; to illustrate the musical diversityand imagination of the entire work through selected representative numbers from the original six cantatas;to translate the musical content and dramatic character of the original into jazz and latin idioms while retaining the spirit of Bach's music; and to showcase the talents of the ensembles.

Songlist: Erster Teil, Zewiter Teil, Dritter Teil, Vierter Teil, Funffer Teil, Sechster Teil

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6004c | 2 CDs | $24.95 || Men's Choir Christmas | Johann Sebastian Bach

King's Singers : The Best of

Review: A fabulous 2-CD collection drawn from their now extensive catalogue on Signum Records. The first CD includes titles from Christmas along with music from Landscape and Time, Treason and Discord, Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories, Sacred Bridges, Siglio d'Oro, Romance du soir, From the heart, High Flight and the 2012 release Royal Rhymes and Rounds. The second CD includes many of their wonderful arranged and impeccably sung covers of today's popular music.

Songlist: Onnis on inimene, Gloria , In Monte Oliveti, Bogoroditsye Dyevo, Civitas sancti tui, The Lamb, Mon Dieu, j'ai en toi esperance (Psalm 7), My heart is a holy place, Versa est in luctum, In ieiunio et fletu, Shir hama'a lot.Ashrei koi yere (Psalm 128), Esti Dal, Rakastava, Calme des Nuits, Music, When Soft Voices Die, Lightly she whipped o'er the dales, The Silver Swan, Days, from Even such is time, Lux Aurumque, Shall I Compare Thee...?, Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), You are the new day, She's Always A Woman, Greensleeves, Valparaiso, Hide and seek, Home, Straighten up and fly right, The gift to be simple, Blue Skies, and more

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2622c | 2 CDs | $24.95 || English Choral CDs

Red Army Choir : Best of - Definitive Collection

Review: Spirited, committed, manly singing. Soul-shaking stuff! The ensemble is incisive; soloists are marvelous. The folk melodies are enchanting. The songs - and the singers - are bound up in the cultural fabric of the Cossacks, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Trotsky, Nabakov... This music conveys the great romantic, dignified, boisterous soul of the Russian People.

Songlist: Kalinka, Partisan's Song, Souliko, Korobelniki, On the Road, My Country, The Red Army is the Srongest, Moscow Nights, Along Peterskaia Street, Smuglianka, Troika Group, Ah Nastassia, Echelon's Song, My Army, Civil War Songs: The Red Cavalry, Beyond the River, Hello On the Way, Bella Ciao, National Anthem of the USSR, Oh Fields, My Fields, The Cliff , The Cossacks , In the Central Steppes, Gandzia, Cossacks's Song, The Roads, Song of the Volga Boatman, Dark Eyes, Let's Go, The Birch Tree, The Road Song, The Samovars, and more

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8689c | 2 CDs | $19.95 || Russian a cappella

YL Male Choir : Rautavaara - Complete Works for Male Choir

Review: This double CD comprises Einojuhani Rautavaara's complete music for male choir - one of the most popular genres in the Finnish cult composer's artistic output. The two featured ensembles are YL Male Voice Choir (Helsinki University Choir), one of the world's most prominent male voice choirs and the prominent commissioner and dedicatee of most of Rautavaara's (and also Jean Sibelius's) works for male choir, and the Talla Vocal Ensemble, a smaller group of 10 singers originally founded within the YL Choir. 2 CDs; booklet with liner notes in English and Finnish and the sung lyrics in the original language and in English.

Songlist: Lauluja (The Singer) (1956), Syksy virran suussa (Autumn at the Rivermouth), Two Preludes of T.S. Eliot, I. Winter Evening, II. The Morning Comes, Kaksi psalmia (Two Psalms) for male choir , 23, 130, Ave Maria , Joulun virsi (Christmas Hymn) for male choir , Elaman kirja (A Book of Life), I. Kindheit (Childhood), II. Ma boheme (My Bohemian life), III. L'Amoureuse (One in love), IV. Vanitas! Vanitatum vanitas, V. Hope is the Thing with Feathers, VI. Are You Ready?, VII. Huojuva keula (The swaying prow), VIII. Le Bain (Swimming), IX. Me emme kuole koskaan (We shall never die), X. Sa var det (So it was), XI. Song of Myself

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4259c | 2 CDs | $17.95 || Men's Choirs CDs | Einojuhani Rautavaara

King's Singers : The King's Singers Collection

Review: A collection of five of their EMI releases at a budget price. A great way to add to your collection.

Songlist: Beatles Connection, Tribute To the Comedian Harmonists, Annie Laurie , Madrigal History Tour, Believe In Music

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8937c | 5 CDs | $53.95 | A Cappella || English Choral CDs

Oxford New College Choir : Renaissance Masterpieces

Review: For such transcendent music to succeed, it has to be performed with sufficient technical prowess. This the Choir commands, and they add to it under Higginbottom's direction, a full realisation of the unparalled range of expression at Pucell's command.

Songlist: Aurora lucis rutilat, Tristis est anima mea, Missa "Tous les regretz", Ave Verum, Surgens Jesus, Timor et tremor, Domine convertere, Salve Regina, Veni Creator, Veni sancta spirtus, Requiem, Ave Maria, Ave Virgo gloriosa, Salve Regina, Christe, qui lux es, Victimae Paschalis, Victimae Paschalis, Magnificat, Dum complerentur, Stabat Mater, Alma Redemptoris, Recordare, Ad te levavi , Veni sancta spiritus, Miserere, Peccavi super numerum, Missa "Si ambulavero", Super flumina Babylonis, Domine, quid multiplicati sunt, Spes humani generis, and more

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7851c | 5 CDs | $37.59 | A Cappella || Early Music CDs

Choir of King's College, Cambridge : Britten - Saint Nicolas

Review: As part of this year's celebration of the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth, The Choir of King's College, Cambridge under conductor Stephen Cleobury presents Britten's enchanting choral masterpiece Saint Nicolas, coupled with the Hymn to St. Cecilia and Rejoice in the Lamb. The recording features soloist Andrew Kennedy, a former choral scholar at King's College, the Britten Sinfonia, Sawston Village College Choir and Cambridge University Musical Society. The Choir of King's College, Cambridge is one of the world's foremost choirs and unquestionably among the most widely heard.

Songlist: St Nicolas, Op. 42, Hymn to St. Cecilia, Op. 27, Rejoice in the Lamb, Op. 30

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22154c | 2 SACDs | $22.95 || English Choral CDs | Benjamin Britten

Frommermann : Holland - America Line

Review: The Holland-America Line (HAL) was originally a shipping company that maintained an ocean route between the Netherlands and the United States. Before the days of air travel, the Rotterdam-New York journey played an important role for emigrants from Europe to America. During the 1930s, thousands of Europeans departed on one of the HAL ships, traveling from the Wilhelmina dock in Rotterdam to the United States, in search of a better life or a safe refuge. Many left their native countries forever in order to escape the growing threat of the nazi regime. This was also the case for Erich Collin, Roman Cycowski, and Harry Frommermann, all of whom sang in the famous Comedian Harmonists, and all three of whom were Jewish. They fled from Germany after the Nazis had disbanded their ensemble; ultimately they emigrated to the USA. America was not just the land of the free; it was a world power in the music business. European musicians had already been drawing inspiration from American examples for many years; the Comedian Harmonists, first set up in Berlin by Harry Frommermann in emulation of the American Revelers, were no exception.

Songlist: It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), The flatter the plate, Bel me even op ( , Java jive, Into each life some rain must fall , Liefde in rhythme , Daniel prayed , Bel ami , Jeepers creepers , Mijn broer maakt voor het hoorspel de geluiden, I'm making believe, Matrozenlied, Morgen vaar ik weg, Dry bones, Lou de ladenlichter, Veel mooier, Brother Noah , New York, New York , Does your heart beat for me

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6158c | SACD | $24.95 || Dutch Choral Music

Frommermann : Music of the Comedian Harmonists

Review: he Dutch group Frommermann is named after Harry Frommermann, who in 1927 founded the Comedian Harmonists. This German ensemble, comprised of five singers and a pianist, was in the late twenties and early thirties of the last century a huge sensation. The Comedian Harmonists were namely renowned for their broad variety of vocal styles and the fine sense of comedy with which they performed close harmony music. Within a short period they became international celebrities with concerts in Europe and the United States. In 1935 the Comedian Harmonists were forced by the Nazis to disband, silencing this ensemble for eternity. Around Christmas 2004, at the request of the Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam, Marcel Reijans selected a group of fellow singers and a pianist who shared his love for the music of the Comedian Harmonists. With this group of men, each busy with national and international careers, he made Broken Silence, a tribute to the Comedian Harmonists. With this theater program Frommermann broke the silence that was imposed on the Comedian Harmonists and their music gained a voice again in the Netherlands. The three concerts in the 2005 Grachtenfestival were a great success. The numerous positive reactions from the public and press lead immediately to an invitation to perform at the annual Koninginneconcert (Queens Concert) at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. This concert, which was attended by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, the royal family and many esteemed guests, was also received with much acclaim. The NPS (Netherlands Public Broadcasting Service) made a documentary and registration of the concert, which was broadcasted nationwide on Koninginnedag (Queens Day) 2006

Songlist: Veronika, Der Lenz Ist Da, Eine Kleine Fruhlingsweise, Overture To Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, Mein Kleiner Gruner Kaktus, Stormy Weather, Ali Baba, In Einem Kuhlen Grunde, Wenn Ich Vergnugt Bin, Wir Sind von Kopf Bis Fub Auf Liebe Eingestellt, Schone Isabella Aus Kastilien, Morgen Mub Ich Fort von Hier, Wochenend Und Sonnenschein, Night and Day, When Yumba Plays the Rhumba On the Tuba, Kannst Du Pfeifen Johanna?, Guter Mond Du Gehst So Stille, Holzhackerlied, Gitarren Spielt Auf, Leb' Wohl, Gute Reise

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6154c | SACD | $24.95 | A Cappella || Dutch Choral Music

Gents : Follow That Star

Review: After their first CD for Channel Classics: The Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal, with English Polyphony of the Renaissance, now present themselves in a completely different guise: on this Christmas CD they give you a glimpse of their taste for the lighter styles. You will hear a wide selection of the personal favourites of their singers, such as Follow that star, A Wonderful Christmastime, and Jingle Bell Rock. In addition to other popular Christmas Ballads from the American Songbook, such as Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas and White Christmas, they have put a new spin on a couple of traditional carols, like Silent Night and Es ist ein Ros entsprungen. Most of the arrangements were written especially for The Gents.

Songlist: Follow That Star, Gaudete Christus Est Natus, Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, White Christmas, Walking in the Air, Wonderful Christmastime, Hijo de la Luna, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Just Another Star, Jingle Bell Rock, Let It Snow, The Christmas Song, Sleighride, Winter Wonderland, Silent Night

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6159c | SACD | $24.95 || Men's Choir Christmas

Gents : Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal

Review: The first half of the sixteenth century followed a very turbulent course in all of Europe, and England, as well, went through troubled times. Henry VIII succeeded to the throne in 1509, and reigned for 38 years. In 1533 he founded the Anglican church, he married six times, waged wars, and even found a little time to do some composing. After his death in 1547, he was succeeded by Edward VI, who was followed in 1555, after the death of Mary, by Elizabeth I, Henry VIII's younger daughter. Elizabeth had the task of bringing peace and stability to the country, and during her long reign, English music flourished as never before.

Songlist: Ave Maria for 5 voices , Lord, to thee I make my moan, O Lord, God of Israel, Deliver us, O Lord, Ave Maria Mater Dei, Christe, qui lux es et dies, Paradizo (pavan), The Sighes, The Honie-Suckle, almain, Eliza, her name gives honour, Incipit Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae I, In depth no man remembreth The, Remember me, O Lord (Psalm 106:4), Incipit Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae II, My Lady Nevell's Ground, Salvator mundi, Credo quod Redemptor, Miserere nostri

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6161c | SACD | $24.95 | A Cappella || Men's Choirs CDs

Gents : Sehnsucht

Review: The nineteenth century was a golden age for choral singing in Germany and Austria. Beginning in 1810, singing clubs, and later on, choral societies, shot up all over this part of the world like mushrooms. You could join a Liedertafel, Liederkranz, or Mannersangverein. Carl Friedrich Zelter, Mendelssohn's teacher and the leader of the Berliner Singverein, was the first person to use the term "Liedertafel" in 1808. The term was used to indicate an informal meeting of poets, composers, and singers who came together to sing German partsongs. In a letter addressed to Goethe, Zelter explained that the 25 members of his Liedertafel were accustomed to sit down at a well-furnished table for a sumptuous dinner followed by an evening of singing. Zelter's group preferred original works, so freshly composed that the ink was still wet. The goal was stimulation and promotion of German poetry and music. The Gents is unique All-male Dutch vocal ensemble that obtained in a very short period a prominent place within the international music world. The group of young singers is praised because of their special sound, the large degree of flexibility and the unequalled interpretation of the very divergent vocal repertoire. Whether it concerns religious music from the Renaissance, romantic English music, arrangements of contemporary jazz and pop songs or especially composed works for the ensemble, the concerts of The Gents are always an extraordinary experience. The concerts can count therefore on enthusiastic public and positive criticisms in the press.

Songlist: Sehnsucht (Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt), Die Nacht, Standchen, Grab und Mond, Der Entfernten, Nachtviolen, Nachtstuck, Abendstern, An Sylvia, Die Lotosblume, Die Rose stand im Tau, Der traumende See, Vor den Turen, Traumlicht, Sechs Geistliche Lieder

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6160c | SACD | $24.95 || Men's Choirs CDs | Franz Schubert

Gents : The Gents in Love

Review: Dijkstra: it gives me great pleasure to present this CD, which appears in response to repeated requests. At last we have taken the opportunity to record this repertoire. How often we have had to disappoint members of the audience when we tell them that, unfortunately, there are no recordings available for the arrangements of Billy Joels Lullabye or Toni Wines Groovy Kind of Love. Here they are at last! Also included are three beautiful songs from the popular Dutch group BLF. The goal of this CD is to evoke the simple joy of singing. In my opinion, it is this quality which, in addition to or even in spite of our attempts at perfection and flexibility, is the most important to convey to an audience, and it is a quality which The Gents always try to express.

Songlist: Michelle, Lullabye, Blackbird, And So It Goes, With A Little Help From My Friends, Misschien niet d e Eeuwigheid, Omarm, Dansen aan zee, Londonderry Air, The Oak and the Ash, Molly Malone, Ca' the Yowes, The Turtle Dove, Hey Jude, If I Fell, A Groovy Kind of Love, And I Love Her

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6156c | SACD | $24.95 | A Cappella || Dutch Choral Music

King's Singers : Tallis: Spem In Alium

Review: "Spem in alium," not just the greatest of Tallis's compositions but one of the greatest of all time, is based on a liturgical text, written for 40 independent voices, and was first performed in England in 1573. A work for 40 voices is not one that would usually be associate with the legendary all male sextet The King's Singers. Through modern recording technology, flexibility and experimentation, the six have become 40, a true harmonic convergence that occurs when the pairs high, sweet voices throw the sound across the space between them until finally all voices join for a full culmination of the work. "Spem" is a stunningly beautiful piece, although very short, eight minutes and 22 seconds to be precise, and we listened to it several times to truly appreciate it. The piece is followed by a 6-minute interview with the Singers, who discuss the experience of recording it. A short sublimely beautiful piece, recorded by one of the world's finest choral ensembles. SACD

Songlist: Spem in AliumThomas Tallis, Interview with the King's Singers

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7984c | SACD | $11.98 | A Cappella || Early Music CDs | Thomas Tallis

New York Polyphony : endBeginning

Review: 'My end is my beginning, and my beginning my end' - with those words the four members of New York Polyphony end a programme which explores the themes of grief, loss and mortality. Apart from the closing paraphrase by Jackson Hill (b.1942) on Guillaume de Machaut's famous 14th century rondeau Ma fin... and two examples of plainsong, all works included on endBeginning, the ensemble's first disc on BIS, were composed by masters of the Franco-Flemish school of polyphony active in the first half of the 16th century. The music was partly used liturgically, for instance Brumel's Mass for the Dead, which incorporates the first known polyphonic setting of the text Dies irae, 'Day of Wrath' as its extensive centre piece. Similarly the Lamentations by Crecquillon, a setting which is possibly appearing on disc for the first time, would have been used in churches during Holy Week, with the destruction of Jerusalem as mourned by the prophet Jeremiah standing as a symbol of the Passion of Christ. The two Gregorian chants Libera me and In paradisum both form part of the Roman Catholic burial service, the first a prayer for the soul's delivery from eternal death and the second an evocation of the hereafter. Of a more subjective nature, the two texts Absalon fili mi ('Absalom, my son') and Tristitia obsedit me - Infelix ego ('Sadness has besieged me - Alas, wretch that I am') have moved their respective composers to settings of rare intensity. Formed in 2006, New York Polyphony is establishing a reputation as an exceptionally fine vocal chamber ensemble, and has been praised for a 'rich, natural sound that's larger and more complex than the sum of its parts'

Songlist: Missa pro defunctis; Libera me, Domine , Lamentationes Jeremae, Tristitia obsedit me - Infelix ego, Absalon fili mi; In paradisum, Ma fin est mon commencement

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2077c | SACD | $18.95 | A Cappella |

New York Polyphony : Sing Thee Nowell

Review: The holiday season generally abounds with similar-sounding releases, but the year 2014 brought an unusually fresh crop including this release from the vocal quartet New York Polyphony, excellently recorded by BIS at a boychoir chapel in Princeton, New Jersey. The group follows the common procedure of including music from the Middle Ages to the present day, but they push the boundaries at each step with a distinctive sound that flirts with, but does not adopt, the textures made famous by the Swingle Singers. This has a revelatory effect in Philippe Verdelot's Gabriel Archangelus, a work that does not sound like much when dutifully sung by a cathedral choir. Many pieces are grouped by Christmas subtheme -- Annunciation, Epiphany, Advent, and Nativity -- and the program is cannily put together to show ideas refracted through the music of various periods. For many, though, the chief attraction will be the impeccably close harmonies of New York Polyphony, and that kind of sheer skill rarely coexists with such programming sophistication. An ideal gift for someone who likes a cappella, small group polyphony.

Songlist: Veni Emmanuel, Adam lay ybounden, Gabriel archangelus, Gabriel archangelus, There is no rose of swych vertu , There is no rose (based on the tune Hereford) , There is no rose, Nesciens mater, O pia virgo, Nowell: Out of your sleep, Nowell: Arise and wake, 5 Carols, Sleep Now, O Magnum Mysterium, Quem pastores laudavere, Quid petis, O Fili?, Un flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle, Bethlehem Down, Magi veniunt, O Little Town of Bethlehem

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22245c | SACD | $19.95 |

Orphei Drangar : Curse Upon Iron: Works for Male Choir by Veljo Tormis

Review: A modern shaman is how Veljo Tormis (b.1930) has been described. In his large production, chiefly composed for a cappella choir, he utilizes ancient chants and magic charms, as well as the typically Estonian runic songs, regilaulud. Indeed Curse upon Iron, his best-known score, even includes a shaman drum. Much of the music of Tormis, who began composing during the 1950s, mirrors his steadfast devotion to an Estonian identity in the face of Soviet occupation, with traditional ways of life, such as farming and fishing, resonating in pieces such as Helletused - based on ancient herding calls - Spell upon Flax (from the three Shrovetide songs) and Songs of the Ancient Sea. But there are also works, such as the two Hamlet's Songs, that seem to echo the bleak mood of Soviet Estonia, while The Viru Oath is one of Tormis's most overtly political compositions, written in 1980 during the so-called 'stagnation period' in which the thaw following Stalin's death was halted. With Stars, from Kaksikpuhendus (Double Dedication), the disc closes on a more lyrical and personal note - another strand in the composer's rich repertoire. The informative liner notes to this selection of works for male-voice choir composed between 1962 and 1996 are by Mimi S. Daitz, author of a biography of Veljo Tormis. As she explains, even when Tormis does not use traditional tunes, he incorporates their scales and intervals into his melodies and harmonies, thus creating a unique sound. Divisions of voices into separate lines play an important part in Tormis's orchestration of voices, and another characteristic is his rhythmic ingenuity. The various demands this places on the performers are amply fulfilled by Cecilia Rydinger Alin and Orphei Drangar, described in Choir and Organ as 'a tremendous choir, with superb technique and an immense, expressive range'. Further variety is added by a number of guest soloists, including the internationally acclaimed soprano Elin Rombo.

Songlist: Incantation for a Stormy Sea, Once We Will Reappear, I Had Three Beautiful Words, Shrovetide Songs, Litany to Thunder, The Viru Oath, Childhood Memory - Herding Calls, (Curse upon Iron, Songs of the Ancient Sea, Hamlet's Songs, Double Dedication

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2310c | SACD | $17.95 | A Cappella || Men's Choirs CDs | Veljo Tormis

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