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Cantabile - The London Quartet

Cantabile - The London Quartet


Cantabile (pronounced Can - TAH - bih - lay - an Italian musical term meaning 'in singing style') are quite simply one of the world's top vocal groups.

The original Cantabile was formed in Cambridge in 1977, to feature as a barbershop quartet in a musical comedy at the ADC Theatre written by Robert (sic) Bryan and Richard Turner (who would later direct the Footlights revue, and go on to become script editor for Spitting Image). Bob already had in mind the ideal high tenor for the quartet: a medical student, Nick Ibbotson, with whom he sang regularly in Pembroke College chapel choir. (It was, incidentally Pembroke College which some years earlier had spawned various Cambridge comedy notables, including Bill Oddie.)

They are supported by thirteen solo albums, over 2,000 live performances and more than 200 TV appearances worldwide.

Musicals in London's West End, Galas aboard Queen Elizabeth 2, Concerts in New York's Carnegie Hall, Opera in the Covent Garden Festival, Jazz with the BBC Big Band, Classical Parodies in front of 40,000 people at the BBC Proms in the Park or customised Cabarets for corporate clients - the Cantabile experience draws gasps of admiration wherever it goes.

When the four members of the quartet later joined the British actors' union, Equity, three of them discovered that their names were already taken by existing Equity members. Since rules prevent two members sharing the same name, Michael Stevens became Michael Steffan; in a move which would forever confuse his parents, Colin Stewart became Stewart Collins; and Robert became Richard Bryan (not without Equity initially allowing him, then denying him his first choice, Peter).

To this day no one can remember whether to call him Richard or Bob.

Meanwhile, after the success of the ADC show (called Charlotte's Hotel , incidentally), there was another name to worry about: that of the group itself. Reflecting the character of their (limited) repertoire at the time, the acronym C.U.B.S. was chosen - yes, Cambridge University Barbershop Singers. Oh dear. Later that year, the C.U.B.S. joined the revue group Oxbridge at Edinburgh, where they took part in no fewer than fifty-two shows on the Fringe. With this, their repertoire expanded hugely, and as a result a new name was chosen to reflect the group's style, rather than (hitherto) just one aspect of their music. This choice was by no means easy, and it was left to Bob's mother to provide the decisive inspiration: the Italian musical term Cantabile, which not only encapsulated the quartet's 'singingness', but also hinted at its origins. 'Cantab' is the abbreviation which, placed after such academic letters as B.A. or M.A. indicates that the degree in question was obtained in Cantabrigiensis - the Latin for Cambridge.

Bob, Nick, Stew and Mike were to be a quartet for the next ten years or so, no less. However, during that time there were various occasions when for various reasons other singers stepped in to help out while one or other of the lads was studying or working. These became the first in the list of distinguished Cantabile Alumni, compiled for the first time here.


Displaying 1-9 of 9 items.

Cantabile - The London Quartet : A Festival of Carols in Two Minutes : Songbook :  : 98-EP72219

Cantabile - The London Quartet : A Festival of Carols in Two Minutes

Review: In the space of two minutes, enjoy singing favorite moments from nearly 30 Christmas carols and songs in this medley arranged by Cantabile - the London Quartet. Lots of fun for everybody!

Songlist: A Festival of Carols in Two Minutes

7881b | Songbook | $4.95 | SATB | A Cappella Novelty Christmas Songs Arrangements

Cantabile - The London Quartet : The Great British A Cappella Songbook : Songbook :  : 98-EP72404

Cantabile - The London Quartet : The Great British A Cappella Songbook

Review: The Great British A Cappella Songbook features a collection of the London Quartet's favourite songs arranged for SATB - these songs are a celebration of all things British. Cantabile has long been recognized to be one of Britain's great vocal groups. They have appeared in a huge variety of venues, singing programmes encompassing early polyphony through to jazz and contemporary music, and have released many albums.

Songlist: Pastime With Good Company, Greensleeves, Oranges and Lemons, Myfanwy, Danny Boy "I Would be True" (Londenderry Air), A Man's a Man for A' That, Pomp and Circumstance March Number 4, A Foggy Day (In London Town), Lullaby (Hush, Macushla)

7878b | Songbook | $14.95 | SATB | A Cappella English Choral Arrangements

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Songs of Cricket : 1 CD :  : 217

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Songs of Cricket

Review: Cantabile, AKA The London Quartet, have been wowing audiences across the world since the 1980s with their shows that blend performance flair, comic timing, and a deep passion for high-quality vocal music. This album is an eclectic tribute to the very British obsession that is cricket, bringing together works from the turn of the century to the present day. Featuring guest performances from the likes of Richard Stilgoe, Rory Bremner and Tim Rice, this album should prove a must-buy for cricket- and music-fans alike.

Songlist: Cricket Theme Medley, The Cricketers of Hambledon, School Songs Medley (five school songs), The Summer Game - from Cricket (Hearts and Wickets), PLillian Thomson, Radnage Cricket Song (Bucks. folk song), Four Jolly Bowlers, The Rules of Cricket - A Psalm Chant, You've Got to be a Cricket Hero (to Get Along with the Beautiful Girls), Jiggery Pokery, Village Rondo, Eton and Winchester, I Made a Hundred in the Backyard at Mum's, Australian Cricket Medley, The Barmy Army, That's Not Cricket - from At Home Abroad, Cricket Tea Towel: The Ins and Outs of Cricket, Andy Flower Duet, Jerusalem, When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease, 'Stop it, Aggers!'

2040c | 1 CD | $16.95 English Choral CDs

Cantabile - The London Quartet : On The Tracks Of... The Comedian Harmonists : 1 CD :  : 6306

Cantabile - The London Quartet : On The Tracks Of... The Comedian Harmonists

Review: One of the UK's most popular and respected all-male quartets, known for their humor and pure sound, pays a well-earned tribute to The Comedian Harmonists, a funny, eclectic and talented 6-man group who were popular on the radio and in German cabarets from 1927 until forced to disband by Nazi anti-Semitism. Mostly lightly accompanied by piano, "On the Tracks Of" has 14 authentic, spirited tunes, most of them originally performed by the CH, like "Meine Kleiner, Gruner Kaktus," "Sandmannchen," "The Way You Look Tonight/A Fine Romance," the silly "Voila Les Gars De La Marine," the poignant "Der Lindenbaum," Duke Ellington's "In My Solitude," the waltz parody "G'schichten Aus Dem Wienerwald," the delightful yodel and whistle-fest "Medley from Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs: Heigh-Ho/Whistle While You Work/The Dwarfs' Yodel Song (The Silly Song)" and the appropriate last cut, "Auf Wiederseh'n!". We love the droll, "Roaring 20's" sound of the Comedian Harmonists, and Cantabile's take on them is as good as any we've heard. Classic, cabaret stuff that tugs at your heartstrings, makes you laugh and makes you want to dance!

Songlist: Let's Face The Music and Dance, When Yuba Plays The Rumba On the Tuba, Mein Kleiner, Gruner Kaktus, Sandmannchen, Amapola, The Continental, The Way You Look Tonight/A Fine Romance, Voila' Les Gars De La Marine, Der Lindenbaum, (In My) Solitude, In Einem Kuhlen Grunde, G'schichten Aus Dem Wienerwald, Medley From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Auf Wiederseh'n!

8996c | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella English Choral CDs

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Tribute To Hollywood : 1 CD :  : 6310

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Tribute To Hollywood    onsale

Review: One of the UK's finest vocal groups, Bill, Paul, Mark and Michael of Cantabile, The London Quartet, have a unique and unmistakable sound and a reputation for originality and humor. Although the group was founded as a purely a cappella student group, the sixteen cuts of "A Tribute to Hollywood" are mostly accompanied, with the exception of two tunes, Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow" and the theme from the Streisand/Redford classic "The Way We Were." "As Time Goes By" and Stephen Sondheim's "Sooner or Later" are piano accompanied; and Herman Hupfeld's "Take My Breath Away" is accompanied by guitar. "Up Where We Belong," Sondheim/Bernstein's "Gee, Officer Krupke" from "West Side Story," the Gershwins' "I Got Rhythm," "Under the Sea" from "The Little Mermaid," and the classic "Lullaby of Broadway" are all orchestrally accompanied. That aside, we loved this dynamic, entertaining collection, with plenty of the sweet leads and harmonies, humor, eclecticism and big fun of Cantabile!

Songlist: Up Where We Belong, As Time Goes By, Everybody's Talkin', Take My Breath Away, Evergreen, I Just Called To Say I Love You, 'Round Midnight, Iko Iko, Over The Rainbow, Gee, Officer Krupke, Cavatina, I Got Rhythm, Sooner or Later, Under The sea, The Way We Were, Lullaby of Broadway

8997c | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella English Choral CDs

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Christmas with Cantabile : 1 CD : 

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Christmas with Cantabile

Review: Founded as an a cappella group at Cambridge and one of our favorite British male quartets, Cantabile's pure, bright, spirited harmonies have won them many fans over the years. With most arrangements done by the group, we could expect some of the group's trademark humor, which comes in spades on their a cappella "Twelve Days of Christmas," featuring silly and rude barnyard sound effects that underline the absurd problems associated with having an impossibly generous "true love." Other favorites are the spirited, a cappella "Gaudete!," a romantic "Winter Wonderland," a very Bing Crosby-like take on "White Christmas," the lovely a cappella "Wexford Carol" and "Coventry Carol," "The Jimmy Brown Song," which has added lyrics which may or may not be tongue-in-cheek; and a Doo-Wop "Lonely This Christmas," (ditto). Tom Lehrer's quintessentially sarcastic "A Christmas Carol" has no such ambiguity, nor does the silly "The Carol Singers." "Silent Night," also sung in German a la The Comedian Harmonists," one of Cantabile's favorite influences, attempts to make amends for the craziness, but the surprising musical collage "Carol" and the bonus track "Les Trois Cloches," which is, as far as we can tell, "Jimmy Brown" sung sweetly and dramatically in French, are certainly non-traditional and may be parodies. There is piano accompaniment on several cuts. "Christmas with Cantabile" is a beautifully sung and arranged, eclectic, often silly and unexpected collection that we totally enjoyed, and we bet that you will too!

Songlist: Winter Wonderland, The Little Road to Bethlehem, Gaudete!, Tua Bethlem Dref, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Wexford Carol, White Christmas, Susser die Glocken nie Klingen, Coventry Carol, The First Mercy, The Jimmy Brown Song, Lonely This Christmas, A Christmas Carol, The Christmas Song, The Carol Singers, Silent Night, Carol, Les Trois Cloches

7274c | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella Men's Choir Christmas

Cantabile - The London Quartet : In Cambridge : 1 CD : 

Cantabile - The London Quartet : In Cambridge

Review: Recorded live in - you guessed it - in Cambridge, this male quintet is a stylistic whisper away from the King's Singers, both in terms of sound and choice of material, though the influence of the Swingles can be felt as well ("The History of Western Music"). The selections on this CD encompass several centuries, beginning with William Byrd's "Deo Gratias." Embracing the British folk ballad (Morley and Henry the VIII), and the European classical form (Chopin), the group then travels forward in time to include period classics such as "Sentimental Journey" and "The Lambeth Walk," finishing up with the wholly appropos doo wop closer, "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight."

Songlist: Deo Gratis, Fire, Fire my Heart, Weep, O Mine Eyes, Now Is The Month Of Maying, Myfanwy, The Wee Cooper O'Fife, Pastime With Good Company, The Minute Waltz, Java Jive, Mein Kleiner, Gruner Kaktus, The History Of Western Music, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Sentimental Journey, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, The Lambeth Walk, Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight

6481c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella English Choral CDs

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Lullabyes and Goodbyes : 1 CD :  : 055

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Lullabyes and Goodbyes

Review: Cantabile is an ensemble of four male voices who came together as a group while studying at Cambridge University in the 1980s and have gone on to become one of England's premiere choral ensembles. The programme on this release is a very eclectic mix with nearly all the music excellently arranged by the group themselves. The singing itself is all first class. The four voices blend beautifully and there isn't a sour note to be heard. Diction is consistently crystal clear although texts and English translations, where appropriate, are provided. As you'd expect, the contribution of Malcolm Martineau is first rate. There's a great deal to enjoy here and I can imagine this being particularly restful and enjoyable late evening listening, perhaps with the fire burning gently and a glass of something warming at your elbow. Try this for something a bit different!

Songlist: Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), Evening Prayer, Barcarolle, Hushabye, Wiegenlied, Bilbo's Last Song, lullaby, Haere Ra, Hawaiian Lullaby, Moonshine Lullaby, Cancion De Cuna Para Dormir A Un Negrito, My Lagan Love, Schlaendes Jesuskind, Lullaby Of Birdland, Oblivion, Discendi, O Sonno Vago, Lullaby, Nacht Und Traume, Bilbo's Last Song, Stay Awake, Goin' Home, Our Revel Now Are Ended, Counting Up My Toes

8341c | 1 CD | $15.98 | Some a cappella A Cappella Lullabies

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Madrigal to McCartney : 1 CD : 

Cantabile - The London Quartet : Madrigal to McCartney

Review: "Madrigal" was recorded at Victoria Memorial Hall in Singapore in February 2001, and features 15 tunes, ranging from sacred early Christian music like Weelkes' "Hark, all ye lovely Saints above," Passereau's "Il est bel et bon," and Wm. Byrd's "Agnus Dei" to a wonderful "Tribute to the Beatles" medley of 18 Fab Four classics and "Yesterday," to Gershwin's "Summertime," Rodgers and Hart's "My Romance" and Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night." Two bonus tracks include Richard Rodney Bennett's "A Good Night," commissioned by Paul McCartney from "A Garland for Linda," and "Brahm's Lullaby." Certainly an odd repertoire mix, but Cantabile's perfectly pitched, fresh, joyous sound works well with just about anything they choose to perform.

Songlist: Hark, all ye lovely Saints above, Comment, amour, me veux-tu tourmenter?, Il est bel et bon, Agnus Dei (from the Mass of Four Voices), A Tribute ot the Beatles, The Compleat Works, The Long Day Closes, Summertime, My Romance, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Strangers in the Night, Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight, Yesterday, A Good-Night, Brahms' Lullaby

6954c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella English Choral CDs

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