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Choral

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Adams, J L: Canticles of the Holy Wind

Adams, J L: Canticles of the Holy Wind


Amy Garapic (percussion)

The Crossing, Donald Nally

Lauded by the New York Times as a “...hypnotic and ethereally beautiful invocation of wind, sky and birdsong,” John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Holy Wind, performed by the renowned chamber choir The Crossing, is his most technically challenging choral work, and yet the music’s mesmerizing aura of stillness encourages listening at its most elemental. The piece is composed for four choirs of eight singers each, and moves through spaces that are as fantastical (“Sky with Four Suns”) as they are serene (“The Hour of the Doves”), always with a connection to our inner world, as well as the world around us.

“John allows us to interrupt our otherwise endlessly forward-tumbling lives,” notes Donald Nally, The Crossing’s conductor, “and experience these sounds as if we were sitting in the woods for an hour. An hour of wind and of sky and of birds. We are drawn to this music, not just for the beauty of its shimmering harmonies and the overwhelming climactic moments, but also for way it inspires a ‘hearing’ of nature, in real time, as we sing it.”

“The sheer sound of the choir is most impressive. The recording is truthful, atmospheric and handles a wide dynamic range very well.” MusicWeb International, September 2017

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Cantaloupe - CA21131

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New Church Music from the Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim

New Church Music from the Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim


Albertsen:

Toccata (Carillon)

Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen (organ)

Anne Turtom's psalmic tone

Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen (organ)

Alterhaug:

Mutasjoner

Tore Aaen Aune (recorder), Anne Christine Piro (soprano)

Bjorklund, T:

Per La Strada for solo violin

Sveinung Lillebjerka (violin)

Bonsaksen:

Herre, til deg tar jeg min tilflukt

Böttcher, E:

Veni Creator Spiritus

Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen (organ)

Johansen, B:

Cantus

Tore Aaen Aune (recorder)

Kleiberg:

Sonetto di Tasso

Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen (organ)

Nielsen, Ludvig:

Motets (5), Op. 18: 'Hvis ikke hvetekornet faller i jorden og dør'

Passacaglia on Draumkvedet, Op. 23

Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen (organ)

Sommerro:

Se solens skjonne lys og prakt

Kåre Aambø (oboe), Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen (organ)

Sjung hjerte, sjung en aftensang

Kåre Aambø (oboe), Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen (organ)


Nidaros Cathedral Choir

Svein Rustad

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Simax - PPC9028

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Hilarion Alfeyev: De Profundis

Hilarion Alfeyev: De Profundis

Compositions for orchestra and choir


Alfeyev:

Canciones de la muerte

Concerto Grosso

De profundis

Fugue on the B-A-C-H motif

Stabat Mater


Moscow Synodal Choir and Soloists & Russian National Orchestra, Hilarion Alfeyev

DE PROFUNDIS Compositions for orchestra and choir Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev is one of the most widely performed of all living Russian composers. Each of his new compositions constitutes a milestone in contemporary musical history. His ability to imbue his music with profound religious content, to unite diverse cultures and styles, to invent new ways of musical expression while remaining faithful to the centuries-old classical tradition, and to utter most profound themes using a simple and comprehensible musical language, singles him out among present-day composers.

His most widely performed work, the St Matthew Passion (2006), has received worldwide recognition. Following its premiere in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in March 2007, it has been performed more than seventy times in different countries by the most distinguished soloists, choirs and orchestras. Invariably it receives standing ovations from audiences at each concert.

This SACD features five works by Metropolitan Hilarion that were produced over a thirty-year period and performed by the excellent Russian National Orchestra. As the first Russian orchestra to ever win a Grammy award, the orchestra demonstrates a superior performance in this recording.

As The Moscow Times once positioned it, “RNO played with a power, beauty and finesse currently unmatched by any other Moscow orchestra”.

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Pentatone - PTC5186486

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Drop down, ye heavens: Advent antiphons for choir & saxophone

Drop down, ye heavens: Advent antiphons for choir & saxophone


Allain:

O Day-spring

Allwood:

O Virgin of virgins

Certon:

O Adonai

Despres:

O virgo virginum

Kaner:

O Adonai

Miksch:

There is no rose

Mornable:

O clavis David

Pott:

O Key of David

Praetorius, M:

Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen

Rathbone, S:

O Root of Jesse

Todd:

O Wisdom

Turnbull, S M:

O Emmanuel

Weir:

Drop down, ye heavens, from above

Wilson, G:

O King of the Nations


Sam Corkin (saxophones)

Siglo de Oro, Patrick Allies

Siglo de Oro’s first commercial recording sees the choir and its director Patrick Allies in collaboration with saxophonist Sam Corkin. Their intriguing programme highlights the saxophone's natural kinship with the human voice, as well as the endless expressive possibilities which this versatile instrument stimulates in the imaginations of modern composers. Its athletic vigour launches Will Todd’s O Wisdom, the first of eight settings of the Advent antiphons in English which, having been commissioned by the present artists, now form the backbone of this recording. Elsewhere the instrument soars above the voices’ urgent prophecy and imploration, while the choir is heard unaccompanied in glowing renditions of sixteenth-century polyphony – works by Pierre Certon, Antoine de Mornable, Michael Praetorius and Josquin des Prez, whose music complements the atmosphere of quiet expectancy proper to Advent. -

“a debut with a difference... A novel, ungimmicky project, vividly executed” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016

“Invigorating… Professional London startups can sound frustratingly generic but this one hits you with its character and depth” Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

“This marvellous disc offers a stimulating new slant on the music of Advent. Don’t pass it by as “just another Christmas disc”. This is highly original and superbly performed. Siglo de Oro have made a most auspicious debut on disc” MusicWeb International, December 2016

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Delphian - DCD34184

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Richard Allain: When I'm Gone

Richard Allain: When I'm Gone


Allain:

Salve Regina Double choir

At Night I Seek the One My Spirit Loves

Bow Down Thine Ear, O Lord (Psalm 86)

Three Spirituals

Missa Brevis

Two Christmas Carols


Saxophonist John Harle joins Scottish soprano Susan Hamilton and Delphian artist Matthew Owens in these bold works, which are at once heartrending and uncompromising. Whether refracted through the varied generic possibilities of spiritual, carol, motet or Mass, Richard Allain has developed a musical dialect malleable enough to cover the gamut of liturgical purposes represented on this disc. With advocates such as these, Allain’s music cannot fail to make a lasting impression.

"Their stylish singing of baroque, romantic or contemporary music has to be heard to be believed." John Eliot Gardiner

“startlingly impressive” CD Review

“Magical moments abound” Gramophone Magazine

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Delphian - DCD34026

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Hear My Words: Choral Classics from St John’s

Hear My Words: Choral Classics from St John’s


Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Fauré:

Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11

Timothy Ravalde (organ) & Graham Walker (cello)

Franck, C:

Panis Angelicus

Grieg:

Ave Maris Stella

MacMillan:

A New Song

Timothy Ravalde (organ)

Palestrina:

Exsultate Deo

Timothy Ravalde (organ)

Parry:

Hear my words, ye people

Timothy Ravalde (organ)

Parsons, R:

Ave Maria

Pärt:

Bogoróditse Djévo

Rachmaninov:

Vespers, Op. 37: Bogoroditse Devo (Rejoice, O Virgin)

Rutter:

O Lord, thou hast searched me out

Timothy Ravalde (organ) & Helen Scarbrough (cor anglais)

Stanford:

Jubilate

Tallis:

Agnus Dei (Missa Salve intemerata)

Vaughan Williams:

O Taste and See


Choir of St John’s College, Andrew Nethsingha

As exclusive Chandos artists, the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge here presents its second release. The first CD, of choral music by Howells (CHAN10587), was released to rave reviews in March this year. Choir and Organ wrote: ‘There is musicianship here of a rare and moving kind.’ This new release of popular choral classics should meet with a similar reception while at the same time appealing to a wider audience.

Established in the 1670s, the Choir of St John’s has a distinguished tradition of performing religious music. Its main duty is singing the daily services in the College Chapel during the University Term. During the University vacation the Choir carries out engagements in the UK and overseas, as well as undertaking a busy recording schedule. This particular release was recorded in the College Chapel in full surround-sound. The disc not only sounds spectacular, but recreates to an uncanny degree the experience of listening to the Choir perform in the chapel.

The music itself represents a time span of nearly 500 years of choral music. The earliest piece dates from the first half of the sixteenth century, and the newest was composed as recently as 2007. The styles and genres are varied, but there are clear links between the works throughout. For example, several are based on texts from the psalms, and the works by Pärt, Parsons, and Rachmaninoff offer three radically different interpretations of the Ave Maria. Some of the works also add a solo instrument to the familiar mix of voices and organ. But perhaps most importantly, all the pieces recorded here sit comfortably under the heading of ‘Popular Choral Classics’.

Allegri’s Miserere is counted among the great classics of church music. Part of its mystique stems from its origins; for many years the work was performed only in the Sistine Chapel, and as with other works tied to a single place it became an object for pilgrimage. In this case the pilgrims included Mendelssohn, as well as Mozart who famously noted down the work from memory after leaving the Vatican, thereby risking excommunication by the Catholic Church. This new release also features Stanford’s Jubilate, which was written for Trinity College, Cambridge. Intended as part of the service of Morning Prayer, it has long been one of the most popular canticles in the Anglican repertoire. In keeping with the text, Psalm 100, the tone is festive throughout.

“The boy treble voices bring lustre and freshness to the sonority, and the singing throughout is stirring and polished.” The Telegraph, 29th October 2010 ****

“the poised, sentient performance of Allegri's famous Miserere opening the disc bespeaks dedicated preparation, both technical and spiritual. I like the spatial variegations drawn by [Andrew Nethsinga]...and the unobtrusively pregnant phrasing of the tenor plainsong interjections...John's are a choir in fulsome health” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2010 ****

“eclectic repertoire expertly sung” The Observer, 5th December 2010

“A word of reassurance to those who fear that this may be a "lovely" programme of hallowed pot-boilers...If these are indeed, as the title proclaims, "choral classics", that term must have been stretched to include all that is old and good...There are also pieces of modernity...The famous choir appear to thrive under Andrew Nethsinga's management.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

“It is with Allegri's impressive Miserere that the disc begins. One must congratulate those boys who rise well above their fellows...an admirable choir and a nicely varied programme.” International Record Review, December 2010

“St John's has a wonderful acoustic, neither too spacious nor too intimate, and in Andrew Nethsinga it has a director who knows how to fill every corner with grace and clarity...the choir sings suavely and radiantly without resorting to cathedral prissiness; the recorded sound is superb. A joy all round.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2011 ****

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Chandos - CHSA5085

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Refuge from the Flames

Refuge from the Flames

The Savonarola Legacy


includes

Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Animuccia:

Iesu, sommo conforto

Alma, che si gentile

Che fai qui, core?

anon.:

Ecce quomodo moritur

Bettini:

Ecce quam bonum

Byrd:

Infelix ego

Clemens:

Tristitia obsedit me – Infelix ego

Ešenvalds:

Infelix ego

Jeune:

Tristitia obsedit me

MacMillan:

Miserere

Richafort:

O quam dulcis

Verdelot:

Letamini in Domino


ORA, Suzi Digby

Following the stunning success of their best-selling debut, Suzi Digby’s crack vocal ensemble ORA presents their new album: ‘Refuge from the Flames’. Dedicated to the legacy of Girolamo Savonarola, 15th century Dominican and religious reformer, this new CD further showcases ORA's commitment to bringing together Renaissance choral masterpieces and commissioned reflections from contemporary composers. ORA bring a wealth of experience that gilds these pieces, both new and old, into the lustrous works of art they truly are.

“We begin and end this second ORA album with two contrasting settings of the Miserere mei (Psalm 50, Vulgate). Over the centuries this text has inspired reflections by many Christian writers, none more influential than those by Girolamo Savonarola, and we have devoted much of this album to his extraordinary legacy. Central to the recording is Savonarola’s meditation on the psalm, 'Infelix Ego', written shortly before his execution. We present it here in William Byrd’s justly famous setting, and in a newly commissioned masterpiece by the Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds.” Suzi Digby OBE [artistic director & conductor]

“Everything here is heard to best advantage, thanks to the choir’s clean, supple singing under Suzi Digby’s direction.” The Observer, 27th October 2016 ****

“Do you hear the grain of the polyphony and its twisting strands in this performance? Yes, rather more than from the ultra-smooth Collegium Vocale Gent … Digby opens with Ben Byram Wigfield’s new edition of Allegri’s Miserere, not quite as radically different from the known version as Graham O’Reilly’s but sharing some of the Australian’s distilling features and one alluring chromatic restoration.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“there’s a great clarity vertically through the voices; there’s more warmth, there’s more personality on the sound than we get from some English choirs…[they] flourish in a slightly more soloistic style…it’s a thoughtfully assembled, beautifully sung recital” Record Review, 11th December 2016

“This is a programme that is as imaginative as it is varied. It has been thoughtfully conceived and the music is stimulating at every turn. As on their previous release, Suzi Digby and ORA prove themselves to be equally accomplished in music of the ‘Golden Age’ and in music of our own time. From start to finish the singing is superb and Digby and her ensemble lead the listener’s ear through the repertoire most persuasively” MusicWeb International, 8th December 2016

“Yet again this group shows its considerable skill not only in expressive interpretation but in clarity of lines, subtlety of expression, and an ability to maintain an introspective atmosphere throughout” Choir & Organ, January 2017 *****

“there are surprises awaiting you in this new recording … this is a beautiful performance of Allegri’s masterpiece, with a strongly devotional atmosphere to it. Suzi Digby’s tempo gives the music space to resonate, the engineers find an evocatively distanced acoustic in which to set the solo quartet, and the ORA singers’ thoughtful, introspective phrasing distils a sense of spirituality difficult to communicate on record” BBC Music Magazine, February 2017 ****

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Harmonia Mundi - HMW906103

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The Queen of Heaven

The Queen of Heaven


Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Lotti:

Crucifixus

MacMillan:

Miserere

The Strathclyde Motets: Data est mihi

The Strathclyde Motets: Dominus dabit benignitatem

The Strathclyde Motets: Factus est repente

The Strathclyde Motets: O Radiant Dawn

The Strathclyde Motets: Videns Dominus

The Strathclyde Motets: Lux aeterna

The Strathclyde Motets: In splendoribus sanctorum

The Strathclyde Motets: Benedicimus Deum caeli

O bone Jesu

Tenebrae Responsories

Palestrina:

Stabat mater

Missa Papae Marcelli

Stabat mater

Regina coeli

Ad coenam Agni providi

Missa Regina caeli

Confitebor tibi Domine

Terra tremuit

Improperium exspectavit cor meum

Vineam meam non custodivi

Si ignoras te, o pulchra

Pulchrae sunt genae tuae


Now, in its 13th year, The Choral Pilgrimage stands as testament to Harry Christophers’ ongoing mission to bring a wide variety of sacred music back to the kind of buildings for which it was written. Thanks to the enthusiasm and support from audiences, the project continues to thrive and some 20,000 people are expected to attend concerts on this year’s tour.

The 2013 tour began on 2nd March in Guildford Cathedral, and will take in a total of 34 concerts around the UK and Ireland before a concluding concert in Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh on the 26 October.

Allegri’s Miserere is the single most famous piece of sacred music ever written. Although it is instantly recognisable with its haunting tones, mythology surrounds it, and this year’s Choral Pilgrimage allows Harry Christophers to explore its evolution and enduring appeal.

James MacMillan dedicated his powerful and emotional setting of the Miserere to Harry Christophers and The Sixteen who premiered the work in 2010 and recorded it shortly afterwards. Alongside Allegri, MacMillan is one of the few composers to ever set the full Miserere to music.

His exquisite version is one of the highlights of this year’s programme.

Arguably the greatest composer of liturgical music of all time, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina is often billed as ‘The Prince of Music’ and by some ‘The Saviour of Church Music’. Palestrina was a towering figure in Renaissance polyphony and shines out amongst the many great composers of the time for his immaculate craftsmanship and sheer output of works. The Sixteen have recorded three volumes of Palestrina’s works on their own label CORO, the latest of which includes repertoire from the 2013 tour and is included in this special collection.

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Coro - COR16108

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Julian Anderson: In lieblicher Bläue, Alleluia, The Stations of the Sun

Julian Anderson: In lieblicher Bläue, Alleluia, The Stations of the Sun


Anderson, Julian:

In liebliche Bläue (for violin and orchestra)

Carolin Widmann (violin)

Alleluia

The Stations of the Sun


'Anderson is a composer of ringing, bell-like harmonies and subtly shifting orchestral colour. There’s a naive glow about his music, a pearly new-dawn iridescence, as if the world has returned to a state of primal innocence’. The Telegraph, March 2015

This recording features one of today’s most sought-after conductors, Vladimir Jurowski, who was appointed Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007, with many of his recordings on the LPO Label being chosen for special mentions by BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone Magazine.

This recording of In lieblicher Bläue is taken from its world premiere performance at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on 14 March 2015. The recordings of Alleluia and The Stations of the Sun are also taken from live concert recordings at the Royal Festival Hall in March 2014 and December 2013 respectively.

As Composer in Residence from 2010–14, Julian Anderson has a close affinity with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and this CD is a celebration of his time at the LPO. This is Julian’s second release on the LPO label, featuring premiere recordings of Alleluia and In lieblicher Bläue.

Two of the three pieces on this CD were composed specially for these musicians: Alleluia for the London Philharmonic Choir, the LPO and Vladimir Jurowski to perform at the re-opening concert of the Royal Festival Hall in June 2007, and In lieblicher Bläue for Carolin Widmann, one of the leading violinists of her generation.

“the highlight is In Lieblicher Bläue, captured at its premiere last year, a violin concerto in all but name...Anderson uses a brilliant orchestral palette to create sonorities that dazzle, suggesting intense colour and almost blinding sunlight. Above and through all this, Carolin Widmann’s violin soars serenely.” The Guardian, 3rd March 2016 ****

“The writing is characteristic in its insistent mix of glitter and grit, new (American) colours added to an eclectic pick of the 20th-century bran tub…if Vladimir Jurowski's punchy performances were indeed captured live with only minimal patching, they are all three remarkably accomplished” Gramophone Magazine, April 2016

“Carolin Widman is superb as the often diaphanous, yet frequently impulsive soloist negotiating an uneasy relationship with the orchestra in this recording of the world premiere. Vladimir Jurowski ensures everything is deftly paced in all three pieces, while the LPO’s joyous commitment to new music shines through” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 *****

“[In lieblicher Bläue] is assured and ravishingly scored, as one might expect of this composer. Equally assured is the playing of Carolin Widmann, no stranger to contemporary music, and her tone and colour are as well caught in this premiere performance off-stage as on” Classical Music, August 2016 *****

GGramophone Awards 2016

Finalist - Concerto

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017

Premiere Winner

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LPO - LPO0089

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New Music Collections Vol. 1 - Choral

New Music Collections Vol. 1 - Choral


Anderson, Julian:

Four American Choruses: Beautiful Valley of Eden

City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, Simon Halsey

Bennett, R R:

Spells: Spell of Sleep

Bach Choir Philharmonia, David Willcocks

Birtwistle:

Meridian: I

London Sinfonietta, London Sinfonietta Voices

Britten:

On the Frontier: The clock on the wall

Ex Cathedra, Jeffrey Skidmore

Coal Face: The shift is finished

City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus

Finnissy:

Descriptive Jottings of London

Howard Skempton (accordion), Michael Finnissy (piano)

EXAUDI, James Weeks

Fox, Christopher:

Open the Gate

EXAUDI, James Weeks

Goehr:

The Death of Moses: To the man who emanated light

Cambridge University Musical Society Chorus, Stephen Cleobury

Lutyens:

Magnificat

EXAUDI, James Weeks

Payne:

Phoenix Mass: Gloria

BBC Singers, Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, John Poole

Saxton:

I Will Awake the Dawn

BBC Singers, John Poole

Skempton:

The Bridge of Fire

EXAUDI, James Weeks

Swayne:

Cry, Op. 27

BBC Singers, John Poole


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NMC New Music Collections - NMCD204

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