Barber: Agnus Dei

This page lists all recordings of Agnus Dei, by Samuel Barber (1910-81) on CD, SACD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

Agnus Dei is Barber's own 1967 arrangement of Adagio for Strings for eight-part choir.

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American Polyphony

American Polyphony


Barber:

Agnus Dei

Reincarnations, Op. 16

Twelfth Night

To Be Sung on the Water, Op. 42

Heaven-Haven: A Nun Takes the Veil Op. 13, No. 1

The Virgin Martyrs Op. 8 No. 1

Let Down the Bars, O Death Op. 8 No. 2

Bernstein:

Missa Brevis

David Allsopp (countertenor), Christopher Lowrey (countertenor) & Robert Millett (percussion)

Copland:

Four Motets

Thompson, R:

Alleluia

Fare Well 'When I lie where shades of darkness'


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

An all-too-rare new recording from Polyphony and Stephen Layton presents highlights from the choral repertoire by four twentieth-century American giants: Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Randall Thompson. Framed by Thompson’s understated favourites Alleluia and Fare Well, the programme includes Bernstein’s Missa brevis, Copland’s early set of four motets, and—of course—Barber’s inimitable Agnus Dei.

Stephen Layton talks to Presto's David Smith about American Polyphony here.

“Stephen Layton’s Polyphony are an always impressive choir of startling purity and clarity.” The Observer, 21st June 2015 ****

“The peerless choir offer meticulously blended and shaped performances of 20th-century a cappella American choral works.” Sunday Times, 28th June 2015

“This is the finest performance of Barber's Agnus Dei I've heard by any choir, live or on record…a wonderful recital, not to be missed.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2015

“If ever anyone was under the misapprehension that American choral music begins and ends with the Agnus Dei, this disc is the perfect riposte. A delightful selection, beautifully performed.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 6th July 2015

“This is an atmospheric anthology, fastidiously chosen and delivered by this fine choir.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

6th July 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - August 2015

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Hyperion - CDA67929

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Classics for Choirs

Classics for Choirs


Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Barber:

Agnus Dei

Berlioz:

L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25 - L'Adieu des bergers

Burgon:

Nunc dimittis

Byrd:

Rejoice, rejoice in Christ

Fauré:

Requiem: In Paradisum

Franck, C:

Panis Angelicus

Gardiner, H B:

Evening Hymn (Te lucis ante terminum)

Hildegard:

O ignis Spiritus Paracliti

Mendelssohn:

Hear My Prayer

Mozart:

Ave verum corpus, K618

Poulenc:

Videntes stellam (No. 3 from Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël, Op.152)

Praetorius, M:

Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her

Saint-Saëns:

O salutaris hostia

Schubert:

Ave Maria, D839

Stanford:

Te deum in B flat


Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, Richard Marlow

Alto - ALC1270

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20th-Century Choral Masterpieces

20th-Century Choral Masterpieces


Barber:

God’s Grandeur

Joyful Company of Singers, Peter Broadbent

Heaven-Haven: A Nun Takes the Veil Op. 13, No. 1

Joyful Company of Singers, Peter Broadbent

Agnus Dei

Joyful Company of Singers, Peter Broadbent

Duruflé:

Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, Op. 10

Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, George Guest

Gorecki:

Totus Tuus, Op. 60

Gabrieli Consort, Paul McCreesh

Leighton:

God's Grandeur

Joyful Company of Singers, Peter Broadbent

Ligeti:

Lux aeterna

Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks, Helmut Franz

Messiaen:

O sacrum convivium

Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia, Myung-Whun Chung

Pärt:

De profundis

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

The Woman With The Alabaster Box

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

Tavener:

The Lamb

The Choir of the Temple Church, Stephen Layton

Song for Athene

Gabrieli Consort & Players, Paul McCreesh


“A batch of 20th-century masterpieces, in authoritative performances featuring some of Britain's best choirs.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 ****

DG Virtuoso - 4784230

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Barber: An American Romantic

Barber: An American Romantic


Barber:

Twelfth Night

To Be Sung on the Water, Op. 42

The Virgin Martyrs Op. 8 No. 1

Let Down the Bars, O Death Op. 8 No. 2

Reincarnations, Op. 16

A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, Op. 15

Sure on this shining night, Op. 13 No. 3

Agnus Dei

The Lovers, Op. 43

arr. Robert Kyr for chamber orchestra and chorus

with David Farwing (baritone)

Chamber Orchestra

Chorale for Ascension Day (Easter Chorale)


Conspirare & Company of Voices, Craig Hella Johnson

Samuel Barber’s lyrical melodies and unabashed romanticism have earned him a cherished place in the pantheon of 20th-century composers. Recorded here are some of Barber’s finest works for choir (including the beloved 'Agnus Dei') alongside 2 world premières: a new version for chamber chorus and orchestra of Barber’s anguished work 'The Lovers' on poetry by Pablo Neruda, and a new version of 'Easter Chorale', which were both made by Robert Kyr for Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare.

From its 1991 origins as a summer classical music festival in Austin, Texas, Conspirare has evolved into an internationally recognised, professional choral organisation known for outstanding vocal artistry and innovative programming. Led by founder and artistic director Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare comprises a professional chamber choir, a highly skilled volunteer Symphonic Choir, and an outstanding youth choir.

Conspirare’s critically acclaimed releases on the harmonia mundi label have earned copious praise. 'Threshold of Night' (2008) in particular, featured music by Tarik O’Regan and was nominated for Best Choral Performance and Best Classical Album at the Grammys.

“The 36 professional of the America choir Conspirare sing with good tuning and clear articulation, their voices beautifully blended in a warm acoustic...Craig Hella Johnson directs a sympathetic performance, with a good team of step-out soloists, led by baritone David Farwig.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 ****

“These are exemplary performances and Johnson represents every nuance of Barber's expression markings...Barber's choral output now has the attention it deserves.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012

“The performance is a triumph, superbly well sung by Company Voices, a professional chamber choir that forms one part of the choral ensemble Conspirare.” International Record Review, September 2012

“Performances throughout the programme are exemplary, the recorded sound is excellent - I listened in conventional CD format - and the documentation, which is in English, French and German is first class and beautifully laid out. This is an important disc for all devotees of Samuel Barber’s music.” MusicWeb International, October 2012

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A Year at King's

A Year at King's


Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Barber:

Agnus Dei

Eccard:

When to the temple Mary went

Guerrero, Francisco:

Canite tuba in Sion

Holst:

Nunc dimittis, H127

Lasso:

Videntes stellam

Palestrina:

Hodie Christus natus est

Pärt:

O Weisheit

O Immanuel: Magnificat - Antiphons

Philips, P:

Surgens Jesus

Poulenc:

Videntes stellam (No. 3 from Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël, Op.152)

Stanford:

Coelos Ascendit Hodie, Op. 38 No. 2

Tallis:

Spem in alium for eight five-part choirs '40-part Motet'

Tavener:

Away in a Manger

Victoria:

Ascendens Christus in altum

Wood, C:

Tis the day of Resurrection


The paired ancient and modern settings represented on the album showcase the vast range of music that the choir performs each season reflecting Christ’s birth, death and resurrection through the festivals of Advent, Christmas, Candlemas, Lent, Easter and Ascension. The rest of the year, known as Ordinary time, is focused more on Christ’s ministry on earth.

A Year at King’s includes such favourites as Allegri’s Miserere and Barber’s Agnus Dei, an arrangement of his famous Adagio for Strings, as well as the first recording of Tavener’s Away in a Manger, written for King’s College Choir’s 2004 ‘Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’. The rest of the programme comprises works composed between the 15th and 20th centuries by Palestrina, Pärt and Poulenc, Lassus, Holst, Guerrero, Eccard, Peter Philips and Stanford. The disc is rounded off with a spectacular performance of Tallis’s Spem in alium. On this, as on many previous King’s College Choir recordings, the conductor is Stephen Cleobury, organist and Director of Music at King’s since 1982.

King Henry VI founded King’s College in 1441. Six centuries later, these daily services in the magnificent chapel that is one of the jewels of Britain’s cultural and architectural heritage are the raison d’être for, and a central part in, the lives of the Choir’s 16 choristers, 14 choral scholars and two organ scholars.

The international reputation of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge was established by the radio broadcast worldwide of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols each Christmas Eve, heard currently by an audience estimated in the tens of millions, and has been consolidated by regular international tours and by the critical and commercial success of its EMI Classics releases.

In recent seasons the Choir has travelled throughout Europe as well as to the US, South America, Australia and Asia-Pacific for performances at churches, festivals and cultural centres. Of course, the Choir also performs extensively in the United Kingdom, appearing regularly at all the major halls in London and in the regions, both a cappella and with orchestras. In 2009 they joined other Cambridge artists, ensembles and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis in a BBC Prom to mark the 800th anniversary of Cambridge University. This summer, they appear at the Cambridge and Chester Music Festivals, at the latter of which they perform two extracts from A Year at King’s.

Palm Sunday 2009 saw The Choir of King's College, Cambridge undertake a unique project in collaboration with Opus Arte and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Under the direction of Stephen Cleobury and partnered by the Academy of Ancient Music, the Choir's performance of Handel's Messiah in King's College Chapel was screened live by satellite to cinemas throughout the UK, mainland Europe and Northern America. This first ever live broadcast of a choral concert anywhere in the world was undertaken as part of the King's Easter Festival as well as to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the death of Handel and the 800th anniversary of Cambridge University. The CD of this performance was released by EMI Classics shortly following the event and the DVD in November 2009.

King's Choir played a key part in the BBC’s new Easter schedule in 2010: BBC TV broadcast Easter at King's, an Easter service sung by the Choir and filmed in the Chapel; BBC Radio 3 broadcast two concerts from King's over the Easter period, James MacMillan's St John and a concert of sacred music with the Britten Sinfonia.

The most recent releases by the Choir, under exclusive contract with EMI Classics, include the 80th anniversary broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols; the above-mentioned Handel’s Messiah on CD and DVD; England, My England, a patriotic collection of English choral favourites that topped the UK classical artist charts and became EMI Classics’ UK best-selling title of 2009; and a stunning selection of Tudor anthems entitled I Heard a Voice.

"A crowning glory of our civilisation" Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

"I would happily sit in King’s College Chapel listening to this choir sing for the rest of my days." Richard Morrison, The Times

“Allegri's Miserere brings an outstandingly involving interpretation to light, the stratospheric top Cs for solo treble not unduly spotlighted, and marvellously natural unison phrasing in the plainchant sections...[a] firmly recommendable introduction to how the King's choir sounds at present.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 ****

“...highly proficient, taking easily in their stride the most elaborate polyphony and answering all the demands...The great motet by Tallis is heard in a new way, moving ahead with resolution and assurance.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2010

Warner Classics - 6090042

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The Sixteen - Sounds Sublime

The Sixteen - Sounds Sublime

Includes some of The Sixteen’s most celebrated recordings in this beautiful 2CD digi-pack set


Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV147 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben': Jesu, bleibet meine Freude

Magnificat in D major, BWV243: Magnificat anima mea Dominum

Quoniam tu solus sanctus (from Mass in B minor)

Cum Sancto Spiritu (from Mass in B minor)

Cantata BWV50 'Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft'

Barber:

Agnus Dei

Bernstein:

Spring Song (Chorus from The Lark)

Brahms:

Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (from Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45)

Britten:

Advance Democracy

A Hymn of Saint Columba

Daniel-Lesur:

La voix du bien-aime (from Le Cantique des Cantiques)

Fauré:

Requiem: Pie Jesu

With the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Handel:

Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus

Coronation Anthem No. 1, HWV258 'Zadok the Priest'

Israel in Egypt: Moses & the children of Israel

I will sing unto the Lord (from Israel in Egypt)

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (from Solomon)

Samson: Let the bright seraphim

Lotti:

Crucifixus in 8 parts

Mozart:

Ave verum corpus, K618

With the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K339: Laudate Dominum

With the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Padilla, J G:

Deus in adiutoriuminin

Palestrina:

Kyrie (from Missa Papae Marcelli)

Poulenc:

Una hora (from Sept Répons des Ténèbres)

With the BBC Philharmonic

Purcell:

Man that is born of a woman, Z27

Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary: Thou knowest, Lord

Scarlatti, D:

Iste Confessor

Sheppard, J:

Libera nos 1

Tallis:

Spem in alium for eight five-part choirs '40-part Motet'

Tavener:

The Lamb

Hymn to the Mother of God

Teixeira, A:

Te gloriosus Apostolorum Chorus (from Te Deum)

Victoria:

Ave Maria a 8

Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: O Domine Iesu Christe

Vivaldi:

Gloria in excelsis Deo (Gloria in D)


Some of the most celebrated recordings from Harry Christophers and his award-winning ensemble. Equally appealing to fans of The Sixteen and those who are new to the group, this disc provides a definitive collection of familiar classics and lesser-known treasures.

Coro - COR16073

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American Choral Music

American Choral Music


Barber:

Agnus Dei

Bernstein:

Chichester Psalms

with DOMINIC MARTELLI boy soprano, RACHEL MASTERS harp, GARY KETTEL percussion, THOMAS TROTTER organ

Copland:

In the Beginning

for mixed chorus a capella and soprano solo

with CATHERINE DENLEY mezzo soprano

Help us, O Lord

Have mercy on us, O my Lord

Sing ye praises to our King


“Half of this programme is devoted to unaccompanied choral music by Copland: In the Beginning, a striking 15-minute 'Creation' for mixed four-part chorus and solo mezzo (which is eloquently executed by Catherine Denley) written in 1947, and three of four short motets he composed in 1921, while studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
The performance of the Chichester Psalms recorded here uses Bernstein's own reduced (but very effective) instrumentation of organ, harp and percussion, but follows the composer's New York precedent in employing a mixed chorus – although the illusion of a cathedral choir is persuasively conveyed.
It's very impressive.
The singing of the Corydon Singers under Matthew Best is very fine, and the vivid recording, which gives the voices a pleasant bloom while avoiding the resonance of King's College Chapel, reproduces the instrumental accompaniment, notably the percussion, with electrifying impact. Best's soloist is Dominic Martelli, and very sweetly he sings too. The disc is completed by Barber's setting of the Agnus Dei from 1967 and is an arrangement of the famous Adagio for Strings.
This imaginative and enterprising programme is extremely well sung and vividly recorded.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion - CDA66219

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American Voices

American Voices

American Choral Music


Barber:

Agnus Dei

Bernstein:

Chichester Psalms

Castellanos, D:

Eternal Light

Copland:

In the Beginning

Muhly:

Bright Mass With Canons

Rorem:

Sing My Soul

O God, My Heart is Ready

Thompson, R:

Alleluia

trad.:

Deep River

arr. Gerre Hancock


Meg Bragle (mezzo), Frederick Teardo (organ), Anna Reinersman (harp), Maya Gunji (percussion)

Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys, Fifth Avenue, New York, John Scott

Continuing their ongoing series with Resonus, the Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys, Fifth Avenue, New York and conductor John Scott release an album of celebrated as well as more recent American choral music.

Featuring music from the last seven decades, this engrossing recording celebrates the very best of American choral works with music from Leonard Bernstein, Randall Thompson, Aaron Copland, Nico Muhly, Samuel Barber, Daniel Castellanos, Ned Rorem, and former Saint Thomas music director Gerre Hancock.

World premiere recordings from Muhly (Bright Mass with Canons) and Daniel Castellanos (Eternal Light) are featured on this album.

“Scott’s mastery of his vocal forces is exemplary and the choir’s distinctive sound has been well captured in the excellent remastering of the original recording.” Choir & Organ, June 2017 *****

“This is an interesting, very enjoyable and expertly performed programme which has been very well recorded by engineer John C. Baker. I’ve enjoyed and admired several of these Resonus discs featuring the work of John Scott in New York and I hope more will be forthcoming.” MusicWeb International, August 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

25% off Resonus

Resonus Classics - RES10187

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A Very Brandenburg Christmas

A Very Brandenburg Christmas


Bach, J S:

Concerto for Oboe & Violin in C minor, BWV1060

Barber:

Agnus Dei

Catalani:

Ebben? Ne andrò lontana (from La Wally)

Gruber, F:

Stille Nacht

Martin, Hugh:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Padilla, J:

Deus in adiutorium meum intende

trad.:

Divisions on Ancient Carols

Duma and Kozak March

Ave Maria

Near The Hill

Wade, J F:

O come, all ye faithful


Paul Dyer (director), Larissa Kovalchuk (strings), Christina Leonard (saxophone), Ben Dollman (violin), Anna Sandström (soprano), Nick Gilbert (bass), Paul Dyer (harpsichord)

Australian Brandenburg Choir, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Choir, Brandenburg Choir, Brandenburg Choir

ABC Classics - ABC4813262

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Cantus: Christian-Pierre La Marca

Cantus: Christian-Pierre La Marca


Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Bach, J S:

Deposuit potentes

St Matthew Passion, BWV244: Erbarme dich

Et misericordia

Adrien La Marca (viola)

Chorale Prelude BWV639 'Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ'

Barber:

Agnus Dei

Escaich:

Enluminures

Patricia Petibon (soprano)

Fauré:

Requiem: Pie Jesu

Franck, C:

Panis Angelicus

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor)

Handel:

Dixit Dominus: De Torrente in via bibet

Adrien La Marca (viola)

Mozart:

Ave verum corpus, K618

Patricia Petibon (soprano)

Pergolesi:

Stabat mater: Opening duet

Adrien La Marca (viola)

Piazzólla:

Tanti anni prima ('Ave Maria')

Saint-Saëns:

Prière for cello & piano, Op. 158

Tavener:

Funeral Ikos

arr. Samuel Strouk

Vivaldi:

Stabat Mater, RV621: Stabat mater dolorosa


Christian-Pierre La Marca

Les Ambassadeurs, Alexis Kossenko

The originality of this album’s programme is its focus on famous sacred pieces transcribed for the warm and lyrical voice of the cello, an instrument whose tone is certainly one of the closest to the singing voice. The words of the Magnificat, Requiem, Stabat Mater or Ave Maria - well known in the repertoire of vocal sacred music - fade here to better reveal the development of musical emotion aroused by the melody itself, and the subtlety of the accompaniments (organ, viola, theorbo, voice) in reinforcing and supporting the expressiveness of the singing. Inspired by sacred texts, the melodies by Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi and Pergolesi reveal the strength and intensity of their expression, even without words, and reinforce the idea developed from the late eighteenth century that music, by its power of suggestion and evocation, goes beyond words to express the unspeakable, sometimes with simplicity and depth. From Taverner to Thierry Escaich, and also Allegri, Handel, Franck and Fauré, the recorded repertoire covers a period from the sixteenth to twenty-first century and includes some of the most important names in sacred music.

“a series of beautifully measured performances that exult in the gorgeous melodies of standards like Allegri's 'Miserere Mei Deus'…the most engaging performance here is of Bach's 'Choral Prelude', presented as a beautiful three-hander between cello, organ and theorbo” The Independent, 12th March 2016 ****

Sony - 88875098932

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