In 17th and 18th century New England, transplanted Englishmen like Daniel Read, Abraham Wood, and especially William Billings were composing beautiful but rough-hewn and distinctly American vocal music for use in what were called "singing schools." Far to the west and south, in what was then called New Spain and would later be called Mexico, natives and transplanted Spaniards were composing liturgical music of a richness and complexity that was worthy of the greatest cathedrals of Europe – and teaching their native converts to do the same. This disc showcases the works of two of 18th century Mexico's finest composers: the Mexican-born Manuel de Zumaya and the transplanted European Ignacio de Jerusalem. The latter is represented by a polychoral Mass in D Minor, a responsory, and a gorgeous Dixit Dominus setting written in six sections; from the former listeners have a setting of Jeremiah's lamentations, a breathtakingly complex solfeggio composition titled Sol-fa de Pedro, and the polychoral Celebren, Publiquen.
Composer Charles Koechlin, 1867-1950, one of the underrated geniuses of modern music, has written some of the most challenging, thrilling and interesting music for the modern flute. The dynamic range of his music, from passionate lyricism to explosive, angular motifs has been a great gift to the modern flute, extending its range and expressivness.
Concerts with Maria Schneider are something special. They are stylistically not only out of the ordinary, they also manage to bring large orchestras to perform artistically at high voltage, with an energy and at a creative level which is otherwise known only in much smaller ensembles. It is not the music alone that drives the participants, but rather the serene seriousness of a band leader who demands a maximum of intensity from her compositions and passes this premise on to their interpretation. It is impossible to conceive of compositions for jazz orchestras more stringently. The instrumentalists know this too, and therefore feel called upon not only to reproduce the charts accurately but to work out all the contained hints, implications, and visions of sound down to the deepest levels. This original recording was made in May 2000 when Schneider appeared alongside the SWR Big Band. And for the SWR Big Band, those days in May 2000 are some of the highlights of their orchestral history.
Funerary Music of Carriacou Presented here are the magnificent Big Drum songs from Carriacou, Grenada, a font of African and European musical traditions. This is music for the ancestors, or “Old Parents,” performed at Tombstone Feasts held years after death and burial, when the body is finally entombed and the spirit of the departed may at last rest in peace. Caribbean Voyage Released for the first time, Alan Lomax’s legendary 1962 recordings of the rich and many-stranded musical traditions of the Lesser Antilles and eastern Caribbean: work songs, pass-play and story songs, calypso, East Indian chaupai, and steel band music, reflecting the Central and West African, French, English, Celtic, Spanish and East Indian contributions to Caribbean culture. The Alan Lomax Collection The Alan Lomax Collection gathers together the American, European and Caribbean field recordings, world music compilations, and ballad operas of writer, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax.