Their fourth LP, entitled Agnus Dei, is fast, furious, and fucking hostile. The Italian four-piece comes charging straight out the gate like the hounds of hell are after them, and head straight for Golgotha. Their black metal influences set them apart from the majority of their labelmates, drawing a nifty little line between the past and present of Anderson's roster and repping hard for Team Satan while they're at it. Antireligious sentiment is no foreign concept to either black metal, death metal, grind, or crust punk, and it's satisfying to see that a band as invested in perfecting and perverting all four sounds is just as serious about doing the Devil's work.
The works included on this disc traverse an almost 25 year span of interest in writing for large vocal forces. Some of my largest works have been for choir—such as my St. Luke Magnificat or my Shoah Requiem—but on this disc the works, apart from my Missa Brevis, are for a cappella choir. Writing for a cappella choir is a very inspiring medium coupled, as it is, with text and language and the inherent timbral interest of varied vowel and percussive consonant sounds in the voice. The works, apart from Silence from my Two Looks at Silence, are all in Latin and owe more than a little to my background as a Catholic and Catholocism's traditional sacred liturgical literature. —Douglas Knehans.
The Pavarotti and Friends Collection celebrates the internationally renowned charity concert series that brought together the world's greatest pop performers with the greatest international classical star, Luciano Pavarotti.
Frieder Bernius and his Stuttgart forces weigh in with one of the finer Mozart Requiems in a very crowded field–and to ensure this performance’s relative exclusivity, it’s one of only a handful of recordings that use the edition by Franz Beyer, an intelligent and persuasive 1971 effort to correct “obvious textural errors” and some decidedly un-Mozartian features in the orchestration attributable to Franz Süssmayr, Mozart’s pupil/assistant who completed the work after the master’s death. This live concert performance from 1999 offers well-set tempos (including a vigorous Kyrie fugue), infectious rhythmic energy from both chorus and orchestra, robust, precise, musically compelling choral singing, a first rate quartet of soloists–and, especially considering its concert-performance setting, impressively detailed and vibrant sonics. The CD also features informative notes by Beyer himself.
This is an enterprising programme of late-renaissance music selected from the choirbooks of the Hardenrath (otherwise known as Salvator) Chapel in Cologne. Three Flemish polyphonic masters are represented: Lassus, Philippe de Monte and Jean de Castro, the latter a composer I had not known until now.
Jordi Savall has brought us yet another treasure on his own Alia Vox label, this time a mixed bag of music by Reformation Era composers and a handful of slightly earlier works. It’s all taken from a concert program Savall gave last year under the aegis of “greatest hits of the court of Charles V”. The composers presented are mostly court musicians for that Holy Roman Emperor, but Josquin and Heinrich Isaac also are included, the latter as a nod to Charles’ grandfather, Maximilian I, who was responsible for getting Charles the crown. Savall combines his first-rate instrumental ensemble, updated to Hespèrion XXI, with his own vocal group, La Capella Reial de Catalunya. The results are captivating. Savall’s musicians are tops in the field, and their collective talents, constantly on display in this varied program, are simply a joy to hear.
Lesiëm is a German musical project created in 1999 by the producers Sven Meisel and Alex Wende. The project’s music combines elements of rock, pop, electronica, new age, enigmatic and ambient music, as well as Gregorian chant and other choral music. It is frequently compared to French project Era, German musical project Enigma and the Norwegian artist Amethystium…