Though as central to his compositional career as his piano works, Grieg's choral works are rarely heard outside his native land and even more rarely recorded. This splendid 2007 BIS disc with Grete Pedersen leading the Norske Solistkor (the Norwegian Soloists' Choir) adds 13 a cappella pieces to the international Grieg catalog. Some are intimately emotional secular works like "Margaret's Cradle Song," while others are grander scared works like the setting of "Ave, Maris Stella." Some like "As I Lay Down So Late" were originally composed for the medium, while others were adapted for the medium either by the composer from one of his songs as in "Last Spring" or by the conductor from one of his piano pieces as in "Once Upon a Time" from the Opus 71 set of Lyric Pieces.
Peter Philips was, after William Byrd, the most published English composer of the Elizabethan-Jacobean Age. He was also, in his day, the best-known English composer on the European mainland but his absence from his homeland after the age of about twenty-one means that he remains relatively neglected at home. Born in 1560 or 1561, he trained as a choirboy at St Paul’s Cathedral in London and may have studied keyboard playing with Byrd. In 1582 he fled England to avoid persecution as a Roman Catholic, making his way to Rome. In 1585 he joined the entourage of another Roman Catholic refugee, Sir Thomas Paget, travelling with him through Northern Europe for the next five years, eventually settling in Antwerp in 1591. In 1593 he was accused of plotting against Elizabeth I and arrested, but was eventually exonerated. He joined the court chapel of Archduke Albert, Viceroy of The Netherlands, as organist in 1597 and remained there until his death in 1628.
This CD presents a cross section of a cappella choral works by Cannes Classical-awarded composer Pēteris Vasks (b. 1946), performed by the acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir under the direction of Sigvards Kļava. Following on from their successful recording of liturgical Vasks compositions (“Beautifully performed, a rare outing for Vask’s choral music” – Gramophone ‘recommends’), the Latvian Radio Choir once again draws on the Baltic countries’ extraordinary choir music tradition, focusing here on secular repertoire.
Harutyun Topikyan Born in 1951. Yerevan… Yerevan Chamber Choir was born of Faith and Love. …
Barsegh Kanachian (1885-1967) is one of the outstanding representatives of musical culture of Armenian diaspora. While living in Turkey, Cyprus and Lebanon Kanachian was very prolific as a composer, choirmaster, pedagogue, musical public figure. Decisive role in B.Kanachian's musical destiny had his meeting in Istanbul in 1910 with the classicist of Armenian music Komitas. He sang in Komitas' «GUSAN» choir, took choirmaster lessons from him and became one of his «five students». Many years later, in 1936 he founded permanently functioning choir in Beirut, naming it in name of Komitas' choir- «GUSAN». For this choir, actually, he arranged many folksongs, mostly Armenian, but also some Arabic, and with this choir he had many brilliant performances…..
The Book of Genesis tells us that in the beginning was the Word and that the Word was sound. But what if it was music? What if God, in contemplating the creation of Creation, sang being into being? If so, it might have sounded something like the Sacred Songs of Valentin Silvestrov. In this seventh ECM album devoted to the Ukrainian composer’s music, we thusly encounter a sense of space unique to the Russian liturgy: the more the voices unify in movement, the more they lift from one another like temporary tattoos, leaving behind mirror images that wash away with baptism into infinite oneness with the Holy Spirit. Sin as sun. Firmament as fundament.
Belshazzar (HWV 61) is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. The libretto was by Charles Jennens, and Handel abridged it considerably. Jennens' libretto was based on the Biblical account of the fall of Babylon at the hands of Cyrus the Great and the subsequent freeing of the Jewish nation, as found in the Book of Daniel.
Handel composed Belshazzar in the late Summer of 1744 concurrently with Hercules, during a time that Winton Dean calls "the peak of Handel's creative life".The work premiered the following Lenten season on 27 March 1745 at the King's Theatre, London.The work fell into neglect after Handel's death, with revivals of the work occurring in the United Kingdom in 1847, 1848 and 1873.With the revival of interest in Baroque music and historically informed musical performance since the 1960s, Belsahzzar receives performances in concert form today and is also sometimes fully staged as an opera.
The Augsburger Domsingknaben, or boy singers of Augsburg Cathedral, have a claim to be the perfect group to interpret the music of the south German composer Hans Leo Hassler, a student of Andrea Gabrieli whose music straddles the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The young choristers come from the same area where the music originated, and, like some of the English cathedral choirs, they have a history going back to the middle of the last millennium (although not quite so continuous).