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.
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…..
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.
Church musicians, especially of the Anglican/Episcopal persuasion, should be happy that there's at least one person out there writing first-rate, functional, and very accessible (in the best sense) anthems and service music–music that dedicated, competent choirs and organists can perform to a high standard. Some listeners may recognize Grayston Ives (nom de plume of Bill Ives) for his years (in the 1980s) with the King's Singers where he both sang and contributed as an arranger.
Czech composer Jaroslav Krcek is not only a composer and instrumentalist, but also a conductor and a great connoisseur of folk music, especially vocal genres. This new recording featuring vocal and instrumental works by the middle-generation composer features a composition of The Lord’s Prayer from the Aramaic as well as other spiritual works. Jaroslav Krcek, born in 1939, studied composition with Miloslav Kabelac and conducting with Bohumir Liska at the Prague Conservatory of Music. After he graduated in 1962, he became a music editor for the recording company Suraphon, and also worked for Pizen Radio and Prague Radio. For more than two decades he has conducted the renowned ensemble Musica Bohemia, which has delighted many audiences at European music festivals. Musica Bohemia is heard on this release, as well.
Parrott's decision to perform this selection of Vivaldi's sacred music with sopranos and altos shows how the all-female forces of La Pietà might have coped with tenor and bass lines. Delectable performances in superior sound.— BBC Music Magazine