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…..
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.
This is a very good collection of Gesualdo's sacred motet style, performed beautifully. Most of these pieces are much more conservative and less chromatic than his madrigals, but they are exquisite and expresive and every bit as competent as the styles of contemporaries such as Gesualdo's alter-ego, Palestrina. Much of this music makes his mental turmoil and fear of damnation over his infamous murders achingly clear, especially the disturbing mode changes and chromaticism on parts of the text that say things like "have mercy on me" and words like "my sorrow and "my tears".