This CD contains the first recording of the complete Chorale Variations by Daniel Magnus Gronau, a master from 17th century Danzig, “the finest musical soul ever to have graced the city of Danzig” as his pupils said after his death. He wrote a treatise on transposition, and the Chorale Variations form one of the most extensive compendiums of organ registrations of late Baroque organ music in Germany. Organist Matteo Venturini is a winner of no less than 8 prestigious organ competitions, and wrote a thesis on the organ music of Gronau. He plays on a magnificent Ghilardi Organ in the Church of San Rocco, Larciano. Booklet includes liner note and artist biography in Italian and English. All organ specifications are also included.
Sergey Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil, also known as the Vespers, is among his most admired works, and it was one of the composer's own favorites, along with The Bells. This 2015 Chandos release by Charles Bruffy and the combined voices of the Phoenix Chorale and the Kansas City Chorale presents the music in the super audio format, so the richness of the divisi choral parts and the depth of the basso profundo come across fully in the multichannel reproduction. Bruffy is the musical director of both groups, so his special rapport with them creates an even ensemble blend that balances the largely homophonic textures, and brings a consistency of approach to the three styles of chant Rachmaninov imitated, Kievan, Greek, and Znamenny. The beauty of the a cappella voices and the surprisingly lush harmonies make this setting immediately appealing and ultimately moving, and listeners who enjoy sacred choral music for inspiration or meditation will find the All-Night Vigil's smooth flow and expressive warmth well-suited to those purposes.
The Grammy-Award-winning conductor Charles Bruffy brings together his two professional choirs, the Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale, for this recording of Serge Rachmaninoff’s All-night Vigil. The scheduled release date marks the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of the work, which was given by the Moscow Synodal Choir on 10 March 1915.
Thoroughly trained by his father Johann Sebastian, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach became renowned as a virtuoso harpsichordist and organist. His surviving organ music includes the seven choral preludes and ten fugues on this disc, which range from relatively simple settings to elaborate displays of counterpoint. Born in Rio de Janeiro and based in the USA, Julia Brown, who has made several acclaimed recordings of keyboard music by Buxtehude and Scheidemann for Naxos, has been praised as ‘a first-class artist and superb technician … an exceptionally sensitive stylist’.
The C minor Passacaglia and Fugue is one of the great masterpieces for the instrument and one which inspired countless responses from composers great and lesser. So it's all the more astonishing to think that Bach wrote it while still a twenty‐something hireling in Weimar, where his Kapell meistership to the Duke ended badly with the composer being clapped in irons for touting his availability for other jobs, frustrated as his ambition was by the restrictions of the position.
Recorded in 1966, Robert Shaw's Grammy Award-winning performance of Handel's Messiah marks an important turning-point in this work's interpretation, clearly moving away from the ponderous, overly reverential style of early twentieth century renditions and pointing toward the leaner versions of the 1970s onwards, which follow Baroque-period practices. (…) Evenly divided between two discs, this recording of Messiah is complete, and it is preferred over RCA's 1992 excerpt album The Great Choruses from Messiah.
This disc offers a collection of beautiful sacred and secular music by contemporary Norwegian/American composer, Ola Gjeilo. The inspiration behind much of this lies in nature’s beauty, wonderment and one’s yearning for the spiritual realms. It is refreshing to see a young composer focus on such depth with such sincerity and a direct, communicative language.