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Ensemble Unicorn, Michael Posch - Alexander Agricola - Fortuna Desperata: Secular music of the 15th century (2009)

Posted By: Designol
Ensemble Unicorn, Michael Posch - Alexander Agricola - Fortuna Desperata: Secular music of the 15th century (2009)

Alexander Agricola - Fortuna Desperata: Secular music of the 15th century (2009)
Ensemble Unicorn; Michael Posch, director

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 352 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 175 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Choral, Renaissance | Label: Naxos | # 8.553840 | Time: 01:04:53

Agricola was praised by his contemporaries for the bizarre turn of his inspiration, and his music likened to quicksilver. By the standards of the period this is a highly unusual turn of phrase, but remains spot-on. The Ferrara Ensemble anthology, the first ever devoted to the composer, focused on the secular music, both instrumental and vocal, precisely the area covered by Michael Posch and Ensemble Unicorn in this most satisfying disc. Where there's duplication (surprisingly little, in fact) the performances compare with those of the Ferrara Ensemble, although the style of singing is very different. The voices are more up front and less inflected, perhaps the better to match the high instruments with which they're sometimes doubled. But the tensile quality of Agricola's lines comes through none the less, as does the miraculous inventiveness and charm of his music. Further, much of what's new to the catalogue really is indispensible, for example Agricola's most famous song, Allez, regretz. Unicorn keeps its improvisations and excursions to a minimum, and the music is the better for it. It really is a must-have.

Kiev Chamber Choir, Mykola Hobdych - Valentin Silvestrov: Sacred Songs (2012)

Posted By: Designol
Kiev Chamber Choir, Mykola Hobdych - Valentin Silvestrov: Sacred Songs (2012)

Valentin Silvestrov - Sacred Songs (2012)
Kiev Chamber Choir; Mykola Hobdych, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 256 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 179 Mb | Scans included | 01:15:07
Classical, Contemporary, Choral | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 2279, 476 4990

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.

Ensemble Belcanto, Dietburg Spohr - Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum (2013)

Posted By: Designol
Ensemble Belcanto, Dietburg Spohr - Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum (2013)

Ensemble Belcanto, Dietburg Spohr - Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum (2013)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 283 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 189 Mb | Scans included | 01:18:52
Classical, Medieval, Contemporary, Choral | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 2219, 476 4633

This is the second New Series album to feature the Stuttgart-based Ensemble Belcanto. Where its 2001 predecessor focused on contemporary composition by Wolfgang Rihm and others (Come un'ombra di luna), this disc looks at Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, written around 1150 and generally considered the first large-scale musical work beyond the prescribed form of the Mass liturgy. This is sacred music reflecting Medieval thought, as music and morality play are intertwined. In her creative interpretation, Belcanto leader Dietburg Spohr waives claims to 'objective' historical literalness. Instead, she and her fellow singers encounter the work as if it were written specifically for the Ensemble Belcanto: "We sought to free Hildegard from mystical-esoteric associations and to emphasize the work of an emancipated woman and composer." They have been performing the music of Hildegard von Bingen since the early 1990s, and view her compositions as a joyously experimental bridge between the Middle Ages and contemporary music.

Montserrat Figueras, La Capella Reial De Catalunya, Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall - Metamorphoses Fidei (2006)

Posted By: Designol
Montserrat Figueras, La Capella Reial De Catalunya, Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall - Metamorphoses Fidei (2006)

Metamorphoses Fidei (Metamorfosis De La Fe - Métamorphoses De La Foi) (2006)
Jordi Savall, Montserrat Figueras, La Capella Reial De Catalunya, Hespèrion XXI

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 322 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 177 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Renaissance, Vocal, Choral | Label: Alia Vox | # AV 9849 | 01:12:14

This disc of Iberian and Latin American Renaissance music is a reissue cleverly disguised as a new release. It compiles music from several recordings by Catalonian visionary Jordi Savall, his luminous-voiced collaborator Montserrat Figueras, and his Hesperion XXI and Capella Reial de Catalunya ensembles, dressing them up with a new set of rather philosophical booklet notes on themes of change, of intercultural tolerance, and of the evolving nature of Christianity in the Iberian realm and in New Spain. Some might call this a cynical ploy, but actually Savall has always been moving in a circle, so to speak, spiraling inward toward a deeper musical understanding of the historical themes touched on here: the lingering effects of the legacy of medieval Iberia and its "mestissage" or mixture of cultures, the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles (Carlos) V (did you know that he was both the first monarch to be called "His Majesty" and the first to be honored with the claim that the "sun never set" on his empire?), and the relationships between cultivated and popular styles, both in Iberia and the New World.

Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Bernat Vivancos: Requiem (2015) 2CDs

Posted By: Designol
Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Bernat Vivancos: Requiem (2015) 2CDs

Bernat Vivancos - Requiem (2015) 2CDs
Latvian Radio Choir; Sigvards Kļava, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 365 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 228 Mb | Artwork included
Classical, Choral | Label: Neu Records | # NEU 010 | Time: 01:37:54

Catalan composer Bernat Vivancos's 'Blanc', released by Neu Records in 2013, was an acclaimed double album of premiere recordings by the Latvian Radio Choir, one of the world's finest chamber choirs, conducted by Sigvards Klava. This follow-up reunites the composer with these forces in a performance of his profound Requiem. The renowned musician Jordi Savall first encountered - and was greatly moved by - Vivancos's music through 'Blanc'. He says: "The innovative richness of the works by Bernat Vivancos are, I believe, the clearest and most striking proof of the vitality of a new musical Renaissance. His extraordinary talent and his profound spirituality are placed at the service of a process that is the invention of a new language which, in spite of its complexity and modernity, is capable of transmitting to us pure beauty and emotion." Vivancos composed his Requiem - scored for mixed choir, soloists, cello soloist (here Pau Codina), cello quartet, accordion and percussion - in memory of his father.

Claudio Abbado - Berlioz: Te Deum (1983)

Posted By: tirexiss
Claudio Abbado - Berlioz: Te Deum (1983)

Claudio Abbado - Berlioz: Te Deum (1983)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 46:38 | 233 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | Catalog: 4106962

Claudio Abbado’s 1981 performance of Berlioz’s Te Deum for three choruses and pipe organ easily outranks the handful of widely-available recordings of the work. Abbado’s closest competitor is 1969’s Sir Colin Davis with similar London forces on Philips, but Davis’ tenor soloist does not have the solid heroic quality of Mexican tenor Francisco Araiza, and Davis’ choirs are a little more recessed (although Abbado’s is not miked particularly close either), in particular the almost lost sound of Davis’ boys choirs which cut through forcefully in Abbado. In addition, Abbado moves purposefully forward through Berlioz’s treacherous choral/orchestral writing, whereas Davis takes his time, perhaps allowing more time for climactic build-up; however, I find Berlioz’s talent with choral writing was not his particular forte as it is not particularly melodic or thoughtful for singers, so I appreciate Abbado’s fluid, forward momentum.

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers - Poetry in Music (2015) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
The Sixteen, Harry Christophers - Poetry in Music (2015) [Re-Up]

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers - Poetry in Music (2015)
William Harris, Michael Tippett, Thomas Weelkes, James MacMillan, Ivor Gurney, Robert Ramsey
Benjamin Britten, Edmund Rubbra, Michael East, Herbert Howells, Robert Pearsall, Thomas Tomkins

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 297 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 177 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Choral | Label: CORO | # COR16134 | Time: 01:10:50

Does music add substance to words or is music inspired by them? Songs of departure and farewell are deeply rooted in the great tradition of British choral music, nourished by ancient myths of testing journeys, wayside transformations and homecomings. The transcendent nature of music and the power of poetry to challenge and alter perceptions of reality – harnessed by English composers over many centuries – flow through a programme that invites contemplation of life and death, of love and loss, creation and eternity. In a journey covering six centuries of musical history, The Sixteen performs a cappella anthems with powerful texts by writers as varied as Edmund Spenser, Christopher Fry and W.H. Auden.

Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing - Sacred Choral Works (2015)

Posted By: Designol
Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing - Sacred Choral Works (2015)

Valentin Silvestrov - To Thee We Sing: Sacred Choral Works (2015)
Latvian Radio Choir, conducted by Sigvards Klava

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 200 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 151 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Sacred, Choral | Label: Ondine | # ODE1266-5 | Time: 00:59:59

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov (b.1937) is an important contemporary voice in vocal music. In this new release, Silvestrov’s hauntingly beautiful vocal works are performed by the Latvian Radio Choir under their director Sigvards Kļava. During his artistic career, Silvestrov has explored a number of musical styles and techniques, such as avant-guard, post-modernism, neo-classicism, dodecaphony, aleatoric writing and pointillism. The fall of the Soviet Union, however, allowed Silvestrov to eventually compose spiritual works, inspired and influenced by his love of the Russian Orthodox Church music which Silvestrov imbues with his own unique sound and bursts of surprising harmonic moves. Silvestrov’s compositions are invested with the composer’s own unique personality, musical sensibility and sense of beauty.

The Choir of the Dormition Church of the Novodevichy Convent - Russian Orthodox Chants (1989)

Posted By: Designol
The Choir of the Dormition Church of the Novodevichy Convent - Russian Orthodox Chants (1989)

Russian Orthodox Chants (1989)
The Choir of the Dormition Church of the Novodevichy Convent
under the direction of Hegumen Petr Polyakov

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 347 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 195 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Sacral, Choral, Ethnic | Label: Auvidis | # D 8301 | Time: 01:14:52

The Russian Orthodox Novodevichy Convent, dedicated to the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, was founded in 1524. According to UNESCO, Novodevichy is the best known convent in Moscow, and in 2004 was proclaimed to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 1989 recording features the choir of the Dormition Church of the Novodevichy Convent under the direction of Hegumen Petr Polyakov. The album is dedicated to the great jubilee of the Millennium of Baptism of Russia, which celebrated a thousand years of Christianity in Russia.

Gregorian - Albums Collection 1991-2011 (15CD+2DVD) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Gregorian - Albums Collection 1991-2011 (15CD+2DVD) [Re-Up]

Gregorian - Albums Collection 1991-2011 (15CD+2DVD)
EAC | FLAC (Cue&Log) ~ 6.51 Gb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 2.36 Gb | Time: 17:33:51 | Scans ~ 3.32 Gb
2 x DVD9 | PAL | 720x576 (16:9) | DTS/Dolby/LPCM | 02:56:22 | 12.6 Gb
New Age, Ambient Pop, Mystic Pop, Choral, Classical Crossover, Tribute

Collection includes 15 releases. Gregorian is a German band headed by Frank Peterson that performs gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. The band features both vocal harmony and instrumental accompaniment.

Gallicantus, Gabriel Crouch - Robert White: Hymns, Psalms & Lamentations (2009)

Posted By: Designol
Gallicantus, Gabriel Crouch - Robert White: Hymns, Psalms & Lamentations (2009)

Gallicantus, Gabriel Crouch - Robert White: Hymns, Psalms & Lamentations (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 309 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 170 Mb | Artwork included
Label: Signum Classics | # SIGCD134 | Time: 01:13:17
Classical, Choral, Sacred, Renaissance

White’s Lamentations are not as famous as Tallis’s, but their plangent harmonies and clashing lines have an equal intensity. This impressive debut disc by Gallicantus (an all-male group from the Tenebrae choir) includes White’s motets and hymns, emphasising his response to the texts and his eloquent way with the single Hebrew letters that begin each Lamentation. The vocal balance is slightly bass-heavy, but the sound is beautifully recorded.

Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 4 (1997)

Posted By: tirexiss
Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 4 (1997)

Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 4 (1997)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 58:19 | 256 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: CPO | Catalog: 999400

This disc, Vol. 4 four of Singphoniker's five-volume collection of the complete part-songs for male voices, may be the weakest in the series. All the others have one or more indisputable masterpieces on them. Even Vol. 1, with its half-dozen drinking songs, and Vol. 2, with its half-dozen composition exercises, still have a few masterpieces. But while Vol. 4 has no composition exercises and few drinking songs, it has the lowest number of masterpieces and the highest number of nearly unknown Schubert songs. But there are still Schubert songs and so great a composer of songs was Schubert that even his least-known songs are often still wonderful.

Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 2 (1996)

Posted By: tirexiss
Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 2 (1996)

Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 2 (1996)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 51:11 | 229 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: CPO | Catalog: 999398

When an ensemble seeks to record a complete body of work, there will inevitably be some works of lesser quality among the masterpieces. In the second volume of the Singphoniker's collection of Schubert's complete part-songs for male voices, there are the masterpieces the sublime early version of Gesang der Geister über den Wasser (D. 538) and the transcendent choral version of Sehnsucht (D. 656) and then there are the composition exercises that Schubert wrote for Salieri when he was in his early teens.

Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 3 (1997)

Posted By: tirexiss
Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 3 (1997)

Die Singphoniker - Schubert: Complete Part Songs for Male Voices, Vol. 3 (1997)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 58:14 | 264 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: CPO | Catalog: 1102

Although some of the other volumes in the Singphoniker's collection of Schubert's complete part-songs for male voices have greater masterpieces – Vol. 1's Nachthelle (D. 892) and Vol. 5's Gesang der Geister über den Wasser (D. 714) – Vol. 3 has the highest number of good songs and the lowest number of composition exercises, which may make it the most easily appealing volume. Starting with the glorious Wein und Liebe (D. 901) and ending with the exquisite Grab und Mond (D. 893), there are hardly any songs in this collection that are not first-rate Schubert.

Stile Antico - A Wondrous Mystery: Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas (2015)

Posted By: Designol
Stile Antico - A Wondrous Mystery: Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas (2015)

Stile Antico - A Wondrous Mystery: Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 292 Mb | Artwork included | Time: 01:12:55
Classical, Choral, Sacred | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMU807575

Stile Antico's 2015 release on Harmonia Mundi, A Wondrous Mystery, is a sublime collection of Renaissance choral music for Christmas, presented in a pleasant mix of familiar German carols and a mass, with tracks interspersed for the sake of variety. This makes sense in consideration of the group's broad audience, which may know such popular hymns as Michael Praetorius' Ein Kind geborn in Bethlehem and Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, or Johannes Eccard's Übers Gebirg Maria geht and Vom Himmel hoch, yet be somewhat at a loss with the motet and Missa Pastores quidnam vidistis by Jacobus Clemens non Papa, a composer beloved by early music specialists but not exactly a household name for lay listeners. However, the a cappella performances are consistently beautiful and soothing throughout, and the quietly joyous mood of the music fits the album's title perfectly. The 12-voice choir's blend is well-balanced and transparent, and the ambience of All Hallow's Church, Gospel Oak, London gives an ideal resonance for the group's small size and close miking.