New Choral Releases

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

(Patrick Gensel/flickr)

This week's Choral Mix features a sampler of new recordings. Out of dozens of worthy new releases, we've plucked out the ones which really demonstrate the vibrancy of the choral music world.

We start the show with Schubert’s lyrically beautiful setting of Psalm 23, scored for upper voices and organ. This new recording is from the Cambridge Singers led by John Rutter.

Also highlighted is a remarkable collaboration between Paul Hillier and the Danish contemporary composer, Bent Sørensen. The work is a contemporary reorganization of a requiem by Renaissance composer Johannes Ockeghem. It's got contemporary fragments of the requiem contributed by Sørensen, as well as insertions of texts that were not a part of the service in Ockeghem’s time. Sørensen aimed to create a totality out of his and Ockeghem’s requiem. It’s an ingenious combination. We hear Ockeghem’s Kyrie and Sørensen’s Sequentia on a new recording by Ars Nova Copenhagen.

You'll hear an unfamiliar work by Cyrillus Kreek who is credited with laying the foundation for professional music in his native Estonia (a nation full of choral music lovers). Folk music heavily inspired Kreek who lived and worked in the first half of the 20th century. We play his set of Five Sacred Folk Songs. This is from a new recording on the Ondine Label with Daniel Reuss leading the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.

Other new releases include a recording by the Boston-based ensemble Blue Heron led by Scott Metcalfe. We play a setting of the Salve Regina by Richard Pygott, a neglected composer with few surviving works.

Lastly, we conclude with a new recording of an old masterwork -- the Gloria from Mozart’s Coronation Mass performed by the Oratorio Society of New York. 


This is the Day

The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter

Schubert - Psalm 23


Fragments of Requiem

Ars Nova Copenhagen, Paul Hillier

Ockeghem/Sorensen - Kyrie and Sequentia a,b,c


Mendelssohn / Kreek Psalms

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber, Daniel Reuss

Kreek - Sacred Folk Songs


Nicholas Ludford: Missa Regnum mundi (Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol. 2)

Blue Heron Choir, Scott Metcalfe

Pygott - Salve regina


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mass No. 15 in C Major, K.317 "Coronation Mass"

Anton Bruckner: Three a capella Motets

Oratorio Society of New York, Kent Tritle

Mozart - Gloria from the "Coronation Mass"

Comments [3]

Gary Ekman from Manhattan NYC

"...Richard Pygott, a neglected composer with few surviving works..."

That mounrnful phrase makes me wonder if he was a cousin of P.D.Q. Bach.

Who is that Oratorio Society of New York? They are fantastic! (Disclosure: the writer is a member of the Oratorio Society of New York.)

Seriously, some beautiful music here.

May. 25 2012 07:05 AM
Carole from Brooklyn, NY

Dar Kent,

I absolutely love you and I adore your "Choral Mix" program. I just wish it were longer & more frequent, & on a station whose reception I could always count on (which is definitely not the case for me, most unfortunately!).

I heard the most marvelous concert yesterday afternoon by the women's group, ANGELICA, and as usual they blew me away with their beauty and versatility. It occurred to me that they would be excellent candidates to be featured on one of your Sunday programs - & for the full hour, as you did with Anonymous 4. Their sound is gorgeous, and they pull off some amazing musical wonders. It would be a boon and a joy for the listening community to be able to be introduced to ANGELICA via your very special program.

I would appreciate your acknowledging my suggestion directly and personally with a substantive response. (I tried to email you one-on-one via the"email" icon, but it did not work, so I am resorting to this more public way to communicate with you.) I do not intend this email to be listed for all to see, but rather remain just between you and me. I hope you will afford me the time and courtesy of a direct, personal response.

I wish you continuing well-deserved successes on all fronts, and look forward to hearing back from you - hopefully soon.

Sincerely, CAROLE POZNER -

May. 21 2012 03:31 PM
david dunkle from OKC, OK

Surely Schubert would have composed this piece in German. Good performance, but why not in the original language? Would the German title be "Der Herr is mein Hirte", or some such?
Nice piece.

Speaking of Schubert, one of my favorites is his voluptuous setting of Gesang der Geister über den Wassern, for 8 part male chorus and violas and celli. Gorgeous piece, even by Schubert standard.

May. 20 2012 09:29 PM

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