Albums

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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 8 juni 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 25 mei 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
In the 17th century, Roman churches were competing to put on the greatest show to celebrate their patron saints. On these occasions, extraordinary services were performed, where many different artists would be brought together, singers and instrumentalists alike, alongside ordinary musicians, for sumptuous pieces performed by several vocal and instrumental choirs. One contemporary description gives an idea of the scale: ten choirs and ensembles played together, two on fixed stages, and eight others distributed symmetrically right along the nave, on platforms built for the occasion. Every additional stage was provided with a positive organ, while many other instruments added to the sonic splendour. So that all the musicians could play well together in spite of the distance, "capi di coro” or time-keeping drummers, would play in unison. Orazio Benevolo (1605-1672) was one of the most remarkable architects of these extravagant, multi-choral monuments. Benevolo was a choirboy at the Church of St. Louis of the French in Rome before he entered the upper echelons by taking the job of Chapel Master in 1638. The composer has left behind him an abundant set of works, containing no fewer than 34 motets for a range of players, including Regna terrae, written for twelve soprano parts distributed across six vocal choirs, each with its own basso continuo. We are also indebted to him for twelve versions of the Magnificat, for between eight and 24 voices, including one for 16 voices, in quadruple choir, which appears here. Hervé Niquet and his Concert Spirituel have made use of the ample acoustics in the Notre-Dame-du-Liban church in Paris, perfectly structured to hold several choirs distributed across the building, to create the sensations of immersion and spatial plenitude that the composer aimed for. © SM/Qobuz
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 11 mei 2018 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Fascinated by the Marian cult, whose contradictions he loves to highlight, Paul McCreesh offers here a purely choral programme, leaving behind the charms of orchestral instrumentation. Both virgin and mother, a symbol of both chastity and fertility, the figure of Mary also holds a strong erotic potential, which has not escaped Paul McCreesh, who designed this album by choosing English composers from the Renaissance to the present day, without any real disparity in style becoming apparent, proving the strength and continuity of British choral music. The great English movement of the rediscovery of polyphony in the 20th and 21st centuries doesn't stop at exploring the music of the Renaissance, but also rediscovering, and employing in new compositions, the beautiful medieval words set to music, which have been passed unamended down the centuries. Returning to the sources of Western music, Paul McCreesh asks whether the sudden popularity of religious music comes from a subliminal desire to recreate a world in which almost everyone believed in God. Fighting against a certain ethereal and angelic approach to religious choral music, McCreesh compares high polyphony to the architecture of a vast cathedral, trying to bring out its visceral side, on certain pieces at least. Listeners will note that this album contains the world's first recording of a new work commissioned by Paul McCreesh and the Gabriel Consort, written by the young British composer Matthew Martin. A Rose Magnificat (which also gives the whole album its name) was written for double choir and contains interjections from a medieval text. The composer wrote the piece in a "Stravinskian" manner, as he put it, while searching out Eastern and Byzantine flavours. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Religieuze cantates - Verschenen op 16 februari 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diapason d'or / Arte
The cantata Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe (Jesus gathered the twelve to Himself) BWV 22, holds a historic place in Bach’s work. Indeed he composed it while still in Köthen, as an audition piece for the position of Thomaskantor in Leipzig, and then conducted it on February 7th, 1723, maybe even singing the bass part himself. Famously the city council, unable to convince its preferred composers – Telemann, Graupner and two others –, decided to settle with “mediocre” Bach… The gospel of the day first announces his death and his resurrection by Christ and his disciplines. A modest orchestra: voices, strings, one oboe and continuo, but the musical content is – like in almost all of Bach’s cantatas – amongst the best he’s ever written. For the same celebration, Bach composed a new cantata the following year, Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott (Lord Jesus Christ, true Man and God) BWV 127. But it has almost nothing in common with the previous piece: here Bach offers a very impressive reflection on physical death. Throughout his cantatas he called for a blessed death to free himself from the vicissitudes of life on Earth, but this now reveals how much he may have feared physical death itself. The aria ”Die Seele ruht” is one of these sublime moments suspended in time, an ineffable tintinnabulum, in which the soprano and the oboe dialogue on a harrowing theme while the flutes and string pizzicatos symbolise the passing of time with incredible beauty. Finally it’s with Die Elenden sollen essen (The miserable shall eat) BWV 75 that Bach started off his work in Leipzig, in St. Nicholas Church this time, as the cantatas were alternately performed in both churches. Probably because he wanted to start with a bang, he designed this cantata on a huge scale: fourteen numbers, divided in two parts. Of course Bach would have never been able to produce such vast and powerful partitions on a weekly basis, but there is a real substance to this Passion… and it’s with great passion that Philippe Pierlot, his Ricercar Consort and the soloists perform these masterpieces. © SM/Qobuz
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 13 oktober 2017 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
So much can be said about this new recording featuring among others − but as the pièce de résistance − Bach’s Magnificat, performed by John Eliot Gardiner, that we simply don’t know where to start! In 1983 – already 35 years ago! – Gardiner gave his first vision of Magnificat BWV 234 in D major; here the version in question is the BWV 234a in E flat major, the original and initial version, the – extended – one Bach wrote as soon as 1723 while the BWV 234 version (more often played nowadays) only arose from adjustments made ten years later. Of course one can debate on the advantages of one over the other but for this recording, Gardiner put emphasis on the brilliance, vibrancy and stunning virtuosity imposed by the E-flat major tone and vigorous tempi, in other words: undeniably modern! Magnificat is preceded by the Mass in F major, one of Bach’s four Lutheran masses, proper gems that are too rarely performed. It’s worth noting that most movements are recycled from previous cantatas, but with thorough rewrites of course! You’ll also find one of Gardiner’s favourite cantatas, Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt (Sweet comfort, my Jesus comes), BWV 151, composed for the Christmas period. With his English Baroque Soloists, his Monteverdi Choir and a broad group of soloists (the alto parts are given to a male voice, it’s worth mentioning in case… it’s not your cup of tea), Gardiner is once again standing on top of a great success.
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 21 juli 2017 | Genuin

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 24 maart 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 2 december 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 2 september 2016 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 19 augustus 2016 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 3 juni 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
In July 2015, just eight months before his death, Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducted spiritual opus of Beethoven, the enigmatic and titanic Missa Solemnis, for a final time. It was a work that he addressed very late in his career, with 1988 being the first time. At the head of his Concentus Musicus and the Arnold Schönberg Choir, he produces an uncluttered reading, stripped of all excess weight that has restricted so many conductors in the past, including the most famous. It’s almost like attending a huge Mass! Both the Piano and silence are key, allowing the monument to emerge in all its grandeur from the calm. Suddenly the lines become clear and intelligible, the "lengths" acquire their entire purpose... what we see from the old lion Harnoncourt here is most extraordinary, with his ability to allow the listener to peer into the soul of Beethoven. If there is only one record to keep... © SM / Qobuz
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 20 mei 2016 | Signum Records

Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 13 mei 2016 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 29 april 2016 | Glossa

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 25 maart 2016 | Accent

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 18 maart 2016 | Musique en Wallonie

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 1 januari 2016 | CPO

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 6 november 2014 | Lauda

Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 3 november 2014 | Coro

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 3 maart 2014 | Coro

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio