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Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 25, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Berlin's RIAS Kammerchor had plenty of experience with English music, but with this recording of mostly early choral music of Benjamin Britten they take a new step forward. You may suspects you're listening to a non-English group: not from any foreign accent, which is nonexistent, but from the choir's distinctive sound. This is the album's overall strength: in Britten works that refer closely to English traditions, many English choirs tend to adopt a cathedral style or a stereotypically madrigalian one, as the case may be. But Britten's style, although it is steeped in the English past, is not precisely neoclassic, and a more muscular approach, such as the one offered here, works well. The choir's singing is gorgeous, clear in both diction and texture. Another attraction is the comparative rarity of most of the music; the Hymn to St. Cecilia, set to a text by W.H. Auden, gets top billing even though it occupies only a short stretch, because it is the best-known work on the program. Many of the rest are little experiments in encountering the English past. Sample one of the Five Flower Songs, Op.47, of 1950, precise, sharply etched little settings of English poetry that diverge entirely from the rather generic choral language that tends to appear with such texts today. The Choral Dances from the opera Gloriana, Op. 53, are madgrialian, but again these are no exercise in nostalgia. Only the final A.M.D.G. (Ad majorem Dei gloriam), set to texts by Gerard Manley Hopkins, has a more dramatic language, and it makes a fine conclusion. The album is the perfect antidote for those whose ears have been clogged by more recent sentimentalist British choral music, and it makes one want to hear more from Justin Doyle and his German choristers. © TiVo
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released March 17, 2017 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Tigran Mansurian is the dean of living Armenian composers. The ECM label has issued an acclaimed series of albums surveying his work, which previously had been little known among Western audiences, despite Mansurian's long career. This performance of Mansurian's Requiem, completed in 2011, makes a fine place to start with the series. The mass commemorates the victims of the Armenian genocide in Turkey during World War I. Mansurian has stated that his struggles in writing the work related to "the existence of certain differences in the readings of religious texts between the Armenian Church and, say, the Roman Catholic Church." His engagement with those differences broadened into a wider musical struggle to merge the values of traditional Armenian melody with the traditions of Bach and Beethoven. The result is an unusually deep fusion of Eastern and Western traditions. The excellent annotations by Paul Griffiths and Mansurian himself reflect upon this at greater length, but one technique the composer favors is spare textures, juxtaposing Armenian melody with full Western choral textures deployed to express specific ideas in the mass text. Sample the "Hosanna" at the end of the "Sanctus" as it passes into the more Armenian "Agnus Dei" for an idea of the relationships Mansurian explores, and also of the fine, rather mystical work of the RIAS Kammerchor and Kammerorchester under Alexander Liebreich. Would Armenian singers and musicians have found more in the work? Maybe, but the nature of the fusion is such that they really have no claim on it. ECM's engineering work from the Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Dahlem, Berlin, is extraordinary. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 7, 2011 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released March 25, 2016 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released February 19, 2021 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released June 22, 2010 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released February 1, 2015 | Brilliant Classics

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Classical - Released October 31, 2014 | audite Musikproduktion

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Classical - Released May 27, 2013 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released April 26, 2002 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released May 28, 2004 | harmonia mundi

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Ballets - Released February 7, 2012 | CapriccioNR

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Classical - Released April 1, 2013 | Brilliant Classics

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Ballets - Released January 1, 1998 | CapriccioNR

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Classical - Released January 1, 1965 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released August 1, 2010 | CapriccioNR

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Classical - Released June 22, 2015 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 1995 | CapriccioNR

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Classical - Released January 1, 1961 | BnF Collection

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