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Ben Dickson - Samuel Barber : Choral Music

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Samuel Barber : Choral Music

Choir of Ormond College, University of Melbourne - Douglas Lawrence

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Lingua disponibile: inglese

Most of Samuel Barber's best-known work today is orchestral, but he wrote a great deal of choral music over his long career. Hearing a large amount of it in one place helps give depth to the common understanding of Barber as a Romantic melodist who would rather have lived half a century earlier. Various modes of tonal music in the twentieth century are represented here. The ultra-lyrical Barber of the Adagio for strings, Op. 11, is heard in the arrangement of the works as an Agnus Dei for chorus and piano. But there is also a rather official piece of hymnlike ceremonial music (the Chorale for Ascension Day), a nice bit of neo-Classic humor ("The Monk and His Cat," from the Hermit Songs, Op. 29), some operatic music, some choral art songs set to poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson, a Celtic-inspired set of pieces (Reincarnations, Op. 16), and a highly inventive neo-Renaissance work of the 1930s, The Virgin Martyrs, Op. 8/1, in which Barber shows a personality absolutely distinct from that of Stravinsky or Vaughan Williams in similar pieces. The Virgin Martyrs, for female chorus, is both the most interesting and among the most difficult on the disc; the young singers of the Choir of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne in Australia sometimes let you see and hear them sweat, but their spirits never flag. Their earnest sound doesn't reveal deep wells of expression in the texts, but the group evokes the choirs from community and educational organizations for which Barber would have written much of this music. There is nothing distractingly Australian about their diction. The biggest problem here is editorial; no texts are provided. English speakers will miss some of the words, while everyone else will have to search for texts and translations on the Internet. The non-explanatory apology given -- "We regret that we are unable to reprint the sung texts" -- solves nothing. Was this because copyright restrictions interfered? Plenty of other recordings have obtained permissions for similar collections of poetry. Or was it a cost issue? But then why would there be room for two inserts, in color, of advertising for other Naxos materials? The lack of availability of the texts seriously detracts from one's ability to enjoy this recording.
© TiVo

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Samuel Barber : Choral Music

Ben Dickson

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A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, Op. 15 (Samuel Barber)

1
A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, Op. 15
Ormond College Choir
00:05:30

Samuel Barber, Composer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir - Stephen Spender, Lyricist - Ben Dickson, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Under the Willow Tree (Samuel Barber)

2
Under the Willow Tree
Len Vorster
00:03:23

Samuel Barber, Composer - Gian Carlo Menotti, Lyricist - Len Vorster, Performer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir - Grantley McDonald, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Two Pieces, Op. 42 (Samuel Barber)

3
No. 1. Twelfth Night
Douglas Lawrence
00:04:31

Samuel Barber, Composer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir - Louise Bogan, Lyricist - Laurie Lee, Lyricist

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

4
No. 2. To be sung on the Water
Douglas Lawrence
00:02:47

Samuel Barber, Composer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir - Louise Bogan, Lyricist - Laurie Lee, Lyricist

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

The Monk and his Cat (Samuel Barber)

5
The Monk and his Cat
Ormond College Choir
00:02:13

Samuel Barber, Composer - Wystan Hugh Auden, Lyricist - Len Vorster, Performer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Agnus Dei, op. 11 (Samuel Barber)

6
Agnus Dei, Op. 11
Douglas Lawrence
00:05:54

Samuel Barber, Composer - Mass Text, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Reincarnations, Op. 16 (Samuel Barber)

7
I. Mary Hynes
Douglas Lawrence
00:02:45

Samuel Barber, Composer - James Stephens, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

8
II. Anthony O'Daly
Douglas Lawrence
00:03:48

Samuel Barber, Composer - James Stephens, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

9
III. The Coolin
Douglas Lawrence
00:03:12

Samuel Barber, Composer - James Stephens, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Two Choruses, Op. 8 (Samuel Barber)

10
No. 1. The Virgin Martyrs
Douglas Lawrence
00:03:39

Samuel Barber, Composer - Emily Dickinson, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

11
No. 2. Let down the bars, O Death
Douglas Lawrence
00:01:53

Samuel Barber, Composer - Emily Dickinson, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

4 Songs, Op. 13 (Samuel Barber)

12
No. 1. Heaven-haven
Ormond College Choir
00:01:42

Samuel Barber, Composer - Gerard Manley Hopkins, Lyricist - Len Vorster, Performer - James Agee, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

13
No. 3. Sure on this shining night
Ormond College Choir
00:02:03

Samuel Barber, Composer - Gerard Manley Hopkins, Lyricist - Len Vorster, Performer - James Agee, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Chorale for Ascension Day (Easter Chorale) (Samuel Barber)

14
Chorale for Ascension Day (Easter Chorale)
Douglas Lawrence
00:03:02

Samuel Barber, Composer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir - Pack Browning, Lyricist

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Antony and Cleopatra, Op. 40 (Samuel Barber)

15
On the death of Anthony
Len Vorster
00:03:10

Samuel Barber, Composer - Len Vorster, Performer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir - Franco Zeffirelli, Lyricist - Deborah Kayser, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

16
On the death of Cleopatra
Len Vorster
00:02:51

Samuel Barber, Composer - Len Vorster, Performer - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir - Franco Zeffirelli, Lyricist - Deborah Kayser, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

God's Grandeur (Samuel Barber)

17
God’s Grandeur
Douglas Lawrence
00:07:34

Samuel Barber, Composer - Gerard Manley Hopkins, Lyricist - Douglas Lawrence, Conductor - Ormond College Choir, Choir

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Descrizione dell'album

Most of Samuel Barber's best-known work today is orchestral, but he wrote a great deal of choral music over his long career. Hearing a large amount of it in one place helps give depth to the common understanding of Barber as a Romantic melodist who would rather have lived half a century earlier. Various modes of tonal music in the twentieth century are represented here. The ultra-lyrical Barber of the Adagio for strings, Op. 11, is heard in the arrangement of the works as an Agnus Dei for chorus and piano. But there is also a rather official piece of hymnlike ceremonial music (the Chorale for Ascension Day), a nice bit of neo-Classic humor ("The Monk and His Cat," from the Hermit Songs, Op. 29), some operatic music, some choral art songs set to poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson, a Celtic-inspired set of pieces (Reincarnations, Op. 16), and a highly inventive neo-Renaissance work of the 1930s, The Virgin Martyrs, Op. 8/1, in which Barber shows a personality absolutely distinct from that of Stravinsky or Vaughan Williams in similar pieces. The Virgin Martyrs, for female chorus, is both the most interesting and among the most difficult on the disc; the young singers of the Choir of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne in Australia sometimes let you see and hear them sweat, but their spirits never flag. Their earnest sound doesn't reveal deep wells of expression in the texts, but the group evokes the choirs from community and educational organizations for which Barber would have written much of this music. There is nothing distractingly Australian about their diction. The biggest problem here is editorial; no texts are provided. English speakers will miss some of the words, while everyone else will have to search for texts and translations on the Internet. The non-explanatory apology given -- "We regret that we are unable to reprint the sung texts" -- solves nothing. Was this because copyright restrictions interfered? Plenty of other recordings have obtained permissions for similar collections of poetry. Or was it a cost issue? But then why would there be room for two inserts, in color, of advertising for other Naxos materials? The lack of availability of the texts seriously detracts from one's ability to enjoy this recording.
© TiVo

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