Albums

Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released December 2, 2016 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released April 2, 2015 | Bayard Musique

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Orphée d'Or de l'Académie du Disque Lyrique - Exceptional sound
$15.49
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 9, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound

Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 4, 2014 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound
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Sacred Oratorios - Released March 4, 2014 | SDG

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound
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Cantatas (sacred) - Released January 28, 2014 | Phi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Cantatas (sacred) - Released April 17, 2012 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 3F de Télérama - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio - Sélectionné par Ecoutez Voir
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Choirs (sacred) - Released May 26, 2011 | Phi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 22, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 3, 2011 | Mirare

Booklets Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound
This Requiem in C Major is Charles Gounod's last work, written in memory of one of his grandsons, who died in 1889. Feeling his strength diminishing, the old composer may also have written it with his own impending death in mind. As he was rehearsing for its first performance, Gounod was taken ill after singing the Benedictus in duet with his daughter. It is a luminous work, full of sweetness and peace, in a serene ambience which is close to that of the Requiem that Fauré had written a few years earlier. On this record, Michel Corboz uses Henri Büsser's adaptation for string quintet, harp and strings, for an intimate and interior feel, while deploying Gounod's melodic flights which were all his own, the fruit of a career writing many religious works. The author of adozen operas, he composed a good thirty masses, six requiems, oratorios, motets and cantatas. The Messe en sol mineur chorale sur l’intonation de la liturgie catholique in G Minor, first performed in 1888, is a substantial work, probably written after a meeting in Angers between Gounod and dom Joseph Pothier, the writer of a learned work dedicated to Gregorian melodies. Constructed on the basis of several liturgical themes, this Mass aims to unite Palestrinian purity with the radiant lyricism of Mozart, who was a second God to Gounod. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 12, 2010 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
The British vocal ensemble Stile Antico was established in 2001 and within its first decade has been acknowledged as one of the very finest early music groups, with multiple Grammy nominations, as well as Gramophone and Diapason d'or Awards. This album, Puer natus est: Tudor Music for Advent and Christmas, received a Diapason d'or Award in October 2010. One thing that sets this group apart from similar ensembles is the fact that it works without a conductor, making aesthetic decisions together and listening very, very closely to each for balance and tempos. It's possible to hear the singers' commitment to each other in their attentiveness to the subtlest nuances in dynamics and pacing. Their approach is ideal for this repertoire, English Renaissance polyphony, which demands intense concentration, absolutely secure intonation, and a carefully balanced blend to make its full impact. The centerpiece of the album is Thomas Tallis' incomplete Christmas mass, Missa Puer natus est, of which only three movements were written. The recording opens with Tallis' Advent motet, Videte miraculum, and includes four of William Byrd's settings of the Propers of the Mass, a Magnificat by Robert White, motets by John Tavener and John Sheppard, as well as the plainchant on which Tallis' mass is based. The mass movements are separated by the propers and motets, as would have been done in a liturgical setting. The gain in performance authenticity is tempered by the loss of continuity of hearing the mass as a complete unit. The flow of the selections is pleasant, but this ordering makes it hard to keep track of the unity of Tallis' work. Stile Antico sings with phenomenally pure tone. The women's voices have the chaste clarity associated with boys' voices, but deployed with a technical assurance and musical sensitivity beyond that of most boys. The sound of the ensemble is ravishing in its warmth and the evenness of its blend. The performances are expressive, but never idiosyncratically so; the singers have no interpretive agenda other than letting the composers' voices be heard as beautifully and authentically as possible. The sound of Harmonia Mundi's hybrid SACD is clear, absolutely clean, and suffused with warmth.

Sacred Vocal Music - Released September 28, 2010 | PentaTone

Booklets Distinctions Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Marek Janowski leads Rundfunkchor and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in a solid performance of Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem on this Pentatone hybrid SACD. He doesn't bring particularly distinctive new insights to the piece, but just about everything is absolutely in place, and that is an achievement in a work with the emotional range and difficulty of this one. The opening is appropriately hushed and the second movement is as frighteningly thunderous as it should be. "Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen" is a highlight, with an urgency that blossoms into an outpouring of ecstatic fervor as it surges toward its celestial climax. Both chorus and orchestra perform at the highest level of professionalism, singing, and playing with discipline, passion, and a warmly enveloping tone. Soprano Camilla Tilling does not have a large voice, but it is focused and intense, and she can soar when the music calls for it. The weak link is baritone Detlef Roth; his singing is insightful but his voice lacks the heroic timbre the music requires, and he has a wobbly top and shaky bottom. The forces are beautifully balanced and the music's extreme dynamic range is well captured. This fine performance may be unlikely to join the ranks of the most sublime recordings of the work, but its virtues make it one that would be a fine introduction to this choral masterpiece.

Sacred Vocal Music - Released September 28, 2010 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 1, 2010 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions Exceptional sound
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Paul Hillier regularly appears as a guest conductor with the Flemish Radio Choir, and this Glossa SACD release preserves one of their most auspicious collaborations, with the assistance of the wind group I Solisti del Vento. Naturally Weill's Berlin Requiem, even with the rejected "Von Tod im Wald" included, doesn't add up to a full CD, so Hillier and the Flemish have developed some well-informed choices for filler; Hindemith's brief chorus Der Tod (1932), Milhaud's Cantate de la guerre (1940), and Cantate de la Paix (1937) and, unusually, Stravinsky's famous Octet for wind instruments (1923), as performed by I Solisti del Vento. The SACD recording is crystal clear, wide open, and very full, though in some brief passages the winds overbalance the chorus. It is a very good Berlin Requiem though, especially when compared to Phillippe Herreweghe's rather bland and faceless 1992 recording for Harmonia Mundi. One wonders, though, if they could have broken with tradition and not included "Von Tod im Wald;" although it is included in the published score for Das Berliner Requiem, Weill turned it out of the work as incompatible and this does seem to be one of the few genuine duds in his worklist. The brief Hindemith chorus is gorgeous and very well done; it's the best thing on this disc. A highly desirable aspect to this disc is the prospect of hearing Stravinsky's Octet for winds in SACD sound; however, I Solisti del Vento's performance is an object lesson in why one doesn't turn to choral albums in order to obtain wind works; this reading lacks snap and Stravinsky's gentle sense of syncopation in the piece, transitions are ragged, and tempo choices often well off the mark. That leaves the Milhaud choruses, both very rarely done. Female singers take the place of the children's chorus in the Cantate de la Paix; otherwise, these are serviceable though not outstanding performances of these pieces. There is some minimal issues with the locus of pitch, which shifts around in some spots, none too surprising given Milhaud's harmonically oblique and wandering approach in these works. Glossa's Kurt Weill Das Berliner Requiem is a little below Hillier's usual standard in terms of transparency and efficiency, but the title work and the Hindemith are good enough that it makes this one worth owning for devotees of European modern music between the wars.
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 6, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Exceptional sound
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released August 24, 2009 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Exceptional sound
$10.49

Cantatas (sacred) - Released January 20, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions 9 de Classica-Répertoire - Exceptional sound

Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released January 5, 2009 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound
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