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Classical - Released April 5, 2019 | Carus

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released June 24, 2016 | Delphian

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released October 3, 2011 | Delphian

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
In the Beginning is the debut album of the Choir of Merton College, Oxford, founded and directed by Peter Phillips and Benjamin Nicholas. The eight works are related to three themes: there are three Nunc Dimittis settings, three of David's lament over Absalom, and two using "In the beginning" texts, one from Genesis and one from the Gospel of John. The varied repertoire, ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century, showcases the group's versatility and includes works by Nicolas Gombert, Palestrina, Weelkes, Holst, Copland, Pawel Lukaszewski, Eric Whitacre, and a newly commissioned piece by Gabriel Jackson. It's an attractive selection of pieces and the contrast of the various settings of the same texts adds interest. Jackson's In the Beginning was the Word, for choir and organ is a warmly expressive setting of the opening of John that uses lush harmonies. The pieces by Whitacre and Lukaszewski are likewise written in a relatively conservative but rich harmonic language. The Whitacre starts with an Arvo Pärt-like simplicity but builds to a climax of wrenching intensity and is the album's highlight. Copland's In the Beginning, an 18-minute setting of the first and the opening of the second creation story from Genesis, is written in the characteristic wide-open-spaces tonal idiom reminiscent of Appalachian Spring. It's an entirely pleasant piece from moment to moment but without much of a larger sense of direction. Mezzo-soprano Beth Mackay is tremendously impressive in the extensive solo part, though, singing with full, sumptuous tone, agility, and expressiveness. The choir, made up of choral scholars from the College of Merton College, has a fresh, youthful sound; a smooth, silky blend; and all the technical finesse to handle the music's demands. The recorded sound can be very resonant, and it may be excessive for some listeners. When the chorus is at full volume, particularly in the Copland, the sound can become shrill and harsh, probably a consequence of the recording rather than the performance.
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 27, 2012 | Delphian

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released October 22, 2012 | Delphian

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Classical - Released October 11, 2011 | Paraclete Recordings

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released April 29, 2016 | Delphian

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 22, 2011 | Delphian

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released July 28, 2008 | Delphian

Booklet
Vaughan Williams' evocative Three Shakespeare Songs, haunting Greensleeves, and modal Mass in G minor are among the great works in the genre of twentieth century choral music. Though there have been superlative recordings of these works before, this 2008 disc from the English Delphian label can hold its own with any of them. For one thing, the 17-voice Laudibus ensemble has a clean tone, a sweet blend, a refined balance, and an obvious deep affection for the repertoire. For another thing, director Mike Brewer is a deft conductor who shapes beautifully molded and warmly sculpted performances. But what truly distinguishes these performances is the size of the ensemble and thus the clarity of the voice leading. With Brewer and Laudibus, one can hear everything that's going on, from the softly pinging sounds of "Full Fathom Five" to the lush modality of the Mass. Recorded in atmospheric digital sound, this is a disc to gladden the true Vaughan Williams believer and perhaps even convert a few new fans.
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Classical - Released April 1, 2012 | Paraclete Recordings

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 3, 1999 | Paraclete Recordings

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released March 1, 2011 | Paraclete Recordings

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released March 1, 2005 | Paraclete Recordings

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 31, 2011 | Delphian

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Classical - Released January 12, 2009 | Delphian

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Classical - Released August 1, 2006 | Delphian

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Classical - Released January 11, 2010 | Delphian

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Comedy/Other - Released January 1, 2009 | Tristan True Giallani

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Classical - Released May 31, 1998 | Paraclete Recordings

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released September 1, 2006 | Paraclete Recordings