Your basket is empty

Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

From
CD$10.49

Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 10, 2006 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
« Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices, like the Hilliard Ensemble with whom he was associated before settling in America, have given the music of Arvo Pärt a prominent place in their repertoire. Hillier has also written a book on Pärt [...] he described his first encounter with several of Pärt’s scores, “Something leapt out at me: this was the kind of music I had been waiting to perform”. Many of these works are receiving their first performance on disc and all represent a major contemporary composer at his best. That alone should provide more than enough recommendation for a disc which also contains some excellent choral singing.» (Gramophone, April 1997)
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Sacred Vocal Music - Released April 3, 2012 | Da Capo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
Johannes Ockeghem's Missa pro defunctis, probably composed in 1461, is the earliest surviving polyphonic setting of the requiem mass. The requiem continued to develop after this date (the Council of Trent mandated several new sections), and it was several centuries before it assumed the form it has today. Conductor Paul Hillier, who can get uncanny sonic effects out of a choir like just about anybody else, had the idea of taking requiem sections by Danish composer Bent Sørensen, composed between 1985 and 2007, and interpolating them among the sections of Ockeghem's mass. Several sections of the mass are also sung in plainchant. It must be said that the individual performances are strong even by Hillier's standards. Sample the Sørensen "Benedictus" (track 9), where sections of the Ars Nova Copenhagen exchanged a sort of shimmering pedal point. This kind of thing is what keeps people buying Hillier's albums. The Sørensen pieces have something of the quality of virtuoso American choral music by the likes of Morton Lauridsen or a less tonal and more cluster-oriented Eric Whitacre, and they're quite attractive. The Ockeghem performances are very strong as well, with crisp, tense singing accentuating the extreme length and complexity of the composer's polyphonic lines. What's missing is something that really ties all the music together. Sørensen does not write in a polyphonic idiom, and for the most part he did not compose the music specifically for this project. The new music doesn't link to the Ockeghem movement in any special way, and some of the movements, for no very clear reason, are left in plainchant. The multiple-language booklet attempts justifications, but they're hard to hear in the music. Doubtless the faultless sonics will attract many listeners, and others may find that just as Ockeghem added a new type of setting to the performance of a monophonic mass, the same may be done to his own music. But the experimental spirit works better here than the overall plan of coherence. © TiVo
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Mélodies (Northern Europe) - Released March 4, 2014 | Dacapo SACD

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 4, 2011 | Dacapo SACD

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
These a cappella choral song cycles by Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, born in 1932, were written at two periods in his life, the first in the late 1960s and the second since the turn of the millennium. The two earlier cycles are similar in style, tone, and harmonic vocabulary to the choral works by Arvo Pärt that helped define "holy minimalism," but they were written at almost exactly the same time, so they are not likely to have been influenced by Pärt. Slow moving and understated, most of these pieces are entirely homophonic, or homophonic over a drone or ostinato. The more recent pieces, especially Igen (2006), Three Stages (2003), and Four Madrigals from the Natural World (2001), are even more interesting -- they're dazzling, in fact -- in their inventiveness, originality, and startlingly fresh take on choral writing. They seem to be written entirely without inhibition and without undue concern for choral convention or the etiquette of the concert hall. In Three Stages and Four Madrigals, in particular, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's use of howls, yelps, and whistles that imitate nature and animal sounds to create a surging, primal contrapuntal layering is shameless but disarming, and the sounds are part of a compelling, coherent musical structure that is totally beguiling; there is nothing quite like it in the repertoire. That being said, this is definitely not avant-garde music; Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's tonal language in the earlier works has a pared-down, Pärt-like modal simplicity, and most of the later pieces are warmly, even extravagantly, lush. It's easy to hear why the performances garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance in 2010. The singing by Ars Nova Copenhagen, led by Paul Hillier, long an advocate of the composer's music, is nothing short of breathtaking. Technically the singers are superb; the music is often wildly eccentric in its demands, but the performances are absolutely secure, and the sounds, even at their strangest, are never less than lovely. The sopranos deserve special commendation for their purity, focus, and intonation when they are called on (frequently) to linger on sustained notes stratospherically high above the staff for far longer than is reasonable to expect from mere mortals. The group performs with a nuanced musicality that animates the simpler works and makes sense of the more complex. The sound of Dacapo's hybrid SACD is immaculate, detailed, natural, and warmly present. Highly recommended; Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's astonishing music commands the attention of anyone interested in contemporary choral music. © TiVo
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Sacred Oratorios - Released April 28, 2009 | Da Capo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Sacred Oratorios - Released April 12, 2010 | Da Capo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Ars Nova Copenhagen and Paul Hillier here present the third recording in their critically acclaimed series devoted to the narrative works (Historia) of Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672). The Danish vocal ensemble thus celebrate Denmark's proud connection with this German masterwho was appointed Kapellmeister to King Christian IV and worked at the Danish court for two periods over the course of eleven years. The cover illustrations show reliefs in beaten metal by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884-1976), a member of the Die Brücke group founded in 1905 in Dresden - a city with which Schütz himself was closely associated. © DaCapo
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Cantatas (sacred) - Released November 1, 2010 | Da Capo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Among his work on the exploration of 17th century German music, Paul Hillier has composed this magnificent monograph dedicated to Dietrich Buxtehude. His ensemble named Theatre of Voices, which he founded in 1990 in California, is composed of six singers (two sopranos, a countertenor, two tenors, and a bass) who come together into this theatrical and painful universe with delight. They are joined by the instruments of the TOV Band and Danish organist Bine Bryndorf; the young and flamboyant musician gives us a striking demonstration of the “stylus phantasticus” that is particular to the composer’s organ writing, contrasting, with an almost “rhapsodic” essence, incredibly inventive, like that which very much influenced a young Johann Sebastian Bach. An ideal and thrilling panorama of Dietrich Buxtehude’s religious vocal works. Not to be missed. © Qobuz
From
HI-RES$14.49
CD$10.49

Christmas Music - Released September 13, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
This anthology of Christmas carols from the European tradition is not as banal a collection as it may seem. Paul Hillier's intention here is to place himself in the context of history and musicology, his work being similar to that of Arthur Honegger, who at the end of his life composed A Christmas Cantata, which was based on various traditional songs, motets and folk songs. Paul Hillier's work is, as always, of a high standard. Four singers per party in the old English tradition of "Nine Lessons and Carols" which had its first outing on Christmas Eve 1880 in Cornwall. Two ensembles share a selection of texts and melodies which have been arranged for this recording: Theatre of Voices with a discreet accompaniment of theorbo, guitar and organ, and Ars Nova Copenhagen, an a cappella choir with an exceptional quality of style and intonation. The dialogues come from the Italian repertoire of the seventeenth century from which the oratorio would arise. The music comes from the English, German and Italian popular traditions to which Paul Hillier has added some later pieces by Hopkins, Gade and Skempton. This unique story of the Nativity exudes a seductively interior atmosphere and wonder. © François Hudry/Qobuz
From
CD$9.99

Sacred Vocal Music - Released September 28, 2006 | Da Capo

Distinctions Choc du Monde de la Musique
The peripatetic English-born conductor Paul Hillier, who has led many a superb performance of a cappella Renaissance music in both Europe and the U.S., now lives in Denmark and here joins forces with the 16-member choir Ars Nova Copenhagen. Hillier often performs Renaissance masses in a historically authentic way, with smaller pieces interspersed among its sections as they would have been in an actual celebration of the mass (composers for the most part set only the unchanging Ordinary sections of the mass, while chants or other polyphonic compositions were used in connection with the seasonally variable Proper sections). The effectiveness of this in a modern context varies according to the work involved, but Hillier's practice has rarely been more appealing than on this disc. The large work performed here is the Western Wind Mass of John Taverner, a cantus firmus mass based on a secular song that was exceptionally sexy in an English context ("Christ, if my love were in my arms/And I in my bed again"). This mass, and its companion works (by Sheppard and Tye) are large works, overflowing with realizations of the possibilities of what were then new polyphonic textures, and a bit undifferentiated from the standpoint of the modern listener. This is where Hillier's breaking up of the mass serves its purpose: the smaller "partsongs" -- simple motets, really -- he places in between the mass sections set off the grandeur of the mass and clarify the expressive range of Taverner's musical vocabulary as a whole. The English-language shorter pieces here, by William Cornysh, the given-name-less Sheryngham, John Browne, Christopher Tye, and an anonymous composer, have stark, vivid sacred texts reminiscent of the poetry of George Herbert ("Woefully arrayed/My blood, man/For thee ran/It may not be nayed/My body blo [blue] and wan/Woefully arrayed"). They are set in direct, plain textures, with a strongly expressive aspect. Sample track 8, Sheryngham's Ah, gentle Jesu, for a unique dialogic setting. The variety of these short pieces helps the listener hear what Taverner was aiming toward in the mass -- maximum richness of texture. The richness is matched by the sonic ambiance of Copenhagen's St. Paul's Church, a vast space that tosses the sounds of the little group of choristers from corner to corner. Hillier steps out to the edge, but not over it, in letting the edges of the individual voices show through the texture -- the choir's sound is lush rather than pure, and it works beautifully in this repertory. If you've had trouble warming up to the music of the early English Renaissance in the past, this is the disc for you. © TiVo
From
HI-RES$14.49
CD$10.49

Symphonic Music - Released October 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released November 1, 2011 | Da Capo

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
From
CD$9.99

Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 1, 2010 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions Exceptional Sound Recording
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. © TiVo
From
HI-RES$14.49
CD$10.49

Classical - Released October 5, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
From
HI-RES$14.49
CD$10.49

Classical - Released April 10, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
Under the leadership of Paul Hillier, the "creative spirit" of Arvo Pärt is expressed through his chamber music, whether vocal or instrumental. The influence of Gregorian plain song that the composer studied in depth in his early years is here equated with his own minimalism — his famous style "tintinnabulum". A journey that will lead the listener through different periods of the composer's career up to recent works for a capella choir.
From
CD$7.49

Classical - Released August 17, 2005 | harmonia mundi

From
CD$10.49

Classical - Released December 21, 2012 | harmonia mundi

From
CD$14.99

Classical - Released April 1, 1994 | ECM New Series

From
CD$5.99

Classical - Released May 31, 2002 | harmonia mundi

From
CD$10.49

Classical - Released December 21, 2012 | harmonia mundi

From
CD$14.99

Classical - Released March 1, 1989 | ECM New Series