Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

HI-RES$10.99
CD$7.99

Jazz - Released November 3, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Marking the 50th anniversary of the indefatigable King's Singers, this is not, as might be supposed, a compilation, but rather an entirely new recording containing 60 tracks "that, we feel, [represent] all the styles and musical epochs that The King's Singers have championed across five decades of performing and recording." This is praiseworthy in itself; better still is how excellent the whole thing is. There are crowd favorites, new arrangements, and newly commissioned pieces. The three volumes are titled Close Harmony, Spiritual, and Secular. The most novel is the first volume, with arrangements of popular material, where the group's renderings of the likes of John Legend and even Beninese Afro-pop singer Angélique Kidjo seem as fresh as their unexpected readings of Beatles songs from 50 years ago. The arrangements are by various composers, both within the group and without, but they are united by an appreciation of the Singers' distinctive style. A favorite unifying device is to offer a long free introduction that resolves itself unexpectedly into the tune at hand. Sample And I Love Her, a Beatles song unjustly devalued by rockism, and pieces by English composer Bob Chilcott, who takes honors for making it onto all three of the volumes (his psalm Thou, my love, art fair appears on the second volume, and he arranges a song by Juan de Anchieta on the final volume). The second volume shows the group's continuing mastery of the pure English style from Renaissance to Romantic, and the Secular volume is as diverse as the pop set, ranging effortlessly from Josquin Desprez to Toru Takemitsu. Highly recommended.
CD$17.99

Classical - Released March 2, 2018 | Warner Classics

CD$8.99

Christmas Music - Released June 21, 2005 | Signum Records

Booklet
HI-RES$6.99
CD$4.99

Jazz - Released September 2, 2013 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet
Britain's King's Singers have recorded popular music before, in among their usual Renaissance and contemporary fare, but the 2013 release The Great American Songbook marked a departure from their earlier work in several ways. Opinions may depend on how attached listeners are to the classic King's Singers a cappella sound, but there's no question that the group deserves credit for pushing its own boundaries after nearly half a century in existence. The album, as promised, consists of classics of American song from the Broadway and Tin Pan Alley era; the largest group of songs are by Cole Porter, the sexual nature of whose lyrics takes on a somehow disembodied quality when sung by this group, and by Rodgers and Hart. The first new wrinkle lies in the arrangements, done by British composer Alexander L'Estrange. They're unusually elaborate and well-tailored to the voices of the Singers, who have remained startlingly consistent in their sound over the years despite numerous changes in personnel. L'Estrange has a way of breaking the melodies down into individual atoms and distributing it among different singers that can bring to mind forms of contemporary composition. The second novelty here is the presence of an orchestra on disc two. The King's Singers have performed and recorded with an orchestra before on many occasions, but the a cappella/orchestra division over two discs is more unusual. As it happens, they seem less enthusiastic about the orchestral music this time around; the second disc clocks in at just over 31 minutes, just slightly more than half the length of the first. The arrangements are less complex, and the group seems unenthused by the flaccid playing of the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra. The action is on the first disc, which does represent one of the King's Singers' more complex pieces of work. Finally there is the sound; The Great American Songbook seems to contain more than the usual quota of multi-tracking and other electronic tweaking, although there's nothing to learn from the booklet other than a credit for "wonderful post-production magic." In all, an interesting new direction for a veteran a cappella vocal group.
CD$8.99

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released February 8, 2019 | Signum Classics

Booklet
HI-RES$12.99
CD$8.99

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 5, 2006 | Signum Records

Hi-Res
The King's Singers, a English a cappella sextet with a long history of iconoclasm, exceed even their own previous exploits with this recording of Thomas Tallis' 40-part motet Spem in alium. This is a CD single, including the Tallis work and an interview with the singers in which they discuss not only the obvious questions that arise -- how did they sing 40-part music with six voices? -- but also some less obvious ones: wouldn't it have been easier if Tallis' work had had 42 voices? (Tallis' 40 parts are divided into eight choirs of five.) The answer to the first question is simple for any pop listener but represents a new thing in the classical world: they use multitracking. How does it work? Spem in alium sounds completely different here from the usual effect it makes with 40 singers, or some multiple of 40, holding forth in a cathedral. The points where these tectonic plates of sound grind against each other come into much sharper relief in this close-up studio setting, and the palette of dissonances that Tallis must have heard in his head is suddenly revealed. The polyphonic structure of the work in general is clarified immeasurably; in ordinary performances, the ear must be carefully focused to pick out details from the large mass of sound. On the other hand, a perhaps less desirable effect is that the text enunciations of the individual voices are heard more clearly here as well. Text consonants that get lost in a larger space here are heard as a constant chatter, rather like background conversation at a crowded party. It's worth noting that Spem in alium was a freakish piece to begin with, a sort of game of one-upsmanship being played by Tallis and an Italian composer who wrote a similar piece. One likes to think that Tallis would have approved of further experimentation with it. At any rate, the King's Singers make it clear in the interview that they don't think of this as a definitive Spem in alium. It is however, an intriguing sound extravaganza built on a piece that was a sound extravaganza in the first place. The sound is gorgeous on an ordinary stereo, and owners of such can only dream of the splendors that await those able to reproduce the SACD surround sound on the disc.
CD$12.99

Classical - Released March 1, 1993 | RCA Victor

HI-RES$12.99
CD$8.99

Classical - Released July 27, 2011 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet
The King's Singers, an all-male a cappella sextet, have issued an extraordinarily large range of recordings, most of them quite successful. But they may be at their best in a circumscribed setting like that of the Christmas album, which brings their innovative harmonies into the sharpest relief. In this seasonal collection they offer traditional Christmas carols given new levels of musical tension by the addition of repeated harmonic figures in the accompanying voices, clashing with but not destabliizing the melody. They include a few highly chromatic pieces, such as an arrangement by English-American composer Jeremy Lubbock of a Tchaikovsky hymn called The Crown of Roses. And listeners will have to discover for themselves what to make of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Throughout, the trademark mixture of awesomely precise harmonies and equally awesome sense of enjoyment is fully in evidence, and they are backed here by the superior capabilities of Signum's engineering team, working in London's acoustically fine Cadogan Hall. A delightful holiday release.
CD$8.99

Christmas Music - Released December 3, 2018 | Signum OMP

CD$8.99

Christmas Music - Released December 19, 2006 | Signum Records

Booklet
CD$18.49

Classical - Released February 16, 2018 | Masterworks

CD$45.49

Classical - Released May 23, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

CD$9.99

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released August 1, 1992 | Chandos

CD$8.99

Classical - Released February 10, 2009 | Signum Classics

British ensemble the King's Singers holds the well-deserved reputation as one of the very finest male vocal groups. It has an exceptionally broad repertoire, ranging from Renaissance music to freshly commissioned works, as well as forays into folk song and popular music. The title of this album, Romance du Soir, aptly characterizes the warm serenity of most of the tracks. The group's versatility is evident in the selections here, which include Renaissance motets, Romantic and early 20th century part songs, and one contemporary work by English, French, German, Austrian, Flemish, and American composers. The singers are consistent in the purity and strength of their tone and the sweetness of their blend; they seem to breathe and think as a single organism. The featured work on the album is an attractive and witty four-movement cycle by Libby Larsen, A Lover's Journey, with texts by Shakespeare and Joyce. Larsen's language is essentially tonal, spiced with rich chromatic harmonies and the discreet use of tart dissonance. Many of the other selections, by Saint-Saëns, Brahms, Strauss, Elgar, and Sullivan have a lush, late Romantic sound, and the singers perform them with the requisite breadth and expressiveness. The album should be of interest to listeners looking for a cappella choral music with a tone of autumnal calm and gentleness. Signum's sound is clean and nicely ambient.
HI-RES$12.99
CD$8.99

Classical - Released September 14, 2011 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$12.99
CD$8.99

Classical - Released July 26, 2005 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$12.99
CD$8.99

Classical - Released March 4, 2016 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet
CD$8.99

Classical - Released June 21, 2005 | Signum Records

CD$8.99

Classical - Released May 18, 1987 | Warner Classics

CD$14.49

Classical - Released September 8, 2017 | Warner Classics