Music Albums & CDs for Christmas & Holiday

Music Albums & CDs for Christmas & Holiday
Exquisite music for the Christmas and Holiday time to enjoy and give away
George Fr. Handel · JephthaGeorge Fr. Handel · Jephtha
George Frideric Handel:
J E P H T H A
Complete recording of the English Oratorio HWV 70,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Kirsten Blaise (Soprano), Annelie Sophie Müller (Mezzo-Soprano),
David Allsopp (Altus, Countertenor), Benjamin Hulett (Tenor),
Simon Bailey (Bass), Ensemble il capriccio (Baroque Orchestra),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir.
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 163 Minutes (2h:43m)
2 CD
EUR 33,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryAmazon MusicTidaliTunesPrime PhonicPresto Classical HDReview

Almost three hours of superb-sounding music...

This recording is in many ways a real treasure. Its chief value is that it vividly captures a wonderful performance of Handel’s final oratorio, giving the listener a fine impression of the venue, the medieval Maulbronn monastery in southern Germany. The opening notes of the thrillingly dramatic overture grab the listener’s interest and the well-chosen soloists make a vivid impression.
The story involves the military leader, Jephtha (tenor), who is asked by his brother, Zebul (baritone) to lead the Israelites against their oppressors, the Ammonites. Jephtha vows that, if successful, he will sacrifice the first person he sees after the battle. This turns out to be his daughter, Iphis (soprano). His wife, Storgè (mezzo-soprano) and Iphis’s fiancé Hamor (counter-tenor), are suitably horrified, as are the onlooking Israelites. An angel (soprano) transmutes Iphis's sentence to life as a virgin; hallelujahs are sung.
Benjamin Hulett is outstanding as Jephtha who at first is exuberant when facing his military task, then anguished and horrified at the results of his vow. His accompagnato “Deeper, and deeper still” would be worthy of a musical dramatization of King Lear. The other main role is that of Iphis, sung by American soprano Kirsten Blaise; she also must express a wide range of emotions and carries it off extremely well. Simon Bailey is rich-voiced and stalwart as Zebul, and Annelie Sophie Müller as Storgè is blessed with a voice that has a rosy bloom about it. David Allsopp gets off to an uncertain start as Hamor but in the end rises to full worthy participation in his duet with Iphis, plus a quartet and quintet with the other principals.
The 39-member choir and 26-member orchestra provide exactly the right sound for this great work. The orchestra use specially reconstructed period instruments tuned to the historically accurate a=415 Hz. Jürgen Budday’s tempi are well-judged throughout. Some might find the acoustic to be overly resonant, but I find it helps bring to life a performance I wish I had been able to attend. But there are almost three hours of superb-sounding music on just two CDs.
Still the stated aim of K&K is to capture an outstanding performance in which “the performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that is...unique and unrepeatable”. This they have accomplished.

© 2014 ConcertoNet.com, Michael Johnson

George Fr. Handel · SolomonGeorge Fr. Handel · Solomon
George Frideric Handel:
S O L O M O N
The English Oratorio HWV 67,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Nancy Argenta (Soprano), Laurie Reviol (Soprano),
Michael Chance (Countertenor), Julian Podger (Tenor),
Steffen Balbach (Bass), Hanoverian Court Orchestra
and Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 150 Minutes
2 CD
EUR 33,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryAmazon MusicTidaliTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDeClassical HDHD TracksPresto Classical HDPrime Phonic HDReview

I assure you that all Oratorios from Maulbronn are first-rate

This CD is the first one that I heard from Maulbronn and I was stunned by the entire performance! It was exciting both vocally and instrumentally; I found it impossible to pause even for sustenance. Jurgen Budday has assembled a great lineup of soloists who projected their respective roles perfectly. For the most part the words of the chorus were understandable and created the proper dramatic tension. Michael Chance as Solomon displayed his usual skill in getting inside the role and the songs. The scene with the 2 harlots who were both claiming the same child was compellingly realistic. So many great songs by Handel on this disc I wouldn't want to have missed it! Since then I have purchased 4 more Oratorios from Maulbronn.
I assure you that they are all first-rate!

George Peabody 'Ariel' on Amazon.com - A voice teacher and early music fan from Carlisle, Pa. USA

Gregorian Chants · Veri Solis RadiusGregorian Chants · Veri Solis Radius
Ensemble Vox Nostra
Veri Solis Radius
Musical networks in medieval Europe
Gregorian chants from the 12th & 13th century,
performed by the Vocal Ensemble Vox Nostra:
Amy Green · Susanne Wilsdorf · Ellen Hünigen
Werner Blau · Burkard Wehner (Musical Director)
A concert recording from the church
of Cistercian Abbey in Eusserthal (Germany)
HD Recording · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayYouTube MusicApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryAmazon.com MusicTidalAmazon.comiTunes Apple Digital MastereClassical HDPresto Classical HDQobuz HDReview

It is not possible to overstate the importance of this recording

The first word that comes to mind on listening to this CD is haunting. As a procession entering into the abbey church (St. Bernhard, Eusserthal, Rhineland-Palatinate) we initially hear a distant group of singers approaching, as they get louder and fill the space with their resplendent voices we settle into a transcendental journey across ancient medieval Europe. Each of the five singers on this recording is a scholar specialist (musicology, paleography, theology) in this repertoire. They include, Amy Green (USA), Susanne Wilsdorf, Ellen Hünigen, Werner Blau, Burkard Werner (Germany). They gave a concert in the abbey church on September 8, 2013. This CD is a snapshot recorded on site in direct 2-track stereo digital. The sound quality is quite simply amazing. A restored church from what was left of the original ruined abbey Kloster Eusserthal, is widely known in Europe as a great concert acoustic. An ongoing series of performances is presented annually in the former Cistercian monument, near Annweiler am Trifels.
Vox Nostra to quote their notes, "…favors a slow, flowing style of performance in an appropriately restrained tempo. The vocal sound which results is rich in overtones, and fills the entire space; it allows the archaic and pure intervals of this music to be fully appreciated, and ensures that the complex weaving of the voices is clearly audible." This writer would have to qualify their approach and the amazing results as revolutionary and without president or rival. I feel like I have heard medieval chant for the very first time it is so startling and overpowering.
The repertoire is varied and all taken from original manuscripts in Spain, Italy, Scotland, Germany, England and France. The recording ends as it began. The singers exit the abbey church and their voices trail off into the distance into silence. It is not possible to overstate the importance of this new recording on a label that is almost totally unknown here in North America. Insist on listening for yourself Vox Nostra's artistic triumph Veri Solis Radius.

© 2015 Timothy Eaton Memorial Church

J. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of GodJ. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of God
Johann Sebastian Bach
Vom Reiche Gottes
The WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING of the great cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes"
with arias, choruses & chants from 18 Bach Cantatas, compilated by Hans Grischkat,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Heike Heilmann (Soprano), Franz Vitzthum (Altus, Countertenor),
Johannes Mayer (Tenor), Falko Hönisch (Bass),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir, Ensemble il Capriccio
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 78 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayYouTube MusicApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryAmazon MusicTidaliTunes MasteredFor...Presto Classical HDQobuz HDPrime Phonic Review

***** A unique performance... This album is a treasure...

Electrifying live performance of mostly rarely performed J.S. Bach arias, choruses and chants, recorded on location at the 12th century Maulbronn monastery in Germany. The acoustics are beautiful, and the sound quality very convincing. Historical instruments were used for the performance, tuned to the exact pitch Bach would have been familiar with in his lietime. The result is intimate, moving and addictive. Of course it is a 'programme', with famous pieces followed by unusual tracks, but it provides an irresistible feeling of ensemble and wholesomeness.
The delicate Sinfonia opens the CD perfectly, operates magically on your brain and your senses to remove any feeling of oppression from what you cannot control of the outside world, and when the beautifully sung chorus of the same cantata follows, you know you are in for a treat that mixes adherence to the settings of the time and effective modern recording technology.
This album is not 'another Bach' album. It is unique, and it is a treasure.

"Edel" on Amazon.com (Verified purchase of the Audio CD)

J. S. Bach · Mass in B MinorJ. S. Bach · Mass in B Minor
Johann Sebastian Bach
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Performed according to the traditions of the time
by Joanne Lunn (Soprano), Ursula Eittinger (Mezzo-Soprano),
Marcus Ullmann (Tenor), Gotthold Schwarz (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra (Hannoversche Hofkapelle),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 112 Minutes
2 CD
EUR 33,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayApple MusicAmazon MusicNaxos Music LibraryTidaliTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDeClassical HDPresto Classical HDHD TracksPrime Phonic HDReview

I am bowled over by the quality... Fantastic!

Yesterday I received the B Minor Mass and I am bowled over by its quality... Fantastic! As always from K&K...

Gerald Fenech on Facebook

Review

This recording is nothing less than superb...

As always this enterprising German company issues beautifully recorded CD sets of choice and eclectic music but it has reverted back to its original oratorio and sacred course with this monumental recording of Bach's sublime B Minor Mass. The recording in the wonderful surroundings of the Maulbronn Monastery is nothing less than superb with ideal balance between chorus and orchestra and with the soloists on pretty much top form throughout. Jürgen Budday conducts with extreme sensitivity throughout and his tempi are extremely well judged especially in the drawn out "Kyrie" and the irrepressible energy of the "Gloria in excelscis Deo" culminating in a "Dona nobis pacem" of almost spine tingling beauty. The chorus sings with knowledgeable integrity whilst all four soloists contribute in their own special way to the performance as a whole with Ursula Eittinger particularly ravishing....

Classical Net

Sarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio · Arias & CantatasSarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio · Arias & Cantatas
Sarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio:
Arias & Cantatas
Sarah Wegener (Soprano) and the ensemble il capriccio
performs according to the traditions of the time:
George Frideric Handel ~ Gloria (Cantata) · Overture (Rinaldo) · Furie terribili · Lascia ch'io pianga · Se pietà di me non senti · Da tempeste · Farewell ye limpid springs · Eternal source of light divine
Henry Purcell ~ When I am laid · O let me weep · Fantasy upon a Ground
Giovanni Battista Ferrandini ~ Se d'un Dio · Scottish Traditional ~ Auld Lang Syne et.al.
Concert Master: Friedemann Wezel
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 76 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayYouTube MusicApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryAmazon MusicTidaliTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDHD TracksPresto Classical HDPrime Phonic HDReview

A rich and warm voice in a splendidly recorded and produced release

Sarah Wegener enthralls listeners with the richness and warmth of her voice and approaches every role in a chamber musical way. She regularly works with Kent Nagano, Philippe Herreweghe, Thomas Hengelbrock, Heinz Holliger, Michael Hofstetter and Frieder Bernius. She studied with Professor Jaeger-Bohm in Stuttgart and took part in master classes with Dame Gwyneth Jones and Renee Morloc.
Here, Sarah performs with the Ensemble Il Capriccio arias and cantatas from the baroque era, thematically enhanced with modern compositions. The release documents a concert at the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery in Germany 2015, splendidly recorded and produced by Andreas Otto Grimminger and Josef-Stefan Kindler for their series "Maulbronn Monastery Edition".

Presto Classical, November 2016

Voices of ArmeniaVoices of Armenia
Geghard Ensemble
Voices of Armenia

Armenian Sacred & Secular Music for Female Voices,
including Chants from the 4th till the 21st Century,
performed by the Geghard Ensemble

Conductor: Anahit Papayan
Artistic Director: Prof. Mher Navoyan

A live recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery

HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 47 Minutes

CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerGoogle PlayYouTube MusicApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryTIDALPrime-phonicAmazon MusicAmazon DownloadsiTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDeClassical HDPresto Classical HDHD TracksDailyMotion PlaylistReview

Commissioned by the angels to bring this music to earth…

Sacred and secular songs from Armenia performed by eight young women (they look to be in their 20s) who sing as though commissioned by the angels to bring this music to earth. Their sound is reverberant and then some, but they come by the echoes honestly. This was recorded in concert at Maulbronn, an 850-year-old Romanesque monastery in southern Germany where constricted sonics are not a way of life. You won't have any trouble distinguishing the modal chants offered to the glory of God from the images of moonlight, wedding dresses, and houses by the sea evoked in the secular offerings. It's beautiful Music!

© 2019 American Record Guide

Review

Featured on Spotify

This release is/was featured on Spotify's weekly list of 50 notable classical new releases, Nov. 9 till Nov. 16, 2018

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