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
Buddhist Shõmyõ & Gregorian ChantsBuddhist Shõmyõ & Gregorian Chants
Musica Sacra
Buddhist Shõmyõ & Gregorian Chants
Musica Sacra ~ A dialogue of two spiritual cultures
based on the musical repertoire of the Buddhist and the Christian tradition,
performed by the Ensemble Schola Gregoriana Pragensis
and "Gjosan-rjú Tendai Sómjó" (Buddhist Monks from Japan)
Conductors: Saikawa Buntai and David Eben
The live-recording of a concert in the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 73 Minutes
CD
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***** Amazing - The best of YouTube video!
A listener on YouTube
Review
***** Beautiful
This is stunningly beautiful, particularly track 14. I liked it so much I plan to purchase a couple more for gifts.
Susan B. at Amazon.com
Review
***** Highly recommended
The Tendai monks and the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis ensemble have created a wonderful recording resulting from their mutual collaboration at concerts and liturgy in Prague in 2000 and on tour of Japan in 2005. These meditative encounters focus on interesting contrasts in the two musical languages and expressions, at the same time seeking common elements present in both traditions. Parallels can be found in the recitation of the sacred text or in the interpretation principle of alternating a soloist with a choir, which overlaps the boundaries of confession repertoires. Another striking feature is the tonality based on the pentatonic scale appearing both in shomyo singing and Gregorian chant. This unique collaboration has produced music of mesmerising beauty and intensity. Highly recommended.
New Classics UK
Review
Qobuz Hi-Res Audio
Awarded by Qobuz with the "Hi-Res Audio" March 2012.
Qobuz
Review
***** Raises your spirits and nourishes your soul
Beautiful music. Raises my spirits and nourishes my soul.
Linda Hayes on Amazon.com
Review
I was very moved by these performances
Since chanting-monk CDs are all the rage nowadays, K&K Verlagsanstalt decided to issue this disc of a special concert given at the Maulbronn Monastery in 2008. This concert, sponsored by UNESCO, combined the music of Tendai Buddhist monks from Japan with the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis choir, founded in 1987 in what is now the Czech Republic. The aim was to have the religious chants and hymns of both religions complement each other and create a multi-religious ambience redoubled in effect by the atmosphere of the surroundings.
The experiment works very well indeed. Initially, the two choirs alternate their chants, the Westerners more formal in structure, the Easterners more fluid in theirs. It was interesting for me to hear Japanese monks as compared to Tibetans who are much more familiar here in the U.S. The Japanese monks all chant in a higher pitch, more in the tenor range, although some of their members are capable, as are Tibetans, of "chording" with the voice from time to time. As for Schola Gregoriana Pragensis, they are quite simply a beautiful-sounding group with great feeling in their singing.
As the concert progresses, both choirs begin combining their religious chants to fascinating effect. Despite the musical and cultural differences, everything blends surprisingly well.
This is an excellent recording in every respect and in its own way more universal than many such "chant" CDs out there. In the spirit of the music presented, I feel a little odd recommending the disc, but as you can probably tell I was very moved by these performances.
Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine
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
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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
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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
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***** 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 33,00SpotifyDeezerApple MusicAmazon Digital MusiciTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDeClassical HDPresto Classical HDPrime Phonic HDHD TracksReview

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
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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

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