Naxos of America Featured CHORAL Releases, July 8, 2014


COMPOSER: Robert Aldridge • Herschel Garfein (libretto)

ARTIST: Monica Yunus (soprano) • Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) • Joseph Okell (tenor) • Phillip Zawisa (baritone) • University of Minnesota Chorus • University Singers • University of Minnesota Opera Theatre Orchestra • Dancers of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists • Kathy Saltzman Romey (conductor) • David Walsh (director)

2110358 | 747313535859

1 DVD | US SRP $24.99

Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein are internationally renowned for their GRAMMY® award-winning opera Elmer Gantry (2007). Their follow-up collaboration, Parables (2010) is a cantata for soloists, a 200-voice choir and 80-piece orchestra. The attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001 haunts its writing but the use of passages from the Torah, New Testament and Koran seeks to bind the major faiths’ commonality, hopeful of healing and reconciliation. 



COMPOSER: Johann Sebastian Bach

ARTIST:Bálint Karosi (organ) • Canto Armonico • Ulf Wellner (conductor) • Cheryl Ryder (conductor)

HCD32745-46 | 5991813274526

2 CD | US SRP $34.99

•      Canto Armonico’s membership has varied from 14 to 26 singers depending on its repertoire choices; the group now includes select young professional choral singers from the Boston area along with graduate and undergraduate students from Harvard University, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University, Wellesley College, and the Longy School of Music. Canto Armonico is unique among Boston choruses in remaining an educational group: students learn from their more established peers.

•      Bach’s Clavierübung III is a compendium of different ways of setting hymns from the Lutheran tradition – Bálint Karosi’s recording contains the original melodies in harmonisation of Bach, Schütz, Schein, Scheidt and Praetorius besides the organ work, too.

•      Bálint Karosi has won awards at many international organ competitions, including first prizes at the International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig.



COMPOSER: Heinrich von Herzogenberg

ARTIST: Franziska Bobe (soprano) • Barbara Bräckelmann (alto) • Maximilian Argmann (tenor) • Jens Hamann (bass) • Monteverdi Choir Würzburg • Thüringen Philharmonic Gota • Matthias

Beckert (conductor)

777755-2 | 761203775521

2 Hybrid SACD | US SRP $33.99

•      In 1890, Heinrich von Herzogenberg composed his Requiem, drawing on a unique combination of three texts: the Catholic Mass for the Dead, a Lutheran cantata on German texts from the Bible and hymn stanzas, and a poem of his own authorship.

•      Herzogenberg composed his Begraebnisgesang (Burial Song) for the dedication of his best friend’s gravestone.



ROP2016 | 4037408020169

1 CD | US SRP $18.99

COMPOSER: Wolf • Reger • Kodály • Stravinsky • Müller • Vogt • Strohbach • Gunsenheimer • Pärt

ARTIST: Windsbach Boys Choir • Karl-Friedrich Beringer

•      In this recording of 20th century choral music, the Windsbacher Knabenchor presents the musical creativity of one of the most innovative musical centuries in all its various manifestations.

•      The a cappella program conducted by Karl-Friedrich Beringer includes “Nachtlied,” from Max Reger’s choral cycle Acht geistliche Gesänge, Igor Stravinsky’s “Ave Maria” and Arvo Pärt’s “Magnificat”—to name a few—all of which form an essential part of the choir’s concert repertoire.



COMPOSER: William Byrd • Thomas Tallis • Robert White • Peter Philips • Thomas Morley • Thomas Tomkins

ARTIST: Montiverdi Choir • John Eliot Gardiner

SDG720 | 843183072026

1 CD | US SRP $18.99

•      This album brings together six English composers whose combined careers span more than a century—Byrd, Tallis, Morley, Philips, White and Tomkins.

•      Vigilate! (Be watchful!) epitomizes the clandestine character of recusant music-making in Elizabethan England, by undercover Catholic composers of the time.

•      The album comes in SDG’s usual casebook packaging and contains a 36-page booklet with notes by Kerry McCarthy and texts in German, English and French.

•      In March 2014, the Monteverdi Choir celebrated its 50th Anniversary.



COMPOSER: Marcos Portugal

ARTIST: Ensemble Turicum • Mathias Weibel (director) • Luiz Alves da Silva (director)

TOCC0238 | 5060113442383

1 CD | US SRP $18.99

•      The Portuguese-Brazilian composer Marcos António Portugal (1762–1830), well-known in his own time for his 50 or so operas, also composed a huge body of more than 160 religious choral works.

•      The two works here—their first modern performances—illustrate his conservative classical style and reveal the operatic influences on his sacred music.

•      The absence of female voices from the chorus and violins from the orchestra bring an unexpectedly dark color.           





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