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Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo / Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Chorale

Audio Samples

>Gjeilo, Ola : The Ground (Pleni sunt caeli), for chorus, piano & string quartet
>Gjeilo, Ola : Serenity (O magnum mysterium), for cello & chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Ubi caritas, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Northern Lights, for chorus (from Tres Cantos)
>Gjeilo, Ola : Dark Night of the Soul, for chorus, soprano, piano & string quartet
>Gjeilo, Ola : The Spheres, for vocal ensemble
>Gjeilo, Ola : Tota pulchra es, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Prelude, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Phoenix, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Unicornis captivatur, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Evening Prayer, for chorus, tenor saxophone & piano

Album Summary

>Gjeilo, Ola : The Ground (Pleni sunt caeli), for chorus, piano & string quartet
>Gjeilo, Ola : Serenity (O magnum mysterium), for cello & chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Ubi caritas, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Northern Lights, for chorus (from Tres Cantos)
>Gjeilo, Ola : Dark Night of the Soul, for chorus, soprano, piano & string quartet
>Gjeilo, Ola : The Spheres, for vocal ensemble
>Gjeilo, Ola : Tota pulchra es, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Prelude, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Phoenix, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Unicornis captivatur, for chorus
>Gjeilo, Ola : Evening Prayer, for chorus, tenor saxophone & piano
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The critically acclaimed, Arizona-based Phoenix Chorale originally focused on music of the Renaissance and baroque periods, but today is equally dedicated to the creation and performance of new music. On this disc the Choir performs choral works, and settings of sacred texts by the Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. When he first heard Gjeilo's 'Ubi caritas,' Charles Bruffy was instantly hooked, finding the music 'refreshing and magnetic'. Bruffy brought Gjeilo's music to the Chorale and its audiences, and the response was immediate. Soon after, Gjeilo was invited to be the Chorale's first Composer-in-Residence. 'Phoenix,' a setting of the Agnus Dei, is dedicated to Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix Chorale in honor of its fiftieth anniversary. When Gjeilo first visited the choir in Arizona, he had never been to the desert before, and the 'quiet beauty and barrenness of the landscape' moved him deeply. He describes 'Phoenix' as 'symphonic in nature... one of those pieces where the text is very much the servant of the music, not the other way around'.

In contrast, 'Northern Lights' takes its inspiration from Gjeilo's homeland, Norway, and the 'terrible beauty' of the natural phenomenon that may be observed there. The music reflects the powerful and electric quality of the northern lights, which must have seemed both mesmerizing and terrifying to people in the past when no one knew what they were, and superstition prevailed. The Phoenix Chorale made its first appearance on Chandos in 2004 with 'Shakespeare in Song.' Since then it has released several recordings on the label, most notably the Grammy Winning 'Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary.'

Gramophone Magazine
Bruffy, the Phoenix Chorale and associated performers do not put a foot wrong.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
I've never seen anything less than rave reviews of Bruffy and his Phoenix Chorale, including my own (Shakespeare in Song, M/A 2005, p 218; Eternal Rest, M/A 2007, p 217). Their absolutely flawless technique and gorgeous, burnished sound make them, without a doubt, one of America's handful of top professional choirs. And you won't believe how utterly amazing a great choir can sound until you hear this one as captured in Chandos's Super-Audio hybrid sound. Soloists and instrumentalists leave nothing to be desired. The booklet is useful and complete. If you like to stay abreast of significant new developments in the modern choral world, you simply can't pass Gjeilo's work up.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011).



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Works Details

>Gjeilo, Ola : The Ground (Pleni sunt caeli), for chorus, piano & string quartet
  • Performers: Ola Gjeilo (Piano); Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Gjeilo, Ola : Serenity (O magnum mysterium), for cello & chorus
  • Performers: Danya Tiller; Emmanuel Lopez (Cello)
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Gjeilo, Ola : Ubi caritas, for chorus
  • Performer: Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Gjeilo, Ola : Northern Lights, for chorus (from Tres Cantos)
  • Performer: Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Gjeilo, Ola : Dark Night of the Soul, for chorus, soprano, piano & string quartet
  • Performers: Ola Gjeilo (Piano); Danya Tiller; Alison Chaney
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Gjeilo, Ola : The Spheres, for vocal ensemble
  • Performer: Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Gjeilo, Ola : Tota pulchra es, for chorus
  • Performer: Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Gjeilo, Ola : Prelude, for chorus
  • Performer: Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Gjeilo, Ola : Phoenix, for chorus
  • Performer: Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2008

>Gjeilo, Ola : Unicornis captivatur, for chorus
  • Performer: Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Gjeilo, Ola : Evening Prayer, for chorus, tenor saxophone & piano
  • Performers: Ola Gjeilo (Piano); Ted Belledin; Danya Tiller
  • Conductor: Charles Bruffy
  • Ensemble: Phoenix Chorale
  • Notes: Camelback Bible Church, Paradise Valley, Arizona (05/28/2011-05/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010