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'In the Beginning' a cappella choral music of Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber / Dunedin Consort

Album Summary

>Copland, Aaron : In the Beginning
>Barber, Samuel : Reincarnations, for 4 voices, Op. 16
>Barber, Samuel : To Be Sung on the Water, for 4 voices, Op. 42/2
>Barber, Samuel : Heaven-Haven, for chorus (arr. of song Op. 13/1)
>Barber, Samuel : Let Down the Bars, O Death, Op. 8 no 2
>Barber, Samuel : The Virgin Martyrs, Op. 8 no 1
>Barber, Samuel : Agnus Dei
>Copland, Aaron : Motets (4), for chorus
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

Dunedin Consort made its Linn debut with this stunning recording of a cappella vocal music by America's two most famous 20th century composers: Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber. Originally released in 2001 ‘In the beginning’ has been re-issued as part of Linn’s ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label’s award-winning catalogue. The Dunedin Consort’s program demonstrates the common ground both Copland and Barber shared: in their settings for unaccompanied chorus, each had an instinctive feel for the human voice, a natural gift for word-setting, and a pure style of writing that rarely, if ever, obscured its literary dimension. This moving disc features a beautiful vocal arrangement of Samuel Barber's celebrated Adagio for Strings. Aaron Copland’s In the beginning, featuring mezzo-soprano Sally Bruce Payne, is beautifully simple with lilting Britten-like polytonality and infectious jazz rhythms and soft hints of blues. Winners of two Gramophone Awards, the Dunedin Consort has established a reputation as one of the finest period performance choirs around, receiving praise for the natural style of its soloists and renown for the virtuosity of its singers. Among its many accolades Dunedin Consort was included in Gramophone’s ‘Twenty Greatest Choirs’ list, Esther was voted one of the ‘Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012’ by The Times and its recording of Bach’s Matthew Passion was named Building A Library: First Choice by BBC Radio 3 ‘CD Review’. 2013 was perhaps Dunedin’s brightest year to date with two hugely successful Bach releases: John Passion was named a ‘Critics’ Choice’ by BBC Radio 3 ‘CD Review’ and twice by Gramophone as well as being named ‘Recording of the Month’ by three separate publications, whilst Six Brandenburg Concertos was named Gramophone ‘Choice’ and awarded five stars by both BBC Music Magazine and The Guardian.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Copland's musical storyline of Genesis 1 is expertly rendered, with telling contrasts established between the first-ever days of the first-ever week. The Motets are excellent too, especially the jazzy 'Have Mercy On Us, O My Lord'. The Barber songs are madrigals at heart, and are sung beautifully. (The sound the Dunedins achieved in 'The Virgin Martyrs' might have done their 'Agnus Dei' some good.) Notes are included. The diction is superb.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999).



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Works Details

>Copland, Aaron : In the Beginning
  • Performer: Sally Bruce-Payne (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Barber, Samuel : Reincarnations, for 4 voices, Op. 16
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1937-1940

>Barber, Samuel : To Be Sung on the Water, for 4 voices, Op. 42/2
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1968

>Barber, Samuel : Heaven-Haven, for chorus (arr. of song Op. 13/1)
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1961

>Barber, Samuel : Let Down the Bars, O Death, Op. 8 no 2
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Barber, Samuel : The Virgin Martyrs, Op. 8 no 1
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1935

>Barber, Samuel : Agnus Dei
  • Performer: Susan Hamilton
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967

>Copland, Aaron : Motets (4), for chorus
  • Conductor: Ben Parry
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (10/13/1999/10/14/1999)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1921