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Respighi: Lauda perla Natività del Signore for vocal soloists, chorus & winds; Poulenc: Christmas Motets (4); works by Lauridsen, Raphael, Kaminski, Praetorius

Album Summary

>Sandström, Jan : Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen, for chorus
>Kaminski, Heinrich : Maria durch ein Dornwald ging, for chorus (from Geistlich Chöre)
>Lauridsen, Morten : O magnum mysterium
>Raphael, Gunther : Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, for chorus
>Poulenc, Francis : Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël, for chorus, FP 152
>Respighi, Ottorino : Lauda per la Natività del Signore, for soloists, chorus & ensemble, P. 166
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

In 1930 Ottorino Respighi composed "Lauda per la Nativit del Signore", the only sacred choral piece among his works. In this song of praise to the miracle of Christmas, majestic sounding choral passages alternate with the solo vocal roles of Maria, the Angel and the shepherd, accompanied by the sound of pastoral instruments. The music is varied, containing stylistic elements ranging from the late romantic to neo baroque, as well as echoes of Gregorian chant. And towering above all is Respighi's trademark: the art of orchestration. The Rundfunkchor Berlin (Berlin Radio Choir) under Maris Sirmais and Nicolas Fink presents this unusual work along with several a cappella Christmas motets by other renowned 20th c. composers including Morten Lauridsen and Francis Poulenc.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2015
Both the choral and solo singing on this glowing new recording are of high quality, the wind playing delightfully coloured.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: RBB, Saal 1 (01/12/2015-01/14/2015); RBB, Saal 1 (12/18/2014-12/20/2014).



Reviews

Refreshing sounds of the season
Now this is my kind of Christmas album. While all the works were written for the season, they aren't part of the classical Christmas top 40 (with one exception -- sort of). And they're all beautifully performed and recorded. The Rundfunkchor Berlin has a rich, creamy sound with an almost seamless blend of voices.

The program opens with Sven-David Sandstrom's arrangement of Praetorious' "Es is ein ros entsprungen" (that's the exception I was talking about). Sandstrom stretches this well-known carol out, creating long, sinuous taffy-like strands polyphony.

Morten Lauridsen's "O magnum mysterium" benefits from the choir's smooth sound. This delicate, lyrical work almost shimmers in this heartfelt performance.

Francis Poulenc wrote his "Quatre motets pour le temps de Nol" in a madrigalist manner. That is, he uses the music to illustrate the actions of the words as well as the underlying emotions. The Rundfunkchor Berlin performs these motets in a clean, clear fashion -- even if you don't understand the words they sing, the emotions come through loud and clear.

Respighi's "Lauda per la Nativita del Signore" is (for me), the high point of the album. The choir, combined with the Polyphonia Ensemble Berlin shows Respighi at his best. The rich harmonies, the imaginative orchestrations, and the wonderfully simple (but not simplistic) melodies all come together for a seasonal work that in my opinion just isn't heard enough.

If you -- or someone you know -- is looking for something out of the ordinary in seasonal recordings, I highly recommend this release.
Submitted on 12/04/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Sandström, Jan : Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen, for chorus
  • Conductor: Nicolas Fink
  • Ensemble: Rundfunkchor Berlin
  • Notes: RBB, Saal 1 (01/12/2015-01/14/2015); RBB, Saal 1 (12/18/2014-12/20/2014)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Kaminski, Heinrich : Maria durch ein Dornwald ging, for chorus (from Geistlich Chöre)
  • Conductor: Nicolas Fink
  • Notes: RBB, Saal 1 (01/12/2015-01/14/2015); RBB, Saal 1 (12/18/2014-12/20/2014)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1928

>Lauridsen, Morten : O magnum mysterium
  • Conductor: Nicolas Fink
  • Notes: RBB, Saal 1 (01/12/2015-01/14/2015); RBB, Saal 1 (12/18/2014-12/20/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1994

>Raphael, Gunther : Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, for chorus
  • Conductor: Nicolas Fink
  • Notes: RBB, Saal 1 (01/12/2015-01/14/2015); RBB, Saal 1 (12/18/2014-12/20/2014)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Poulenc, Francis : Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël, for chorus, FP 152
  • Conductor: Nicolas Fink
  • Notes: RBB, Saal 1 (01/12/2015-01/14/2015); RBB, Saal 1 (12/18/2014-12/20/2014)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1951-1952

>Respighi, Ottorino : Lauda per la Natività del Signore, for soloists, chorus & ensemble, P. 166
  • Performers: Krystian Adam; Kristine Larissa; Yeree Suh (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Ensemble: Polyphonia Antiqua
  • Notes: RBB, Saal 1 (01/12/2015-01/14/2015); RBB, Saal 1 (12/18/2014-12/20/2014)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1928-1930