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Agnus Dei: Music For Bassoon & Chorus

Hovland / Van Beurden / Williams / Statler
Release Date: 10/09/2012 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1407   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Egil HovlandBernard van BeurdenAdrian WilliamsEberhard Eyser,   ... 
Performer:  Benjamin CoelhoNoah DelongGretchen BruesehoffBrian Dykes,   ... 
Conductor:  Tim Stalter
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

AGNUS DEI Benjamin Coelho (bn); Timothy Stalter, cond; 7 Gretchen Brusehoff 1 , Michelle Crouch 2 (sop); Jacqueline Lang (alt); 3 Noah Delong (ten); 4 Brian Dykes (bs); 5 University of Iowa Kantorei 6 Read more class="ARIAL12"> MSR CLASSICS MS1407 (76:41)

HOVLAND Agnus Dei 6,7. VAN BEURDEN The End of Troy 6,7. WILLIAMS My Heart Is Steadfast 6,7. EYSER Orationes Pro Pacem 6,7. FISH Oferen Gernewek Vyghan 1,3,4,5,6,7. MIGNONE Five Songs 2

Benjamin Coelho is a Brazilian bassoonist whose virtuosity has brought him to concert halls around the world and to a professorship at the University of Iowa. This disc, on which Coelho accompanies the university’s chorus known as the Kantorei, is titled Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) after the first selection, by Norwegian composer Egil Hovland. A pupil of Aaron Copland and Luigi Dallapiccola, Hovland is one of that country’s most esteemed composers of church music. His slightly non-traditional rendition of the final movement of the Mass Ordinary, written for technically proficient bassoon and a cappella choir, was first heard in Oslo Cathedral. While most of the music Hovland writes is for voices, Dutch composer Bertrand van Beurden generally writes instrumental music. He wrote The End of Troy with the virtuosity of Benjamin Coelho in mind. Adrian Williams is a highly respected British composer who has won several international prizes for composition. He has been most successful in writing for television and for films because all sorts of music ranging from English song to jazz and minimalism have influenced him. My Heart is Steadfast is based on the first few verses of Psalm 108 and it asks the bassoon to provide an ongoing obbligato as the chorus surges in increasing intensity.

When Benjamin Coelho asked German-born violist and composer Eberhard Eyser if he knew of any works for bassoon and chorus, the idea for Orationes was born. Since Eyser could not think of any such works, he wrote one. Although the text comes from the Mass for the Dead, this piece concerns itself with the importance of the living. Greenland cultural explorer, broadcaster, and composer Adrian Vernon Fish lived in Cornwall from 1979 to 1984 and he became fond of the place, its customs and its original language. Oferen Gernewek Vyghan (A Little Cornish Mass) is just that and it was not often heard until 2010 when Coelho asked Fish about it. Now it has been rewritten for a larger chorus with the solo bassoon. The booklet that accompanies this recording gives the English translation of this piece but not the original Cornish. Unfortunately, it is not easily found on the Internet, either. Brazilian Francisco Mignone (1897-1986) is the only composer of the past whose music is played here. His Five Songs, written for soprano with piano accompaniment, are not related to each other, but they all relate to Brazilian folklore. It’s hard for us to imagine what life on a plantation was like but some of these songs give us an idea. Mignone himself arranged them for soprano and bassoon. Since this recording contains three world premieres: The End of Troy, My Heart is Steadfast, and Orationes Pro Pacem, there are no appropriate comparisons to be made, but the work of these artists is always excellent. For lovers of choral music, this disc is a most interesting foray into some new and unusual territory. Listening to it gives you the feeling of being in an intimate concert hall.

FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

Agnus Dei, concerto for bassoon & chorus, Op. 167 by Egil Hovland
Performer:  Benjamin Coelho (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Tim Stalter
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2000-2002 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 25 Minutes 36 Secs. 
The End of Troy, for chorus & bassoon by Bernard van Beurden
Performer:  Benjamin Coelho (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Tim Stalter
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2003 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 7 Minutes 25 Secs. 
My Heart is Steadfast, for chorus & bassoon by Adrian Williams
Performer:  Benjamin Coelho (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Tim Stalter
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1981 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 7 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Orationes pro pacem, for chorus & bassoon by Eberhard Eyser
Performer:  Benjamin Coelho (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Tim Stalter
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2010 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 5 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Oferen Gernewek Vyghan (A Little Cornish Mass), for 4 voices, chorus & bassoon by Adrian Vernon Fish
Performer:  Noah Delong (), Benjamin Coelho (Bassoon), Gretchen Bruesehoff (),
Brian Dykes ()
Conductor:  Tim Stalter
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1984 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 19 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Songs (5) for voice & bassoon by Francisco Mignone
Performer:  Benjamin Coelho (Bassoon), Michelle Crouch ()
Written: 1976 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 9 Minutes 56 Secs. 

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