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Brubeck: Songs Of Praise - Sacred Choral Works / Pacific Mozart Ensemble

Brubeck / Pacific Mozart Ensemble / Morrow / Grant
Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 92101   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Dave BrubeckVictor FloydTanya StumKymry Esainko
Conductor:  Lynne MorrowRichard Grant
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

First, a disclaimer is necessary. This is not a jazz disc. That it is included in the section of jazz reviews is purely serendipitous. The link of course is the composer Dave Brubeck, who penned such jazz standards as Blue Rondo à la Turk, In Your Own Sweet Way and The Duke. This disc is simply an extension of his composing abilities in a musical sphere that complements his jazz-based talents. Now in his 90th year, Brubeck the musician shows no signs of slowing down and is already booked into many of the 2010 summer jazz festivals.


All Brubeck's compositions on this disc would be welcomed at any High Anglican or Roman Catholic service, as they have all the requisites for sacred music: solemnity
Read more and piety. Leading off with Canticles, this three-part invention offers his sombre musical interpretation in a choral setting, of the Annunciation, Nativity and Crucifixion with all the grandeur and ecclesiastical gravity that can be attributed to these key events in the Christian ritual. The four next selections are all Christmas-oriented and may be somewhat out of place on the disc but nevertheless are beautifully constructed and sung with devotion by the Pacific Mozart Ensemble. None of these pieces could be classified as hummable but nonetheless they exhibit the necessary fidelity to their seasonal nature.

Of the remaining compositions, the two most profound are The Commandments and Credo. With the former, there is the recitation of those Christian tenets offered in a variety of formats such as a rondo and chant but with gospel tinges, all of which assist in exhibiting the density of the piece. Credo is sung in Latin which although classified as a "dead language" nevertheless seems to take on wondrous qualities when used in this setting and gives the proper gravity to this polytonal interpretation.

Finally, this disc is not going to compare to Brubeck's signature album Time Out in terms of popularity or accessibility. It is a very dense offering and requires a commitment on the part of the listener to seek out its pleasures.

-- Pierre Giroux, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Canticles, for string quartet by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Dave Brubeck (), Victor Floyd (), Tanya Stum ()
Conductor:  Lynne Morrow
Length: 30 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Ev'ry Christmas I Hear Bells, for chorus & piano by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Kymry Esainko (Piano), Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Lynne Morrow
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
3.
Sleep, Holy Infant, Sleep, for chorus & piano by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Kymry Esainko (Piano), Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Lynne Morrow
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
4.
Why We Sing at Christmas, for chorus & piano by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Kymry Esainko (Piano), Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Lynne Morrow
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
5.
Precious Gift, His Wondrous Birth, for chorus by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Lynne Morrow
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
6.
The Commandments, for chorus by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Richard Grant
Length: 7 Minutes 9 Secs. 
7.
Psalm 23, for chorus & piano by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Kymry Esainko (Piano), Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Lynne Morrow
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
8.
Credo, for chorus by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Richard Grant
Length: 7 Minutes 40 Secs. 
9.
Benediction, for chorus by Dave Brubeck
Performer:  Dave Brubeck ()
Conductor:  Lynne Morrow
Length: 1 Minutes 1 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Canticles: Ave Maria
Canticles: Concordi Laetita
Canticles: Salve mater
Ev'ry Christmas I Hear Bells
Sleep, Holy Infant, Sleep
Why We Sing at Christmas
Precious Gift His Wondrous Birth
The Commandments
Psalm 23
Credo
Benediction

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