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Transcriptions; Faure: Requiem; Nuit Sacree / Laurence Equilbey, Accentus


Release Date: 11/16/2010 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5248   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Samuel BarberGerard PessonKnut NystedtFranck Krawczyck,   ... 
Performer:  Jean-François LombardBrigitte EngererSolange AñorgaAndré Henrich,   ... 
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  AccentusLes monts du ReuilMaitrise de Paris,   ... 
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Included in this set:

Transcriptions Vol 1 / Equilbey, Accentus


Some discs are simply so beautiful that it's almost painful to talk about them when you could be listening instead. This is one. All of the pieces featured here were originally conceived as instrumental works (or songs for voice and accompaniment) but have been transcribed for unaccompanied chorus. Only Barber's famous Adagio for Strings was reworked by the composer himself, in this case as his equally lovely Agnus Dei. The
Read more others were the work of Clytus Gottwald, Gérard Pesson, Franck Krawczyk, and Knut Nystedt, and they are, one and all, marvelous.

Most alluring are the two Mahler pieces, the Adagietto from the Fifth Symphony and the song Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. Both work extremely well through the medium of voices, but the latter's intensely beautiful harmonies make this setting especially poetic and a true rethinking of the piece. Accentus Chamber Choir's founder Laurence Equilibey conducts both with seamless elegance and a naturally flowing rubato that really makes the music come alive. Quite different if equally intoxicating is Ravel's Soupir. Taking his cue from Ligeti's Lux Aeterna, Clytus Gottwald creates a shimmering, sensual curtain of sound that's simply magical.

Franck Krawczyk's two Chopin transcriptions, the Etude Op. 10 No. 6 and the Largo from the Third Piano Sonata, sound so inevitably right that you'd hardly guess that they originated in piano solos. I could go on, but as I noted at the beginning of this review, why talk when you could (and should) be listening? Suffice it to say that the singing is simply the last word in unobtrusive virtuosity and sumptuous blending of tones, and the sonics capture the chorus in a warm but not overly resonant space. The concept may look odd, but trust me: one listen and you'll be playing this disc often. Start with the Mahler. If that doesn't grab you, then you're either tone deaf or simply dead.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Transcriptions Vol 2 / Equilbey, Accentus


If you enjoyed this virtuoso choir's first transcriptions disc, you'll certainly want to have this follow-up recording; and if you're a choral fan and aren't yet acquainted with Accentus and its earlier program, you'll definitely want both of these exceptional discs. This one features the 40-voice choir in masterful transcriptions--as close to literal as possible--of both purely instrumental works (Vivaldi's "L'hiver" from the Four Seasons; several keyboard works by Bach, Debussy, Ravel, and Scriabin) and pieces originally for voice and either piano or orchestra (Schubert, Wagner, and Mahler songs). Where no texts were originally assigned, they are provided by the arrangers, ingeniously utilizing poetry of Rilke or Mallarmé, the Psalms, or the Requiem Mass.

While all of these settings are superbly accomplished and sung to the highest artistic and technical standard, perhaps the most impressive--I'd even use the word astonishing--is Clytus Gottwald's transcription of Debussy's piano piece "Des pas sur la neige". If you can't imagine how this lovely little prelude could be set with words and sung by a choir, well, you're in for a major surprise! It's so perfect in its realization and preservation of the original harmonic character, and yet the voices add such a unique atmospheric dimension that if you didn't know better you'd believe this could have been conceived for these forces. The same could be true for the selections from Ravel's Mother Goose, transcribed by Thierry Machuel. Franck Krawczyk's Vivaldi is quite clever and "fun", and the Schubert setting of Nacht und Träume is pure pleasure.

And that--pure pleasure--describes the whole disc, whose concept works because the arrangers/transcribers are so careful about and respectful of their source material, and are absolutely scrupulous in their treatment of voices relative to matters of range, register, textures, and expressive possibilities. In other words, if you know the original works, you will be completely at home here--but you also will experience new and pleasantly surprising facets of these pieces that only make them more rich and universally relevant. This is the kind of program--unique, virtuosic, yet easily accessible--that makes listening enjoyable and engaging, setting expectations for the next project, whatever it may be. Based on these performances--and knowing the adventurous and highly accomplished nature of this choir--I'm eagerly awaiting what's sure to be a worthy and very entertaining follow-up.

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Fauré: Requiem / Piau, Degout, Equilbey, Accentus

Equilbey and her forces have produced a finely sung and well modulated account of the work. The singers in the choir would seem to be predominantly French and the orchestral players are taken from the Orchestre Nationale de France. But I cannot say that I detected much of a French accent in the performance, such is the internationalism of performance style nowadays; even the choir’s Latin seems to be pretty close to what you’d expect from a similar English choir.

The choir’s tonal control is very fine and their phrasing is impressive. This disc contains some of the most beautiful moments in this work that I have come across, for example the hauntingly beautiful start of the Lux Aeterna. For the Sanctus and In Paradisum Equilbey adds children’s voices from the Maitrise de Paris and this helps with the wonderful transparency of the soprano line.

The soprano solo in the Pie Jesu is well taken by Sandrine Piau, who gives us a tone which mixes boyish purity with womanly expression. Similarly baritone Stéphane Degout is fine in both his solos.

This is not a showy performance. Its tones are generally well modulated, but gets significantly expansive of tone in the louder sections... There is a sort of neo-classical control surrounding the performance.

– Robert Hugill, MusicWeb International

Nuit Sacrée / Equilbey, Accentus, Concerto Köln, a Christmas concert not previously released on CD in the U.S.
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Works on This Recording

1.
Agnus Dei, Op. 11 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus,  Les monts du Reuil
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 7 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Kein deutscher Himmel by Gerard Pesson
Performer:  Jean-François Lombard (Tenor), Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 9 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Immortal Bach by Knut Nystedt
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; Norway 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 6 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
4.
Lacrimosa by Franck Krawczyck
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Poèmes (3) de Stéphane Mallarmé: no 1, Soupir by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Solange Añorga (Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
6.
Mörike Lieder: no 7, Das verlassene Mägdlein by Hugo Wolf
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Mörike Lieder: no 23, Auf ein altes Bild by Hugo Wolf
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Early Songs (7): no 3, Die Nachtigall by Alban Berg
Performer:  Solange Añorga (Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Rückert Lieder (5): no 3, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Solange Añorga (Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 6 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 
10.
Les angélus by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Lulajze, Jesuniu by Franck Krawczyck
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 06/2006 
Venue:  The Arsenal, Metz, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
12.
Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  André Henrich (Lute)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 44 Secs. 
13.
Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen, D 343 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Brigitte Engerer (Piano)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
14.
Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: Field of the Dead by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938/1939; USSR 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
15.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 3: no 3, Scheiden and Meiden by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
16.
Wesendonck Lieder: no 3, Im Treibhaus by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1858; Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 21 Secs. 
17.
Trauerchöre (5), Op. 9: no 4, Grablied by Peter Cornelius
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
18.
Winterreise, D 911/Op. 89: no 20, Der Wegweiser by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
19.
Nacht und Träume, D 827 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
20.
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen: no 4, Die zwei blauen Augen by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1896; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
21.
Psalms (3) after JS Bach, Op. 13: Why do you hide your face from me? by Peter Cornelius
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
22.
Psalms (3) after JS Bach, Op. 13: By the rivers of Babylon there we sat down by Peter Cornelius
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
23.
Psalms (3) after JS Bach, Op. 13: Prosperity and joy were promised me by Peter Cornelius
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Munich, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 11 Secs. 
24.
Préludes, Book 1: no 6, Des pas sur la neige by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
25.
Shéhérazade: no 2, La flûte enchantée by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Solange Añorga (Soprano), Romain Champion (Tenor), Hélène Moulin (Alto)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
26.
Shéhérazade: no 3, L'indifférent by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Romain Champion (Tenor), Solange Añorga (Soprano), Hélène Moulin (Alto)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
27.
Preuve par la neige: Si comme la lune... by Gerard Pesson
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
28.
Preuve par la neige: La lune paraît by Gerard Pesson
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
29.
Ma mère l'oye: Pavane de la belle au bois dormant by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1910; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
30.
Ma mère l'oye: Le jardin féerique by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
31.
Requiem, Op. 48 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Stèphane Degout (Baritone), Christophe Henry (Organ)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise de Paris,  National Orchestra d'Ile de France,  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; France 
32.
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone), Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Christophe Henry (Organ)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise de Paris,  National Orchestra d'Ile de France,  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; France 
33.
Canon and Gigue for 3 Violins and Basso Continuo in D major: Canon by Johann Pachelbel
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne,  Accentus
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
34.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
35.
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: no 1, Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany 
36.
Ave Maria by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Nathalie Stutzmann (Alto), Aurélie Saraf (Harp)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
37.
Der Herr ist mit mir in F major, BuxWV 15: alleluia by Dietrich Buxtehude
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
38.
Messiah, HWV 56: For unto us a child is born by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
39.
Messiah, HWV 56: Hallelujah! by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
40.
Christmas Oratorio, Op. 12: Benedictus by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Aurélie Saraf (Harp)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; France 
41.
Panis angelicus by César Franck
Performer:  Pavol Breslik (Tenor), Sonia Wieder-Atherton (Cello)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
42.
Exsultate jubilate, K 165 (158a): Alleluia by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; Milan, Italy 
43.
L'arlésienne: Suite no 2 - 4th movement, Farandole by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
44.
Minuit, Chrétiens "O holy night" by Adolphe Adam
Performer:  Pavol Breslik (Tenor), Daniel Maurer ()
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
45.
Trois anges sont venus ce soir by Traditional
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Sonia Wieder-Atherton (Cello)
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
46.
Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 

Featured Sound Samples

Agnus Dei (Barber)
Kein deutscher Himmel (Mahler, arr. Pesson)
Violin Concerto, op 8 no 4 "Winter" (Vivaldi, arr. Krawczyck)
Préludes, Book 1 (Debussy, arr. Gottwald): No 6: Des pas sur la neige

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