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Lux Aurumque / Warland, Dale Warland Singers


Release Date: 05/08/2007 
Label:  Gothic Records   Catalog #: 49252   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander GrechaninovHerbert HowellsPavel ChesnokovJohn Rutter,   ... 
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



LUX AURUMQUE Dale Warland, cond; Dale Warland Singers GOTHIC 49252 (63:51 Text and Translation)


GRETCHANINOFF Of the mystical supper. HANSON A Prayer of the Middle Ages. MIŠKINIS O sacrum convivium. HOWELLS Take him, Earth, for cherishing. Read more class="COMPOSER12">CHESNOKOV Salvation is created. RUTTER Hymn to the Creator of Light. LAURIDSEN O magnum mysterium. WHITACRE Lux aurumque. BIEBL Ave Maria. SCHNITTKE Complete this Work. RACHMANINOFF We hymn Thee. ARGENTO To God “In Memoriam M. B.” GOLOVANOV Our Father


For over 30 years the Dale Warland Singers was one of North America’s leading choral ensembles, ending its work in 2004. Its repertoire was broad and it demonstrated a commitment to contemporary music as much as to the classic repertoire, commissioning and performing over 270 new works. It made, in its way, a very American sound, by which I mean that it was full, and unified from top to bottom. Because each part gave its vowels and consonants the same color (sometimes called “tuning the words”), each part was also distinguishable within the whole. This also meant that such difficult intervals to tune as seconds and augmented fourths were completely clear. It also had the commendable habit of everyone beginning and ending exactly together. And did I say they sang dead in tune? This ensemble was a professional musical instrument and Dale Warland was an exceptional trainer of that instrument.


There is no particular theme or development here, save a bow in the direction of works related to light, as the title suggests. The program gives us a tour of what we now can consider high points of the modern choral repertoire. The pieces by Howells, Rutter, Whitacre, Biebl, Rachmaninoff, and Chesnokov are part of the standard concert repertoire for most American choirs. The program includes three American pieces, those by Hanson, Lauridsen (now also in the standard repertoire), and local Minnesota composer Dominick Argento, and some pieces off the beaten path, as well, by Gretchaninoff, Miškinis, Schnittke, and Golovanov. Despite a general conservatism, this is a 20th-century program and constituted of challenging music. It is also ravishing music in the hands of an ensemble as subtle as this one, making it difficult to choose one piece over another.


Those who think Herbert Howells’s motet in memory of President Kennedy can only properly be sung by the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, need to hear this performance. It is dramatic, nuanced, and passionate. Another delight was Argento’s motet to words by Robert Herrick. This begins somewhat in the style of Howells but comes quickly to an acerbity that Howells avoided. It also ends with an Ivesian distant trumpet and the softest recorded ppp I have ever heard a choir make. I am not an unabashed fan of the music of John Rutter, but his double-choir motet, Hymn to the Creator of Light , is one of his very best pieces, especially when done as expressively as it is here. The rest of the music is similarly well done. It will not rock any boats, but the music-making is a pleasure to hear. The dynamic range of this ensemble was enormous and it is well captured by Gothic.


If there is a criticism to be made of this program, it is that it really only shows one side of the choir, mid-20th-century religious music, but this is where American choirs often do their best work. On the evidence here, the Dale Warland Singers stopped at the peak of their form. What a way to go!


FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Seven Days of the Passion, Op. 58: no 7, At thy mystical by Alexander Grechaninov
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
2.
Take him, earth, for cherishing by Herbert Howells
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; England 
Language: English 
3.
Salvation is created by Pavel Chesnokov
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Russia 
4.
Hymn to the Creator of Light by John Rutter
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1992; England 
Language: English 
5.
O magnum mysterium by Morten Lauridsen
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; USA 
Language: Latin 
6.
Lux aurumque by Eric Whitacre
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; USA 
Language: Latin 
7.
Ave Maria by Franz Biebl
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; Germany 
Language: Latin 
8.
Concerto for Chorus: Complete this Work by Alfred Schnittke
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984-1985; USSR 
9.
To God `In Memoriam M.B.' by Dominick Argento
Conductor:  Dale Warland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dale Warland Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

Sound Samples

Passion Week, Op. 58: At Thy mystical supper
A Prayer for the Middle Ages
O sacrum convivium
Take him, earth, for cherishing
Spaseniye sodelal yesi posrede zemli (Salvation is Created), Op. 25, No. 5
Hymn to the Creator of Light
O Magnum Mysterium
Lux Aurumque: Lux aurumque (Light of Gold)
Ave Maria (Angelus Domini)
Choir Concerto: IV. Sej trud, shto natchinal ja s upavan'jem (Complete this work which I began)
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 31: We hymn thee
To God, "In Memorian M.B"
Otche Nash (Our Father)

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