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Simple Gifts / King's Singers


Release Date: 05/27/2008 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 121   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Billy JoelJames TaylorTraditionalStephen Stills,   ... 
Performer:  David HurleyStephen ConnollyPhilip LawsonChristopher Gabbitas,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It's hard to believe that this is the King's Singers' 40th anniversary season, but this newly recorded program comes as part of the celebration. Of course, over the years the names have changed, the record labels have changed, but the group of six male singers continues to do what it's always done: perform a near-limitless range of repertoire with exceptional technical polish, assured sense of style, and captivating personality, spiced with occasional humor and always conveying the sheer joy of singing, whether in a Byrd motet, a folksong arrangement, or a Beatles tune.

For listeners who primarily identify with the King's Singers' classical-oriented programs, you should know that this is definitely not a "classical"
Read more album. Rather, nearly half of the songs are pop tunes (from James Taylor to Billy Joel to Paul Simon and Sting), and the rest--spirituals, ballads, and folksongs--feature arrangements that place them squarely in that genre. Of course, those arrangements are typically first-rate, owing primarily to the expertise of current ensemble member Philip Lawson and former King's Singer Bob Chilcott, both of whom have long experience supplying the group with fresh, original musical creations. New to this CD are Lawson's settings of Sting's "Valparaiso", Paul Simon's "April Come She Will", Randy Newman's "When She Loved Me", and James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes".

Besides appreciating the impeccable vocals and clever, invariably entertaining arrangements of well-known songs ("Deep River", "Steal Away", "She's Always a Woman"), you can't help but notice--and possibly be distracted by--the sound, whose highly processed quality and close perspective can make the voices seem both uncomfortably near and otherworldly. It's a sonic cast--all done in a studio--that's quite different from other King's Singers recordings; some listeners will love it, others will, well, have to get used to it. And certainly, if you love this group--and who doesn't?--you've probably already reserved a place on the shelf.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Tracks:
She’s Always a Woman (Billy Joel, arr. Philip Lawson)
You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor, arr. Philip Lawson)
Greensleeves (Trad. English, arr. Bob Chilcott)
The Gift to be Simple (Trad. American, arr. Bob Chilcott)
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Trad. Spiritual, arr. Peter Knight)
Helplessly Hoping (Stephen Stills, arr. Philip Lawson)
Deep River (Trad. Spiritual, arr. Philip Lawson)
Black is the Color (Trad. American/Scottish, arr. Bob Chilcott)
I Love my Love (Trad. English, arr. Philip Lawson)
The Water is Wide (Trad. English, arr. Philip Lawson)
When She Loved Me (Randy Newman, arr. Philip Lawson)
Valparaiso (Sting, arr. Philip Lawson)
The Turtle Dove (Trad. English, arr. Philip Lawson)
April Come She Will (Paul Simon, arr. Philip Lawson)
Steal Away (Trad. Spiritual, arr. Bob Chilcott)
You are the New Day (John David, arr. Peter Knight)
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
She's Always a Woman by Billy Joel
Performer:  David Hurley (Countertenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1977; USA 
2.
You Can Close Your Eyes by James Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
3.
Greensleeves by Traditional
Performer:  Stephen Connolly (Bass), Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
David Hurley (Countertenor), Paul Phoenix (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
4.
You Can Close Your Eyes by James Taylor
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Stephen Connolly (Bass), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
Paul Phoenix (Tenor), David Hurley (Countertenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
5.
Helplessly Hoping by Stephen Stills
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Philip Lawson (Baritone), David Hurley (Countertenor),
Paul Phoenix (Tenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1969; USA 
6.
Deep river by Traditional
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
Stephen Connolly (Bass), David Hurley (Countertenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Written: USA 
7.
I love my love by Traditional
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor), David Hurley (Countertenor),
Philip Lawson (Baritone), Stephen Connolly (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Written: England 
8.
The water is wide by Traditional
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), David Hurley (Countertenor), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
Paul Phoenix (Tenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
9.
Valparaiso by Sting
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Philip Lawson (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor),
David Hurley (Countertenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 2005 
10.
The Little Turtle Dove by Traditional
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
David Hurley (Countertenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Written: England 
11.
April Come She Will by Paul Simon
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass),
Philip Lawson (Baritone), David Hurley (Countertenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Period: 20th Century 
12.
You Are The New Day by John David
Performer:  Paul Phoenix (Tenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
David Hurley (Countertenor), Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; Wales, UK 
13.
Simple gifts by Joseph Brackett
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Stephen Connolly (Bass), David Hurley (Countertenor),
Philip Lawson (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Written: USA 
14.
Swing low, sweet chariot by Traditional
Performer:  Stephen Connolly (Bass), Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
David Hurley (Countertenor), Paul Phoenix (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
15.
Black is the color of my true love's hair by Traditional
Performer:  Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Philip Lawson (Baritone), Paul Phoenix (Tenor),
David Hurley (Countertenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
16.
Toy Story 2: When She Loved Me by Randy Newman
Performer:  Stephen Connolly (Bass), Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
Paul Phoenix (Tenor), David Hurley (Countertenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1999; USA 
17.
Steal away to Jesus by Traditional
Performer:  David Hurley (Countertenor), Stephen Connolly (Bass), Philip Lawson (Baritone),
Paul Phoenix (Tenor), Christopher Gabbitas (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
Written: USA 

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