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Cantate Hodie - Sing Forth This Day! / Bach Choir Pittsburgh


Release Date: 01/01/2003 
Label:  Clarion   Catalog #: 903   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joseph Wilcox JenkinsHarold Edwin DarkeSamuel HolyokeTraditional,   ... 
Performer:  Candace ErbNeil StahurskyR. J. HeidGlen W. Schneider,   ... 
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony BrassBach Choir of PittsburghMt. Lebanon United Methodist Church Handbells
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This selection is a Hybrid Multichannel Super Audio CD. The Stereo Hybrid SACD program can be played on any standard compact disc player. The DSD Surround and Stereo programs require an SACD player for playback.

One of the great North American musical traditions is embodied in the community or civic chorus, typically large amateur ensembles made up of dozens or even hundreds of local citizens for whom singing the great choral masterworks is a meaningful, essential part of life. For its first recording for the Clarion label, Bach Choir of Pittsburgh shows just what this tradition is all about, filling the CD--and no doubt the church where the recording was made--with grand, big, brassy, full-textured choral works, five of them
Read more world-premieres, that effectively capture the sense of occasion embodied in the texts and musical settings. The world-premieres, all of them commissioned by the Bach Choir, receive special attention, not only in the enthusiastic and expressive singing and playing (by the excellent Pittsburgh Symphony Brass), but in the liner notes, where each composer comments on his work.


Few of the selections are widely known--the familiar ones being Darke's In the bleak midwinter and the Willcocks arrangement of Jingle Bells--and that's a good thing, for it allows us to come to this program with no preconceived notions--just fresh and open ears. Of course, not everything here is a masterpiece, but that's not the point. The fact is, everything is tuneful, well-written for the voices and instruments, and properly conceived to convey both a spiritual and more visceral impact. Joseph Willcox Jenkins' opening medley Cantate Hodie draws together eight carols from around the world, and, as with Joseph Martin's Two Movements for Advent and Stephen Paulus' three-movement We Sing Thy Birth (to Shakespeare, Milton, and Dunbar texts) incorporates both the more subtle aspects of choral singing with the full force of the instruments and voices to make an impressive, audience-pleasing statement. The real highlight of the CD undoubtedly is Craig Courtney's Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas. You can only imagine (and you'd still be wrong!) at the humorous and clever ways he treats each verse, quoting famous works and composers from Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky to Wagner--and ending with an amazing concoction involving nothing less than the Stars and Stripes Forever!


The sound on this hybrid-SACD is a bit too open and resonant for my taste (I listened on a standard CD player), but with these kinds of vocal and instrumental forces--which also includes the services of a beautiful and imposing E.M. Skinner organ--it's difficult to find a perspective that will satisfy everyone. Overall, the singing is first rate--especially well-balanced for a group of more than 100--and it's a treat to hear such polished performers in new repertoire. Occasionally intonation lapses (the sopranos in A La Nanita Nana, and a particularly jarring point in the middle of Silent Night where a subtle transition doesn't quite make it), and the soloists aren't as solid of tone and secure of technique as they could be, but these are small points in light of such a powerful, relentlessly joyous, memorable program, which ends with one of the more rousing renditions of Jingle Bells you'll ever hear.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Cantate hodie, Op. 197 by Joseph Wilcox Jenkins
Performer:  Candace Erb (Soprano), Neil Stahursky (Organ)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 11 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: This work is a medley that incorporates the carols "Good Christian men, rejoice", "In dulci jubilo", "The Rocking Carol", "Bring your torches",
"A la nanita nana", "I saw three ships", "O little town of Bethlehem", and "Kolyada".
This selection is performed in English, Latin, Spanish and Russian. 
2.
In the bleak mid-winter by Harold Edwin Darke
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Carol Barnett 
3.
Comfort ye my people by Samuel Holyoke
Performer:  R. J. Heid (Percussion), Glen W. Schneider (Percussion), Jason Rummel (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1791; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Brady Allred, after Joseph M. Martin 
4.
How brightly shone the morning star by Traditional
Performer:  Jason Rummel (Percussion), Neil Stahursky (Organ), R. J. Heid (Percussion),
Glen W. Schneider (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh,  Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church Handbells
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Brady Allred, after Joseph M. Martin 
5.
Lulle, lullai, lullo, lullabye by Mack Wilberg
Performer:  Neil Stahursky (Organ), Candace Erb (Soprano)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 5 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
Gloria tibi domine by Mack Wilberg
Performer:  Jason Rummel (Percussion), Glen W. Schneider (Percussion), Candace Erb (Soprano),
R. J. Heid (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is performed in English and Latin. 
7.
The Dream Isaiah Saw by Glenn L. Rudolph
Performer:  Jason Rummel (Percussion), R. J. Heid (Percussion), Neil Stahursky (Organ),
Peter Bianchi (Baritone), Glen W. Schneider (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 6 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Leo Nestor 
9.
We sing Thy birth by Stephen Paulus
Performer:  Neil Stahursky (Organ)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 10 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Wither's Carol by Kieren MacMillan
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 4 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas by Craig Courtney
Performer:  Jason Rummel (Percussion), R. J. Heid (Percussion), Neil Stahursky (Organ),
Glen W. Schneider (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 10 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Brady Allred and Daniel Shaw 
12.
All my heart this night rejoices by Johann Georg Ebeling
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: Leo Nestor 
13.
Jingle Bells by James Pierpont
Performer:  Glen W. Schneider (Percussion), R. J. Heid (Percussion), Jason Rummel (Percussion)
Conductor:  Brady R. Allred
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass,  Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/2002 
Venue:  Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranged: David Willcocks 

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