Paths of Grace / Gloriae Dei Cantores

Release Date: 10/24/2006
Catalog Number: GDCD116
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
Low Stock
$13.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
This release brings together 17 tracks from nine previous Gloria Dei Cantores CDs, concentrating on “works that capture a reflective and peaceful spirit.” It completes a trilogy ofsimilar re-release anthologies also including “Eternal Light” and “Joy and Gladness.”

The result is an unalloyed delight from beginning to end. Blend, intonation, and balance are fully on par with the best choral ensembles recording today. The men’s voices in the Russianrepertoire are satisfyingly robust; equally impressive is this group’s capacity for fortissimos that remain perfectly balanced without becoming the least bit screamy. Diction is not obsessively crisp, but more-than-adequately intelligible throughout.

The programming order sets up a nice rhythm between more restful, largely homophonic works and others somewhat more challenging from a harmonic or textural viewpoint. But within that overall concept, the serene homophony of Victoria, the lush Romantic harmonies of Rheinberger, and the piquant chromaticism of Brahms and Mathias are all rendered with equal and equally commendable aplomb.

The documentation does leave some small room for complaint: no program notes are provided, and while some instrumental and vocal soloists are credited, others are not—a particular disservice to those whose contributions are so critical in the Sviridov and Kedrov works. Further, listeners who are congenitally wary of electronic gimmickry may wish to note that “the dynamic range of this recording has been digitally enhanced to provide a more pleasurable listening experience.” Not having access to any of the original releases, I can’t compare the results to their previous incarnations, but I can report that my “listening experience” could hardly have been more pleasurable—and one that I look forward to repeating. Warmly recommended.

FANFARE: James Carson
Works on This Recording
1. Super flumina Babylonis by Giovanni Palestrina
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1581 ; Italy
2. Motets (4), Op. 133 by Joseph Rheinberger
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Romantic
Written: 1881 ;
3. An Angel crying by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Romantic
Written: 1887 ; Russia
4. Motets (2), Op. 29: no 1, Es ist das Heil uns kommen her by Johannes Brahms
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Romantic
Written: ?1860 ; Germany
5. Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Tenebrae Responsories - O vos omnes by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1585 ; Spain
6. Come, Holy Ghost by Leo Sowerby
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: 20th Century
7. Veni Sancte Spiritus, Op. 96 by William Mathias
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1985 ; Wales, UK
8. Mirabile mysterium by Pietro Vinci
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Renaissance
Written: 16th Century ;
9. The Best of Rooms by Randall Thompson
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1963 ; USA
10. Crucifixus by Antonio Lotti
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Baroque
11. Angelus, Op. 90 no 5 by William Mathias
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1983 ; Wales, UK
12. Motets (2), Op. 74: no 2, O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf by Johannes Brahms
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Romantic
Written: 1863-1877 ; Austria
13. Adoramus te by Giovanni Maria Nanino
Orchestra/Ensemble: Gloriae Dei Cantores
Period: Renaissance
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