A few of these small choral gems are well known to amateur choirs, and Poulenc's secular choral pieces are more often presented one at a time on choral albums than in the groupings in which they were originally included. Francis Poulenc: Secular Choral Music offers the composer's very first choral piece, the Chanson à boire for men's voices (1922), but most of the music here dates from either the late '30s (the Petites voix, for female or children's voices, and Sept chansons) or the World War II era (Un soir de neige), the folk-song settings entitled Chansons françaises, and the ambitious Figure humaine, whose final number, "Liberté," was dropped in sheet music form over French cities by Britain's Royal Air Force. Someone once described Poulenc as "part monk, part hooligan," and these a cappella choral works give evidence of both tendencies. The Chansons françaises are cheerful pieces with just a shade of extended harmony, almost French counterparts to Bartók's folk song settings, while the more serious pieces, such as "Un chien perdu" (A Lost Dog), from the Petites voix, have a mystical tinge that links them strongly with Poulenc's better-known sacred choral music.
Though born in Ukraine, composer Galina Grigorjeva has lived in Estonia since 1992 and has worked within that country's deep tradition of sacred choral music. She studied music in Tallinn in the mid-'90s, and her music is thus interesting in terms of representing the thoughts of a younger generation that has absorbed the holy minimalism of Arvo Pärt as well as a variety of other styles from the Slavic world and beyond. Indeed, the unifying stylistic thread of the six works on the album can be hard to find, and indeed the booklet notes by Saale Karede point to "the living light that glows through the music," most of it religious.
The Danse macabre the idea that Death comes for everyone regardless of status or importance has fascinated musicians for centuries. In 2011, inspired by a vast 16th c. painting by Bernt Notke in St Nicholas Church in Tallinn, the English composer Gregory Rose (b. 1948) set the mediaeval German texts which sit below each panel, turning Notkes terrifying vision into a bleak but grimly humorous ritual. The recording features the world-renowned Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. It was recorded in the very church that houses Notkes paintings and is conducted by the composer.
“Hover” choral ensemble was established within “Hover” State Chamber Choir. It is gathered from the leading singers of the choir, who are also orchestra musicians. It started to appear in Europe as “Armenian Voices” since January 2012.
Gevorg Avetisyan is one of the leading flutists of Armenian Philharmonic, State Youth orchestras and Opera Theatre orchestra. Kim Sargsyan is a violinist of Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.,.
Year 2015 marks the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius (1865–1957), often entitled 'Finland’s national composer'. The fourth album on Ondine by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is dedicated to the complete works for mixed choir by Jean Sibelius. The award-winning choir, one of the finest of its kind internationally, is conducted here by one of the leading Finnish choir directors, Heikki Seppänen, who has conducted a large number of professional choirs in Finland and abroad. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir’s releases on Ondine have been a critical success: the first release was given an ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Gramophone Magazine and ‘Disc of the Year’ by the renowned German weekly Die Zeit.