While the unifying thread which links these works is that of loss, the underlying focus is an uplifting celebration of life and love. Gabriel Jackson’s Requiem combines traditional solemnity with poems which embrace wide-ranging spirituality, resulting in images of light and radiant optimism. Contrasting poignancy of expression is heard in personal tributes from John Tavener and Francis Pott, while Bob Chilcott uses Pachelbel’s famous Canon to set Oscar Wilde’s Requiescat. Vasari Singers’ Great British Anthems (8.572504) was described as ‘essential listening’ by Gramophone.
“Eleven discs, fourteen hours of music. After the successful issue of Minimal Piano Collection I-IX Jeroen van Veen & friends have recorded works for 2 to 6 pianos, from - among others - Ten Holt, Eisenga, Meijering, Glass, Pärt, and Reich. With swinging effects, transformations and challenging rhythms…."
The live performance last year of this major and substantial work by the young Latvian composer Ešenvalds thrilled critics and audiences alike. As a new liturgical work that looks set to enter the repertoire it is comparable to Arvo Pärt’s Passio. Eschewing the single narrative perspective that characterizes the great Passion settings of the past, the composer has assembled an interlocking mosaic of texts from the gospels, from Byzantine and Roman liturgies, and from the Old Testament.
Bless This House was released in 1956 and features Mahalia Jackson and the Falls-Jones Ensemble. This LP is a favorite of the gospel purists who feel alienated by Jackson's collaborations with pop artists like Percy Faith and Harpo Marx. The songs on Bless This House feature great supporting performances by pianist Mildred Falls and organist Ralph Jones. Highlights include a jazzy, swinging "Let the Church Roll On," a dark, bluesy "Trouble With the Word," and energetic versions of "Down By the Riverside" and "It Don't Cost Very Much." Bless This House includes some of Jackson's most serious offerings and reflects the influence of blues singers Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey on her vocal style. A great introduction to Jackson's joyous, religious music and a good beginning for new listeners.