In 17th and 18th century New England, transplanted Englishmen like Daniel Read, Abraham Wood, and especially William Billings were composing beautiful but rough-hewn and distinctly American vocal music for use in what were called "singing schools." Far to the west and south, in what was then called New Spain and would later be called Mexico, natives and transplanted Spaniards were composing liturgical music of a richness and complexity that was worthy of the greatest cathedrals of Europe – and teaching their native converts to do the same. This disc showcases the works of two of 18th century Mexico's finest composers: the Mexican-born Manuel de Zumaya and the transplanted European Ignacio de Jerusalem. The latter is represented by a polychoral Mass in D Minor, a responsory, and a gorgeous Dixit Dominus setting written in six sections; from the former listeners have a setting of Jeremiah's lamentations, a breathtakingly complex solfeggio composition titled Sol-fa de Pedro, and the polychoral Celebren, Publiquen.
Prior to the Spanish Inquisition, peace, tolerance, and shared learning existed. This shared knowledge influenced all subjects from the sciences to the arts. The music composed and performed during this time was about being in the moment: Some pieces tell stories–'Cancionera de la Columbina' for example–while others express emotions, as in the 'Romances.' Interestingly enough, the "non-Jewish" selections were written during the Inquisition, while the Sephardic selections were written right before it. Director Jordi Savall and Hesperion XX, an ensemble that specializes in early music from all over the world, are like chameleons. Soprano Montserrat Figueras is able to inhabit each work with great authenticity and individual style…
Music can enrich and enhance the cinematic spectacle of some of movie historys greatest moments, and sometimes the music has a life of its own, beyond the confines of the silver screen. This collection from Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins brings together her most popular tributes to some of the greatest film themes and composers from some of the most popular movies of all time, including her interpretations of Everything I Do (I Do It For You) famous as the theme from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and I Will Always Love You made famous by its use in The Bodyguard.
This spectacular set features a quintessential selection of western sacred music that that will please one and all, from an inquisitive novice to a discerning connoisseur. It features a vast array of critically acclaimed recordings of more than seventy cornerstone works, ranging from the earliest Christian chants to gospel songs and Gershwin's blues. The performers include some of today's finest artists, including René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, Paul Hillier and William Christie. Offered at a special low price, this limited edition set is packaged in a luxury clamshell style box containing 29 discs of music and one PDF disc with sung texts.
Great Britain’s famous Proms concerts usually end with a program that is British to the core, featuring many favorites that English audiences expect in the same way that Viennese audiences expect their Radetzky March on New Year’s. Let’s make this clear, then, from the start. This is not an actual Proms performance but a studio recording of music that is usually heard at that event. It is English to the core; about four tracks in, you’ll feel like you should be saluting as the Queen passes by.
Helmed by T-Bone Burnett and Craig Street, the soundtrack to the music-intensive TV crime drama series gets ultra-hip artists to cover songs not necessarily associated with them—all with eerie musical backgrounds that match the program's tone. Unfortunately, the intriguing concept fares better on the small screen than on the big speaker, as artists like Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, and Joe Henry, among others, get lost in a uniformly listless production. Exceptions are Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman's original instrumental "Crossing Jordan Themes," the Holmes Brothers' take on Blind Willie Johnson's "You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond," and Alison Krauss' tackling of Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home." Series star Jill Hennessy debuts with Tom Waits' "You're Innocent When You Dream" and Bob Dylan's "It's all Over Now, Baby Blue" and acquits herself well enough.