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What Sweeter Music - click to order

What Sweeter Music - Carols for Christmas

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This beautiful recording is a heartwarming collection of carols performed by the critically acclaimed American Bach Choir, an ensemble heralded by the San Jose Mercury News as "the best baroque chorus I ever hope to hear." This disc is a wonderful blend of the unusual and the traditional - much of the repertoire is drawn from the 20th century - and provides the perfect gift for fans of choral music. Works by Britten, Darke, Gibbs, Kodály, Lauridsen, Ord, Pearsall, Rutter, Vaughan Williams, Walton, and Willcocks.

 
  • What sweeter music - John Rutter (b. 1945)
  • Infant holy, Infant lowly - Polish carol arr. David Willcocks (b. 1919)
  • Adam lay ybounden - Boris Ord (1897-1961)
  • A Boy was born in Bethlehem - Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
  • The blessed son of God - Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
  • No sad thought his soul affright - Vaughan Williams
  • All this time - William Walton (1902-1983)
  • While the shepherds were watching - Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (1889-1960)
  • What cheer? - Walton
  • Sussex Carol - English traditional arr. Willcocks
  • Blessed be that maid Mary - English traditional tune arr. Willcocks
  • In dulci jubilo - Old German tune arr. R. L. Pearsall (1795-1856)
  • A Christmas Carol - Hungarian traditional tune arr. Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)
  • O Magnum Mysterium - Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)
  • In the bleak mid-winter - Harold Darke (1888-1976)

John Karl Hirten, organist


Arcangelo Corelli: Six Concerti Grossi, opus

Corelli's publishers printed transcriptions of the composer's famous Concerti Grossi. They were the most popular works of the day, and have remained popular among classical music afficionados. Through a stroke of genius marketing strategies, the works were transcribed for two recorders (instead of the customary two violin soloists), in order to make them accessible to players of other instruments. You'll hear on this WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING the phenomenal playing of Dan Laurin and Hanneke van Proosdij. Also presented are three concertos with Corelli's original instrumentation, featuring violinists Elizabeth Wallfisch and Katherine Kyme. Tanya Tomkins (violoncello) and Michael Sponseller (harpsichord) are soloists throughout. Included is the celebrated "Christmas Concerto". Jeffrey Thomas conducts the American Bach Soloists orchestra. DELOS INTERNATIONAL DE-3358

J. S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos

In 1998, the American Bach Soloists inaugurated their International Young Artists Bach Competition as a way to foster emerging musicians who wish to pursue a career in early music. Michael Sponseller received First Place in that year's competition for harpsichordists. He has since appeared throughout Europe and North America with critical acclaim as a soloist, conductor and chamber musician. Also winner of the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition (2002), he holds the distinction of being a two-time prizewinner at the Festival of Flanders International Harpsichord Competition (Bruges), as well as taking prizes in Montréal and Kalamazoo. His recitals have been heard at the Smithsonian Institution, Saint Cecilia's Hall, Alliance Françaises and at festivals such as Boston, Berkeley, and Edinburgh. Here he performs three of Bach's most brilliant harpsichord concertos in D minor, F major (transcribed from the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto), and A minor (triple concerto with violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock and flautist Sandra Miller). DELOS INTERNATIONAL DE-3359

St. Matthew Passion - click to order

Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion
(recorded Live at the 1996 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition) - 3 CD Set

Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 - American Bach Soloists & Jeffrey Thomas

Or CLICK here for our St. Matthew Passion Highlights CD.

Listen to mp3 Excerpts:
> Opening Chorus: Kommt, ihr Töchter
> Alto Aria: Erbarme Dich (Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Judith Malafronte, alto)
> Soprano Aria: Aus Liebe (Catherine Bott, soprano)
> Final Chorus: Wir setzen uns

"This is a highly persuasive and moving Matthew Passion… remarkable for both its powerful narrative, superbly shaped by Thomas as Evangelist, and the emotional intensity of its meditative arias… The band plays with elegance and suavity… Such a sense of performance and narrative makes this live recording the most compelling Matthew Passion that I have heard on disc." - Early Music Review, Cambridge

"The performance represents something of a tour de force for American Bach Soloists director Jeffrey Thomas, who not only conducts but also sings the demanding role of the Evangelist. Thomas's contribution, both as conductor and singer, is distinguished by a rare sense of integrity, one of the great strengths of a performance that grows in stature as it progresses… the chorus produces much to admire, with some particularly sensitive interjections in the tenor aria "Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen" and the penultimate recitative. The chorales too are very successful, truly devotional, unmannered, but at the same time sung with real meaning… The splendid oboes da caccia here are characteristic of the outstanding playing Thomas draws throughout from his American Bach Soloists, whether as an ensemble or in their many obbligato roles… a very fine achievement that will surely bring as much spiritual refreshment to others as it has to me." - Fanfare

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1046-1051

with Bonus Tracks
Sinfonias and Sonatas from Cantatas
Concerto in A Minor for Four Harpsichords

AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS
performing on period instruments
JEFFREY THOMAS

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Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Opus 125 (1824)

American Bach Choir
Pacific Mozart Ensemble - Richard Grant director
UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus - John Butt director

AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS
performing on period instruments
JEFFREY THOMAS

Click to Order - [more information]

 
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