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Pater Noster: A Choral Reflection on the Lord's Prayer

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  • Posted December 8, 2012

    The much-heralded British sextet The King's Singers brings an in

    The much-heralded British sextet The King's Singers brings an interpretation of The Lord's Prayer, phrase by phrase, for comparison of composers, style, and period. The clear voices and exceptional balance presented a capella establish the mood of this prayer and invite comparisons from both amateurs and professionals.

    While this is a scholarly construct with verses presented section by section, the solemnity and devotion of the supplicant is conveyed with each selection. The perfectly-pitched voices blend seamlessly, phrases are clearly expressed, and words are enunciated carefully so that the audience can follow. On the CD, titles of the tracks are helpfully provided for the student following each track, despite a few misspellings. With all parts sung by these men, the choir structure calling for women's voices is eliminated; the texture of the entire choral presentation is pleasingly distinctive as a result. Recorded this year at a cathedral in Nashville, these compositions can be easily imagined sung in a European cathedral with soaring reverberation.

    The instructive booklet provides background by Tim Sharp of the American Choral Directors Association, and multiple language texts with English translations by David Hurley enhance the learning experience for the student and devotee. This CD will be a collector's prize for students, choir and choius directors, and church music directors. Those who value excellence in singing, example, and standard for men's chorus will treasure it as well. The King's Singers continue their many activities in well-known venues throughout the world. This CD will be a pleasing experience to suffice until one can find a way to hear them in person.

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  • Posted November 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Who sings well, prays twice

    Forty years on, there can be few areas of vocal music unexplored by the King's Singers, from Janequin to the Beatles (as their one album title has it), singing a cappella all over the world, though this may be the first time the six gents have recorded in the States. As the group originally spun off of one of the great British chapel choirs, it's no surprise that they are quite at home in sacred music, and their latest disc is based on the most famous of all prayers. The program begins and ends with the early chant setting of the words; the complete prayer is set by six different composers, and other selections are chosen to relate to individual lines of the text. ("Give us this day our daily bread," for example, leads to Palestrina's "I am the Living Bread.") Of course the personnel have changed over the years, but the perfectly tuned sound remains quite consistent, with the current sopranist and tenor--for my money--the best singers to fill those positions. Booklet with texts and translations.

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