Great American Songbook

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Britain's King's Singers have recorded popular music before, in among their usual Renaissance and contemporary fare, but the 2013 release Great American Songbook marked a departure from their earlier work in several ways. What you'll think of it may depend on how attached you are to the classic King's Singers a cappella sound, but there's no question that the group deserves credit for pushing its own boundaries after nearly half a century in existence. The album, as promised, consists of classics of American song from the Broadway and Tin Pan Alley era; the largest group is by Cole Porter, the sexual nature of whose lyrics takes on a somehow disembodied quality when sung ...
See more details below
CD
$18.99
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (4) from $14.70   
  • New (4) from $14.70   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Britain's King's Singers have recorded popular music before, in among their usual Renaissance and contemporary fare, but the 2013 release Great American Songbook marked a departure from their earlier work in several ways. What you'll think of it may depend on how attached you are to the classic King's Singers a cappella sound, but there's no question that the group deserves credit for pushing its own boundaries after nearly half a century in existence. The album, as promised, consists of classics of American song from the Broadway and Tin Pan Alley era; the largest group is by Cole Porter, the sexual nature of whose lyrics takes on a somehow disembodied quality when sung by this group, and by Rodgers & Hart. The first new wrinkle lies in the arrangements, by British composer Alexander L'Estrange. They're unusually elaborate and well-tailored to the voices of the Singers, who have remained startlingly consistent in their sound over the years despite numerous changes in personnel. L'Estrange has a way of breaking the melodies down into individual atoms and distributing them among different singers, bringing to mind forms of contemporary composition. The second novelty here is the presence of an orchestra on disc two. The King's Singers have performed and recorded with orchestras before on many occasions, but the a cappella/orchestra division over two discs is more unusual. As it happens, they seem less enthusiastic about the orchestral music this time around; the second disc clocks in at just over 31 minutes, just slightly more than half the length of the first. The arrangements are less complex, and the group seems unenthused by the flaccid playing of the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra. The action is on the first disc, which does represent one of the King's Singers' more complex pieces of work. Finally there is the sound; Great American Songbook seems to contain more than the usual quota of multi-tracking and other electronic tweaking, although you don't really learn anything from the booklet other than a credit for "wonderful post-production magic." In all, an interesting new direction for a veteran a cappella vocal group.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/29/2013
  • Label: Signum Uk
  • UPC: 635212034125
  • Catalog Number: 341
  • Sales rank: 36,198

Album Credits

Performance Credits
King's Singers Primary Artist, Vocal Ensemble
David Firman Conductor
South Jutland Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
Irving Berlin Composer, Lyricist
Cy Coleman Composer
Jimmy McHugh Lyricist
Harold Arlen Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
King's Singers Liner Notes
Charles Trénet Composer
Jerome Kern Composer
Dorothy Fields Lyricist
Mack Gordon Lyricist
Arthur Hamilton Composer, Lyricist
Lorenz Hart Lyricist
Edward Heyman Lyricist
Jack Lawrence Lyricist
Cole Porter Composer, Lyricist
Jonathan Rathbone Orchestration
Harry Warren Composer
Victor Young Composer
Ted Koehler Lyricist
Carolyn Leigh Lyricist
Andrew Mellor Engineer
Alexander L'Estrange Arranger, Producer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Brits take on the American songbook! Brits take on the American

    Brits take on the American songbook! Brits take on the American songbook! Although anything can turn up in a King’s Singers live concert, their albums have tended to be theme-based. Here the all-male sextet performs the repertoire collectively known as the Great American Songbook--by such writers as Porter, Berlin, Rodgers, and even Charles Trenet, whose “La Mer” became a hit for Bobby Darin when fitted out with English lyrics as “Beyond the Sea”—in new arrangements by Alexander L’Estrange (“Cheek to Cheek” has a clever musical joke for classical fans). The result is, like the Songbook itself, a mixed bag. Some of the humorous numbers are a bit cutesy, but the lushly-harmonized ballads are wonderful. A second bonus disc dresses up half of the a cappella selections with the addition of an orchestra (superfluous, IMO). The booklet doesn’t have the words to the songs, but you hardly need them: even if you haven’t known them all your life, the group’s diction is just fine, and their sound is as great as the music.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews