I Sing the Birth

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
New York Polyphony, a male quartet, in many senses calls to mind Anonymous 4, the women's ensemble that made an extraordinary career focusing on early music, but also branching out as far afield as folk song and contemporary repertoire. The collection here is primarily devoted to Medieval and Renaissance pieces, but includes works by modern British composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Kenneth Leighton, and Andrew Smith, and an unfamiliar setting of "Away in a Manger" based on a folk song from Normandy. The bulk of the music was written well before 1600, with a strong emphasis on plainchant. The integration of the diverse repertoire into a single CD is surprisingly effective; ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
New York Polyphony, a male quartet, in many senses calls to mind Anonymous 4, the women's ensemble that made an extraordinary career focusing on early music, but also branching out as far afield as folk song and contemporary repertoire. The collection here is primarily devoted to Medieval and Renaissance pieces, but includes works by modern British composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Kenneth Leighton, and Andrew Smith, and an unfamiliar setting of "Away in a Manger" based on a folk song from Normandy. The bulk of the music was written well before 1600, with a strong emphasis on plainchant. The integration of the diverse repertoire into a single CD is surprisingly effective; the juxtaposition of brief monophonic plainchant with English Renaissance polyphony and contemporary motets is so skillfully programmed that there is no sense of disjunction. Andrew Smith's two motets are especially striking in their simplicity and emotional punch. Like Anonymous 4, the size of the group allows for a wonderfully sensitive balance; the ensemble breathes as a single organism, and the blend, which can vary from perfect homogeneity to the subtle highlighting of a single voice, is marvelous. The group is joined by a women's trio in several works written for more than four parts. The sound is clean and present, with appropriate resonance for this material. For the listener looking for a collection of contemplative Christmas music that steers clear of the most obvious selections and introduces intriguing new repertoire, as well as for the fan of early music vocal ensembles, this album has much to offer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/2/2007
  • Label: Avie
  • UPC: 822252214123
  • Catalog Number: 2141

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Veni Redemptor gentium, for vocal ensemble - Andrew Smith & Ruth Cunningham (2:36)
  2. 2 Hodie Christus Natus Est (Mode 1) - Plainchant & Ruth Cunningham (0:53)
  3. 3 Hodie Christus natus est, for 4 voices - Giovanni Pierliugi Palestrina & Ruth Cunningham (1:39)
  4. 4 Puer Natus Est Nobis, introit - Gregorian Chant & Ruth Cunningham (2:48)
  5. 5 Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child, for soloist & chorus, Op 25b - Kenneth Leighton & Ruth Cunningham (2:59)
  6. 6 Beata viscera, conductus for solo voice - PĂ©rotin & Ruth Cunningham (1:54)
  7. 7 Ave Maria Mater Dei for 4 voices - William Cornysh & Ruth Cunningham (2:36)
  8. 8 Alma Redemptoris Mater - Gregorian Chant & Ruth Cunningham (1:39)
  9. 9 The Darkest Midnight in December, carol (Irish) - Christmas Traditional & Ruth Cunningham (2:05)
  10. 10 The Fader of Heaven, for vocal ensemble - Peter Maxwell Davies & Ruth Cunningham (1:21)
  11. 11 Vox in Rama audita est, Communion - Gregorian Chant & Ruth Cunningham (0:53)
  12. 12 Vox in Rama, motet - Jacobus Clemens Non Papa & Ruth Cunningham (3:08)
  13. 13 Vox in Rama audita est, Communion: Reprise - Gregorian Chant & Ruth Cunningham (0:59)
  14. 14 Away in A Manger - Christmas Traditional & Ruth Cunningham (2:26)
  15. 15 Ave Maria for 5 voices - Robert Parsons & Ruth Cunningham (3:35)
  16. 16 Coventry Carol (2): "Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child" - Christmas Traditional & Ruth Cunningham (2:29)
  17. 17 Ave Maria, gratia plena, tractus - Plainchant & Ruth Cunningham (0:59)
  18. 18 Coventry Carol (1): "Lullay, I Saw a Swete, Semely Syght" - Ruth Cunningham & Anonymous, Ritson Manscript (2:10)
  19. 19 Mervele noght, Josep - English Traditional & Ruth Cunningham (5:44)
  20. 20 Nowell, nowell: Dieu vous garde - Richard Smert & Ruth Cunningham (2:52)
  21. 21 Veni redemptor gentium, Christmas hymn - Gregorian Chant & Ruth Cunningham (0:51)
  22. 22 O magnum misterium, motet for 4 voices (SATB) - William Byrd & Ruth Cunningham (4:54)
  23. 23 Ecce advenit dominator Dominus - Plainchant & Ruth Cunningham (2:07)
  24. 24 Magi veniunt ab oriente - Jacobus Clemens Non Papa & Ruth Cunningham (3:18)
  25. 25 Nunc dimittis, for vocal ensemble - Andrew Smith & Ruth Cunningham (2:35)
  26. 26 Vox in Rama - Plainchant & Ruth Cunningham (1:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
New York Polyphony Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Totally pure and wonderful sound like listening to light

    The music contained in this cd is a wonderful voyage through Advent,Christmas and beyond. For me, the sound is so pure as to be just like hearing in technicolor..The variety from ancient to modern is interesting,indeed. Watch out for this group, their star is rising!! Best of luck to them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A great atmospheric Christmas disc

    I bought an advance copy of this cd at a concert, and I highly reccommend it. This is perfect for a candle-lit Christmas Eve dinner and has a meditational quality. The Parsons Ave Maria is particularly transcendant. I played it for a friend of mine and she said she felt like she could see the sky opening up. It would be a great Christmas gift.

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