×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Sing Freedom!: African-American Spirituals
     

Sing Freedom!: African-American Spirituals

by Conspirare
 
Performances of African-American spirituals by predominantly white choirs in what conductor Craig Hella Johnson calls "choral art arrangements" can be dicey affairs; it's not common to hear a choir so free from the constraints of the written notes that it can soar with the kind of passion and spirit the music requires. Even so, spirituals are so durable they can make

Overview

Performances of African-American spirituals by predominantly white choirs in what conductor Craig Hella Johnson calls "choral art arrangements" can be dicey affairs; it's not common to hear a choir so free from the constraints of the written notes that it can soar with the kind of passion and spirit the music requires. Even so, spirituals are so durable they can make a powerful impact even in less-than-ideal performances, but it's a special pleasure to hear them sung as freely and intensely and beautifully as they are here by Conspirare's Company of Voices, led by Johnson. The singers maintain exceptionally pure and focused tone even when they are sliding and bending pitches. Most of the pieces have solo parts that are sung with assurance and idiomatic sensitivity. One of the strengths of the album is the diversity of the repertoire and the arrangements. About half the tracks are well-known songs and about half are likely to be new to general audiences. There's a healthy selection of traditional, familiar arrangements by Moses Hogan, William Dawson, Wendell Whalum, Alice Parker, and Robert Shaw. Several are presented in new versions by David Lang, Tarik O'Regan, and Johnson himself, who are among the strongest and most distinctive choral composers of the early 21st century, and there are original works by Kirby Shaw and Robert Kyr, and these new versions and songs really make the album stand out. Lang, Johnson, and especially O'Regan make some daring departures from tradition in their arrangements, but they are gripping; O'Regan's serenely understated setting of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is a real ear-opener. The new works are hugely effective. Kirby Shaw's "Plenty of Room (On the Glory Train)" is traditional enough to sound like an authentic spiritual and Kyr's "Freedom Song" is hypnotically dazzling in its wild abandon. The sound of Harmonia Mundi's SACD is terrific: clean, warm, and immediate.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2011
Label:
Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC:
0093046752569
catalogNumber:
807525

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Conspirare   Primary Artist,Choir, Chorus
David Farwig   Bass (Vocal)
Rick Gabrillo   Percussion
Melissa Givens   Soprano (Vocal)
Craig Hella Johnson   Piano,Conductor
Nina Revering   Soprano (Vocal)
Keely Rhodes   Alto (Vocal)
Tracy Shirk   Tenor (Vocal)
Matt Alber   Tenor (Vocal)
Cameron Beauchamp   Bass (Vocal)
Sonja DuToit Tengblad   Soprano (Vocal)
Julie Keim   Soprano (Vocal)
Matthew Tresler   Tenor (Vocal)
Carr Hornbuckle   Tenor (Vocal)
Stefanie Moore   Soprano (Vocal)
Gitamjali Mathur   Soprano (Vocal)
Wendy Bloom   Alto (Vocal)
Charles Wesley Evans   Bass (Vocal)
Abigail Lennox   Soprano (Vocal)
Nicole Greenidge   Soprano (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Michael Tippett   Arranger
Brad Michel   Engineer
Robina G. Young   Producer
David Lang   Arranger
Moses Hogan   Arranger
Alice Parker   Arranger
Wendell Whalum   Arranger
Kirby Shaw   Composer
Geneviève Begou   Text Translation
Karin Elsener   Graphic Design,Illustrations
Craig Hella Johnson   Arranger,Liner Notes
Tarik O'Regan   Arranger
James Weldon Johnson   Poetry
Robert Shaw   Arranger
Ingeborg Neumann   Text Translation
Robert Kyr   Composer,Text
Leonard de Paur   Arranger
William L. Dawson   Arranger

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews