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Seventeen of Gloriæ Dei Cantores' finest recordings make their way onto Paths of Grace, the final companion volume to earlier anthologies Eternal Light and Joy and Gladness. The recording features works of Palestrina, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mathias, and many others. The pieces capture a reflective, peaceful spirit with music of graceful melody and flow. Gloriæ Dei Cantores' expert renditions of these pieces have had critics reaching for superlatives for nearly two decades now. Their absorption of each composer's style produces interpretations of richness and depth. Experience the special sound of Gloriæ Dei Cantores through this wonderful spectrum of choral music.
This recording is a compilation of a wide variety of choral compositions recorded by the group Gloriae Dei Cantores between 1991 and 1999 at Methuem Memorial Hall and Mechanics Hall, both in Massachusetts.
Gloriae Dei Cantores means Singers to the Glory of God. Their website says that they are 40 members strong, ages 17 to 70, who are in common . . . commitment. Their mission is to illuminate truth and beauty through choral artistry, and to glorify God through a faithful interpretation of two millenia of choral music.
With music ranging from the Renaissance to our day, this recording is 72 minutes of just what they say: committed, faithful singing that moves ably from one period to another. These singers are not out to show us how good they are -- though they are good; they are here to show us what music can be.
They do this through well-blended, tasteful singing. They also accomplish this through the selections they chose and the way they ordered the selections. On this recording are works by Palestrina, Brahms, Victoria, Sowerby, Mathias, and various Russian composers, and some lesser-known composers like Pietro Vinci and Giovanni Maria Nanino. Instead of ordering these pieces chronologically, they sing them in a way that flows naturally from one to another. For instance, right when I was about to tire of a cappella adagios, there was a piece with trumpet and percussion. When I thought I could hear not one more thick Russian harmony, the disk moved on to an angular piece by the more modern composer, William Mathias.
A rich, well-made recording that gives us not only a large sampling of worthwhile repertoire, but also reminds us what music making should be about in the first place.Karen Beaumont, The Living Church
This release brings together 17 tracks from nine previous Gloria Dei Cantores CDs, concentrating on works that capture a reflective and peaceful spirit. It completes a trilogy of similar re-release anthologies also including Eternal Light and Joy and Gladness.
The result is an unalloyed delight from beginning to end. Blend, intonation, and balance are fully on par with the best choral ensembles recording today. The men's voices in the Russian repertoire are satisfyingly robust; equally impressive is this group's capacity for fortissimosthat remain perfectly balanced without becoming the least bit screamy. Diction is not obsessively crisp, but more-than-adequately intelligible throughout.
The programming order sets up a nice rhythm between more restful, largely homophonic works and others somewhat more challenging from a harmonic or textural viewpoint. But within that overall concept, the serene homophony of Victoria, the lush Romantic harmonies of Rheinberger, and the piquant chromaticism of Brahms and Mathias are all rendered with equal and equally commendable aplomb. . . .I can report that my listening experience could hardly have been more pleasurable╤and one that I look forward to repeating. Warmly recommended.James Carson, Fanfare
This anthology of selections from 17 recordings by Gloriae Dei Cantores includes works of Palestrina, Victoria, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mathias, Sowerby, Randall Thompson, and others and reveals singing of a very high caliber. Based in a church on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, this ensemble has been recording for many years and has toured extensively. Whether singing in Latin, Russian, German, or English, this chorus is one of the finest amateur vocal ensembles of our time. The two longest works, fine settings by William Mathias, Veni Sancte Spiritus and Angelus, are particularly well sung. The final track, a heavenly setting of the Lord's Prayer by Nikolai Kedrov, Sr., transports the willing listener to a place of divine peace. . . . Tempos are well chosen. The balance of parts is good, and the recorded sound is spacious yet warm and rich. This compilation offers a well-balanced introduction to an excellent choir.R. Moore, American Record Guide
Don't buy this one for the lyrics unless you love Latin. Buy it to calm your spirit when you're stuck in traffic or tired of Christmas ads on the radio, urging you to join in the seasonal tumult. This CD features an anthology of 17 works by Palestrina, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mathias and others, all of them reflective and graceful. Gloriae Dei Cantores (Singers to the Glory of God) is a 40-voice choir dedicated to preserving great choral music from the 11th to the 21st centuries. The music here is meditative, timeless, and just the antidote for the Christmas rush.Mary A. Jacobs, Dallas Morning News
Gloriae Dei Cantores (Singers to the Glory of God) holds a passionate dedication to the faithful representation of spiritual and musical authenticity in the choral arts. Sharing its vision of inspiration and hope, the choir has touched the hearts of audiences in twenty-four countries in Europe and Asia, as well as extensive tours and concert series in the United States. The choir's catalog of more than fifty recordings showcases an expansive repertoire, encompassing both masterworks and rarely performed musical treasures from Gregorian chant to the twenty-first century. Richard K. Pugsley and Gloriae Dei Cantores have garnered high praise for bringing lesser- known, yet fully deserving composers and their works to light. The choir makes its home at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts, where it sings worship services throughout the year.