Great recording of great performances of great arrangements
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 10/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Chor (Greek for Choir) Leoni (Italian for Lion) have voices and arrangements that are not superficial. While the soloists are not Pavarotti, they are also not Michael Bolton or Justin Timberlake, and when the entire chorus comes in with harmonies as hearty and robust as prime rib, yet as feathery fine as angels wings well.... the effect is musical magic.
I'm interested in all types of music, but there's a special place in my heart for talented musicians who commit themselves to mastery of musical artforms that they KNOW are not going to get them a triple-platinum CD. A capella men's chorus's are a special breed - dating back before sea chanty's all the way to Gregorian chants.
The music here is as varied as music sung by about 25 men without instrumental accompaniment could be. Sometimes it soars. Sometimes it is robust and up-tempo. The old ballads "The Water is Wide" and "Red River Valley" sound like a heavenly host. Robert Shaw's arrangement of "Vive L'Amour" sounds like the musical equivalent of Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day speech from "Henvy V": full of life and shared accomplishment.
While I don't expect to see Chor Leoni on "The Tonight Show", the listening pleasure I get from this CD tops that of any 10 "Special Musical Guests" on "Tonight" or "Saturday Night Live".
Admittedly, this is music for those with a taste for it - but I get the same kind of thrill hearing a great Mariachi band, or Ray Charles or a great Bluegrass Band like Alison Krauss and Union Station. This is music that is as far removed from the lip-synced techno-pop of today as it can be.
Mark J. Fowler | 02/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beautiful choral arrangements of songs displaying the rich cultural diversity of music from across Canada. A must for all lovers of choral music. TWO THUMBS UP."