|All Artists: Cantus|
Title: While You Are Alive
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Cantus Records
Release Date: 10/3/2008
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
While You Are Alive
While You Are Alive, an outstanding collection of music, celebrating life through a gorgeous marriage of poetry and music. Album highlights include a new commission from Steven Sametz setting the poetry of Walt Whitman... more »
While You Are Alive, an outstanding collection of music, celebrating life through a gorgeous marriage of poetry and music. Album highlights include a new commission from Steven Sametz setting the poetry of Walt Whitman to music in "We Two," "Lux Aurumque" a choral favorite from Eric Whitacre, a new nine- part work created for Cantus by Edie Hill "A Sound Like This" a world premiere recording by Timothy C. Takach, a delightful piece by Veljo Tormis featuring St. Paul Chamber Orchestra flutist Julia Bogorad-Kogan, and "The Turning," the musical result of composer Maura Bosch's work with Cantus, the American Composer's Forum and the Tubman Family Alliance. This CD offers over 65 minutes of music, 40 of which are of world premiere recordings
Top of the line Musicianship
Smokey Fairway | 01/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the overwhelming amount of choral music in the past decade, this CD blows a lot of that out of the water. Part of it might be the underlying subjects of much of this CD's newly commissioned music, or that the members of Cantus have grown to a higher level of professionalism than just-out-of-school youngsters, but in my opinion this is the best choral CD I now own. I own many of their earlier CDs, some of which are great, some good, some not so good. But I can say that the more recent the CD, the better the quality. And While You Are Alive is no exception to that trend.
Of all of the CD, the two pieces I enjoyed...well, connected with, the most were "A Sound Like This" and "The Turning". A Sound Like This includes the title track, and is full of interesting sounds and tight manipulations of harmonies and rhythms. More than anything I like, surprisingly, the preachiness of it. It is also a very connected piece, with sections being used, hashed, and reused later on (specifically from the second movement to close out the piece as a whole). You won't find particularly outrageous sounds like some new music out there, and if that's what you're looking for, you might be disappointed. But it is modern enough to make a dent in that field of listening, and I believe it is truly a work of art that spans the needs of both the general public as well as the seekers for more existential music.
The Turning is even more directed toward the general public, but is connected to some amazing musical passages. Words taken from men in an anger management class who are dealing with their actions, the men of Cantus seem to be living through those lyrics, creating for the listener a world where everyone is in some way human, and that means mistakes can be made. I am profoundly moved by these 3 movements, each one carrying with it such humane thoughts and emotions that I myself forget I am not one of them dealing with these issues. Oh wait, I have a temper too. It seems there's something in here for everyone.
And that's just it. Not only is Cantus one of the best male vocal ensembles in the country, but they create music that is very connected to the general public. While You Are Alive is an amazing album worth a lot of attention in the coming year. Let's hope it ends up that way."
Let's hear it for the BASSES.
Albert Sammons Jr. | San Francisco, CA | 01/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I sing with the Golden Gate Mens Chorus. We performed the west coast premium of 'We Two'. You guys nailed it. I sing bass in the chorus. It is a pleasure to hear a men's group with a balance sound in the tenor and bass section. Your basses hold their own. I would like to congratulate the recording engineer. I await your visit to the San Francisco bay area."