Title - 'I Sing The Birth'
Artist - New York Polyphony
For those not in the know, praised for a “rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts,” (National Public Radio), New York Polyphony is one of the foremost vocal chamber ensembles active today.
The four men, “singers of superb musicianship and vocal allure,” (The New Yorker) give vibrant, modern voice to repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to cutting-edge compositions.
Their dedication to innovative programming, as well as a focus on rare and rediscovered Renaissance and medieval works, has not only earned New York Polyphony two GRAMMY nominations and wide acclaim, but also helped to move early music into the classical mainstream.
New York Polyphony’s debut release I Sing The Birth has garnered unanimous acclaim. Released in 2007 on Avie Records, it topped “Editor’s Choice” lists in both the U.S and the U.K. Classic FM Magazine awarded it 5 stars—its top rating—and Gramophone called it “one of the season’s best.”
1. Smith: Veni Redemptor gentium (2:36)
2. Hodie Christus natus est (:53)
3. Palestrina: Hodie Christus natus est (1:39)
4. Puer natus est nobis (2:48)
5. Leighton: Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child (2:58)
6. Pérotin: Beata viscera (1:54)
7. Cornysh: Ave Maria Mater Dei (2:36)
8. Alma Redemptoris Mater (1:39)
9. The darkest midnight in December (Irish traditional) (2:04)
10. Maxwell Davies: The Fader of Heven (1:20)
11. Vox in Rama (Introit) (:52)
12. Vox in Rama (Clemens) (3:07)
13. Vox in Rama (Introit reprise) (:59)
14. Away in a Manger (Normandy traditional) (2:25)
15. Parsons: Ave Maria (3:35)
16. Coventry Carol (2:28)
17. Ave Maria (:59)
18. Lullay, lullow, I saw a swete semly syght (Fifteenth-century English carol) (2:09)
19. Mervele noght, Josep (Fifteenth-century English carol) (5:43)
20. Nowell: Dieus wous garde, byewsser (2:52)
21. Veni Redemptor gentium (:51)
22. Byrd: O magnum mysterium (4:53)
23. Ecce advenit dominator Dominus (2:07)
24. Clemens non Papa: Magi veniunt ab oriente (3:17)
25. Smith: Nunc dimittis (2:34)
26. Vox in Rama (Plainchant) (1:12)
An intimate meditation on the Christmas season, this 60-minute sequence of unaccompanied music spanning nine centuries offers a unique, diverse and spellbinding musical experience.
Personally, I have never heard such a beautiful setting of "Away in A Manger" (Normandy traditional) before. I have listened to that track many times now, back-to-back and it still gives me goosebumps. Oh, and the "The Feder of Heven" by Peter Maxwell Davies is just as goosebump-inducing, please believe me.
The four men of New York Polyphony sing music from the pre-Renaissance period in hauntingly beautiful tones. The blend of their voices, the intricacy of the music, and their sheer musicianship yields a CD where each track is a pure delight.
The individual voices on show here are simply stunning, beautiful in both timbre and expressiveness, but together they are simply transcending here on I Sing The Birth.
Chock full of wondrous, elegantly sung, and imaginatively programmed pieces, this CD playing on Christmas Day in your house will most definitely have your guests inquiring.
CD Purchase Link