A Robert Shaw Christmas: Angels on High
In this beautifully chosen program of mostly a cappella arrangements, Robert Shaw and the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers deliver the Christmas story in tones of gentle and moving splendor. The carols and sacred settings recorded here are all of an intimate sort, and the rapturous, gently expressive realizations Shaw and his singers give them prove unfailingly appealing. Particularly moving is the newest work on the disc, a setting of "O magnum mysterium" by the American composer Morten Lauridsen. Franz Biebl's "Ave Maria" is another gem, as is the arrangement by Healy Willan of the French carol "What Is This Lovely Fragrance?" The offering includes a pair of chorales from Bach's Christmas Oratorio and two wonderful Christmas works by Benjamin Britten: "A Hymn to the Virgin" and A Ceremony of Carols, both well done, even if the sound of sopranos and altos (rather than boy trebles) in the latter takes some getting used to. --Ted Libbey
This CD is brand new, never been played and still sealed. It ships USPS First Class mail with tracking. All orders and all inquiries are handled swiftly. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. 7/1
Christmas is the season for whipping out those holiday-specific standard recordings. This splendid gift by Chanticleer should top the list, for one will never tire of this a cappella choir's interpretations. With selections spanning the last five centuries of Latin, German, English, Spanish, and French festive fare, this recording exemplifies the sacrifice of the ego to the higher form of choral sound. Jacob Handl's "Mirabile Mysterium" takes you on a trip into the chromatic wonderlands, where you temporarily lose tonal balance. Victoria's eerie and dissonant "O Magnum Mysterium" treats us to rich voices swelling out of one organic whole. The phenomenal blend and perfect intonation elevate this recording above others in its category. --Barbara Eisner Bayer
Josh Groban In Concert is a special package, including a DVD featuring footage from his PBS Great Performances appearance and a CD including songs not available on his self-titled debut album. It tentatively features "Broken Vow," "For Always (from the A.I. soundtrack) and his exclusive Christmas song "O Holy Night," as well as selected tracks from the live PBS special.
Additional footage includes a 20-minute conversation with Josh, David Foster, and John Williams and friends; a 5-minute Josh Groban home movie; and an exclusive Web link.
Josh Groban in Concert has all the ingredients to be a long-running PBS staple: a young (21), good-looking performer with a golden voice; songs in Italian and Spanish for the crossover crowd (i.e., Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman) and pop and movie songs for the mainstream; guest stars galore (David Foster, John Williams, Angie Stone, Andrea Corr, Lili Haydn); a large orchestra; and striking but not obtrusive visual effects. The centerpiece of this DVD-CD combo (also available in a DVD keepcase) is the 80-minute concert DVD, filmed in Pasadena in October 2002 and featuring numerous songs from Groban's debut CD, including "You're Still You," which catapulted him into stardom when he sang it on TV's Ally McBeal. There are also two new songs--the ballad "Broken Vow," with Groban accompanied by Foster, and "For Always," with the orchestra conducted by John Williams, who wrote the song for the Steven Spielberg film A.I..
The 37-minute CD offers seven songs performed in the concert (including the two not on the previous CD, "Broken Vow" and "For Always"), plus "O Holy Night." The DVD has excellent picture and sound (PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS), interviews, and backstage footage, and the combination with the CD is an excellent value. Groban's fans, of course, will consider it a treasure at any price. --David Horiuchi
- Record Label: Reprise Records, 413 Records, Reprise Records, 413 Records
- Catalog#: 48413-2, 2-48413
- Country Of Release: Germany
- Year Of Release: 2002