Rachmaninoff, VOCES8, and the University of Warsaw Choir

Blend, balance, amazing dynamic range - what more could you want with the work from Rachmaninoff's Vespers. Usually sung by much larger ensembles, this small group enables you to follow the lines easily.

Here's a fine large ensemble recording for contrast. If you were a Russian, you'd go for the large group. If you were an American early music type, you'd go for VOCES8.

I love them both!

Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptists "I'm Going to a City"

Here's a slow, lined-out hymn. For many of us, it may seem excruciatingly slow. However, when you begin to poke around in the hymnody of those groups that have remained separate, such as the Amish and the Old Regulars, you find all the hymns are slow. And it's my guess that chant was very much like this in its own time. When you explore folk traditions from Native American to Bulgarian, you'll find a great deal of slow singing. We're just in a hurry nowadays.

Salve Regina from La Grande Chartreuse

The only order that has never needed reform! Enjoy the differences between this version of the Salve regina and that of the Benedictines or the Roman antiphonale.

Psaume 31 (30) from the Monastery of En Calcat

So nice and smooth - and with the unhurried quality I associate with monastic singing. Not dragging, but not sounding as though they're thinking of what they want to do next. This monastery was the birthplace of my two salterios. One went to a dear friend, the other to the Abbey of St. Meinrad.
Enjoy the abbey's website -

VOCES8 Nunc Dimittis by Paul Smith

Listen and enjoy! If you want to know more about the ensemble, its members, etc., go to Amazing singing.

Ffarwel i blwy' - A Welsh Farewell

This is a lovely trio, not sacred but beautiful. And it's accompanied by lovely photos of Wales. The singers are part of a band called Plentyn. And I could only find information on them in Welsh. It is a song of farewell. The singer is leaving for England to find work with harp and song.

Ave Generosa - Hildegard and Gjeilo

A wonderful setting of Hildegard's chant. The composer is my favorite of the moment, Ola Gjeilo, and the singers are Sjaella. It's rather long at 4 minutes and 36 seconds, but nothing by Hildegard is short. Entrancing listening as I'm having a second cup of coffee from my Hildegard of Bingen mug (jealous, aren't you?).

Learn more about this Leipzig-based ensemble from their website at
Of course, those beautiful voices are matched with good looks and youthful spirit.

For the scoop on Ola, go to