Lovely Singing from an Ancient Country

One of the first countries to become Christian, Armenia is a mystery to most of us. This recording done by John Graham at Geghard Monastery is more than beautiful.  It is a connection to a different place and time. Graham is a historical musicologist resident in Georgia (the country, not the state) who coordinates tours in this region. His website at John Graham Tours is rich with photos and commentary - and of course, massive amounts of music, both sacred and folk.

I stumbled across his site several years ago. And now I'm saving my shekels, pennies, euros, pesos, etc. for a tour. In the meantime, take a look at these amazing countries and people. There is so much beauty in this world when we take our eyes off the sidewalk in front of us, isn't there?

Women's voices, Purcell, Great Resonance

What more could anyone ask for? Thanks, Sjaella.

Amalgamation Choir

What better way to start a New Year than with music as creative and beautiful as this. The ensemble is Cypriot and of course, the lyrics are obscure - mountains and eagles. Starting off with a rainstorm of hand percussion, hang in there. It's worth it for the singing.

A Nywe Werk by Sean Doherty

Here's a nice seasonal (OK, a little early) work by a Northern Irish composer. Sean Doherty (born 1987) is also a member of the New Dublin Voices. He has won numerous prizes and is getting a good amount of performance.
Interesting note: his Ph.D. dissertation was "Solfaing: A History of Four-Syllable Solmization to the Present Day." I'm sure this would be a treat to read for all the shape-note singers out there with a scholarly bent.

Sub Tuum Praesidium by Miklos Kocsar

It's time again for the International Baltic Sea Choir Competition. This performance is by a Turkish women's choir, Sirene. The Hungarian composer, Miklos Koscar died this year (1933-2019).

VOCES8 Again with William Harris

Okay, I promise to get off the VOCES8 kick for a time, but I just had to post this one because of the smooth movement through the dissonances. And also because I really liked it.

I didn't know anything about William Henry Harris, primarily remembered for his Anglican church music. Google his name and learn even more about Doc H.

Exceeding Glad Shall He Be - Handel in the Morning

One of the Coronation anthems. Why the giraffes? I have no idea. The choir is King's College and I believe there are no giraffes on the roster. Nonetheless some mornings just cry out for something triumphant.