The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza | Stories

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Christopher Lee Fraley, composer

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Classical: Choral Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: A Cappella
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Stories

by The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza

Tells engaging stories through unaccompanied voices singing the lush harmonies, interesting counterpoint, and well-structured song of composer Christopher Lee Fraley.
Genre: Classical: Choral Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Requiescat
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
4:07 $0.99
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2. Wistful Wind
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:17 $0.99
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3. The Plains
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
4:20 $0.99
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4. Golden Stars
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
4:13 $0.99
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5. Famine Song
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:33 $0.99
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6. I Shall Not Care
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:40 $0.99
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7. Aus Alten Maerchen
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
2:18 $0.99
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8. An End: 1. Love, Strong as Death, Is Dead
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
2:41 $0.99
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9. An End: 2. He Was Born in Spring
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:30 $0.99
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10. An End: 3. On the Last Warm Summer Day
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:25 $0.99
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11. An End: 4. Epilogue
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
1:39 $0.99
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12. Hine Ma Tov
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:48 $0.99
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13. Let Us Be Merry
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:55 $0.99
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14. Brightest and Best
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:40 $0.49
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15. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:50 $0.99
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16. Missa Brevis: 1. Kyrie
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:21 $0.99
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17. Missa Brevis: 2. Gloria
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
5:05 $0.99
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18. Missa Brevis: 3. Amen
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
2:03 $0.99
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19. Missa Brevis: 4. Credo
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:20 $0.99
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20. Missa Brevis: 5. Sanctus
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
2:39 $0.99
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21. Missa Brevis: 6. Agnus Dei
The Byrd Ensemble & Markdavin Obenza
3:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Stories tell us a lot about ourselves. We learn about others through the stories they tell. Others learn about us through our stories. Stories change how we view the world, how we feel, even how our own Story will unfold. This CD is full of stories. Stories of love, of hurt, of beauty, of whimsy, of joy, of loss, of anticipation; stories of the human and of the divine. Some are my story, some may be yours. May all of these Stories open your heart to the wonders of creation and our fellow story-tellers.

Each of these songs was inspired by poetry—the structure of each piece hinges on how its Story unfolds, with the melodies and harmonies reinforcing the underlying emotion. For example, from its very inception, that is, from the very first time I read Oscar Wilde’s Requiescat, the deep emotions I felt presented themselves as a scene from an opera: the tenor soloist baring his soul’s torment over the loss of his beloved at her graveside, backed by a chorus of his friends, family, and townsfolk. The next four pieces, songs from the choral cycle India’s Love Lyrics, are stories from India that all share a common harmonic language that reflects my interpretation of Adela Florence Nicolson’s stories of her adopted home and her unique perspective of that land. They are full of word painting: the subtle vocal textures of Wistful Wind, the overt melodic depictions of the flat, wide horizons of The Plains, to the ending half-cadence of a life cut short of Famine Song. Even Hine ma tov tells a story through its very short lyric from Psalm 133—look what happens when we allow the divine to bind us to each other—the music turns this into a story. Stories closes with God’s ultimate Story—the salvation and redemption of the human, expressed via a setting of the mass, Missa Brevis.

Not only are many, varied stories being told, but they are also being told in very different ways: Requiescat is essentially a tenor aria; The songs that make up Indian Love Lyrics are based upon a unique harmonic language; An End is a four-movement motet steeped in counterpoint; and Hine ma tov and Let Us Be Merry are both practically drinking songs. Missa Brevis is a particularly interesting example of storytelling through different compositional approaches. Mirroring how the Bible contains stories from many different eras, the mass progresses through time, starting with the Renaissance polyphony of the opening Kyrie, through the Amen’s ecstatic fugue based on classical counterpoint but with a more primitive fourths- and fifths-based harmony, to the lush, chromatic harmonies that form the structure of the touching Agnus Dei. The Credo tells this Story in miniature—starting with chant and organum, and evolving as the Story of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are recanted.

I hope you find Stories memorable. I encourage you to find out more about them by exploring my website—there are even more Stories to be found there, including instrumental ones. If you are interested in having me compose a story for your ensemble, please contact me—I’d love to discuss ideas! (Christopher Lee Fraley, January 2017, Seattle)

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