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The Esoterics | Penitentia

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Classical: Choral Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: A Cappella
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by The Esoterics

The Esoterics is proud to present PENITENTIA, its fourth CD that features works of the Lenten liturgy by Poulenc, Pizzetti, d'Hollander, Herbolsheimer, and more.
Genre: Classical: Choral Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Tre Composizioni Corali - Cade La Sera
2:54 $0.99
2. Tre Composizioni Corali - Ululate, Quia Prope Est Dies Domini
3:46 $0.99
3. Tre Composizioni Corali - Recordare, Domine
7:30 $0.99
4. Quatre Motets Pour Un Temps De Pénitence - Timor Et Tremor
2:03 $0.99
5. Quatre Motets Pour Un Temps De Pénitence - Vinea Mea Electa
2:40 $0.99
6. Quatre Motets Pour Un Temps De Pénitence - Tenebræ Factæ Sunt
2:49 $0.99
7. Quatre Motets Pour Un Temps De Pénitence - Tristis Est Anima Mea
2:33 $0.99
8. Seven Last Words - Father, Forgive Them
2:54 $0.99
9. Seven Last Words - Amem Dico Tibi
1:37 $0.99
10. Seven Last Words - Mulier, Ecce Filius Tuus
2:35 $0.99
11. Seven Last Words - Eli, Lama Sabatani?
3:06 $0.99
12. Seven Last Words - I Thirst
3:05 $0.99
13. Seven Last Words - Consummatum Est
1:43 $0.99
14. Seven Last Words - Father, Into Thy Hands
2:59 $0.99
15. Trois Nocturnes - Nox Et Tenebræ
1:49 $0.99
16. Trois Nocturnes - Caligo Terræ Scinditur
1:39 $0.99
17. Trois Nocturnes - Sunt Multa Fucis
1:29 $0.99
18. Precatio Pro Pace - Ad Martem
3:56 $0.99
19. Precatio Pro Pace - Ad Dominum
2:23 $0.99
20. Pro Pace Motets - Libera Plebem
4:27 $0.99
21. Pro Pace Motets - O Tristia Secla Priora
3:41 $0.99
22. Pro Pace Motets - Solus Ad Vicitmam
8:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Esoterics is proud to present PENITENTIA, its fourth CD that features works of the Lenten liturgy by Poulenc, Pizzetti, d'Hollander, Herbolsheimer, and more.

Francis Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps du pénitence and Bern Herbolsheimer’s Seven last words depict the final moments of Christ’s agony.

As the cloak of night descends upon this Lenten vigil, Tre composizioni corali by Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti and Trois nocturnes by Belgian composer Geert d’Hollander remind us that oppression often inspires the most profound spiritual contemplation.

One eloquent result of such reflection was Precatio pro pace, an ancient poem by Janus Pannonius set by the Hungarian composer Miklós Pászti.

Another was the unparalleled Pro pace motets of South African composer John Joubert, who designed a triptych around the poems of three medieval mystics – Scottus, Vulgarius, and Abelard – each offering a personal plea for peace: a prayer for mercy from the universal destruction of the Black Death, a lament on the day mankind invented weaponry to harm itself, and an ode that recounts Christ’s Passion and Resurrection as the triumph of non-violent protest and ultimate pacifist victory.

*** Reviews ***
PENITENTIA: ancient petitions for mercy and peace
By Lindsay Koob, The American Record Guide, Jan/Feb 2006

I’m hardly surprised to add yet another excellent choir to my list of top ensembles native to Seattle, the home of quite a vibrant choral scene. The Esoterics, led by Yale-educated Eric Banks, offers here a beautifully sung program of choice a cappella picks from six composers of the 20th Century.

Poulenc’s Four motets for a time of penitence – composed on the brink of WWII – are well-established masterpieces, but Ildebrando Pizzetti’s imploring Three choral compositions (written at the height of Italy’s fascist madness) are nearly as impressive. I’ve never heard John Joubert’s three Pro pace motets, from some of the cold war’s chilliest years, and am pleased to discover these impassioned choral pleas for peace. Music of later vintage begins with the two pungent movements of Precatio pro pace, a 1975 work by Hungarian composer Miklos Paszti. Geert D’hollander – the Belgian carilloneur, teacher of campanology (the theory and history of bell-making), and composer – wrote the small celestial jewels called Three nocturnes in 1991. The most recent composition heard here – the Seven last words by Bern Herbolsheimer – may, after the Poulenc, be the most memorable. I reviewed this and other wonderful choral music from him in January/February 2005. Composed on the cusp of the new millennium, it is one of the most radiant and searching musical treatments of the last words I know. Watch for the work of this rare musical mystic: he’s one of America’s very finest choral writers.

This is a truly outstanding choir, with solid singers in every section supporting an especially pure and plangent contingent of sopranos. They are capable of sonorous warmth as well as the icy transparency of tone that is essential if a choir is to achieve the kind of needlepoint intonation that many modern composers demand. Mr Banks knows how to get any mood, emotion, or effect out of his singers. I even noticed a certain astringent “Gallic edge’ to their voices in the Poulenc, as if to underscore the cheeky wit and sarcasm that often pervade even his greatest music. And this is truly one of the better all-modern choral collections I’ve heard lately. Even if unaccompanied 20th-century choral music is not your thing, don’t hesitate to give this a try: it just might make a convert of you.



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