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Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry | Into Unknown Worlds

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Classical: Choral Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: A Cappella
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Into Unknown Worlds

by Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry

Modern choral music from the far reaches of the globe.
Genre: Classical: Choral Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Amazing Grace
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
5:27 $0.99
2. Gloria Patri
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
4:55 $0.99
3. In the Beginning
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
5:20 $0.99
4. Hear My Prayer
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
3:08 $0.99
5. The Heaven's Flock
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
4:28 $0.99
6. Northern Lights
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
6:38 $0.99
7. Mary Hynes
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
2:19 $0.99
8. Anthony O'Daly
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
3:17 $0.99
9. The Coolin'
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
4:21 $0.99
10. A Boy and a Girl
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
5:18 $0.99
11. Desh
Portland State Chamber Choir & Ethan Sperry
5:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
People love to sing--this has been true in every culture since the dawn of humankind--and people love to sing in choirs. Since Eric Ericson created The Swedish Radio Chorus in the 1950’s, small professional-caliber choirs have sprung up throughout the world. These fine choirs, scattered across the continents, have made a practice of seeking and promoting music from their own cultures. By gathering these choral resources from around the world, Into Unknown Worlds introduces our listeners to complex works for a cappella choir from some of the less likely corners of the globe.

Our previous CD, A Drop in the Ocean, was the first American recording to feature the music of Ēriks Ešenvalds, a young composer from Latvia who is rapidly becoming the most-performed living composer of choral music. Our current disc features several of his pieces, including The Heaven’s Flock, which Ēriks wrote for us using the poetry of Oregon poet laureate Paulann Petersen.

Latvia is a small country (a former Soviet Republic) on the coast of the Baltic Sea, where one out of every three people in the country sings in a choir. The fall of Communism allowed a resurgence of Latvian musical culture, and this CD is the first American disc to include the music of Pēteris Butāns, an older Latvian composer who attempts to capture the struggle for faith in times of oppression in his music.

The Philippine Madrigal Singers was the first professional choir from Asia to achieve worldwide renown. Indonesian conductor and composer Budi Susanto Yohanes gained tremendous inspiration from the virtuosity of the voices in this ensemble. We are also the first American ensemble to record his music.

Our own country is represented by Samuel Barber, the first major 20th Century American composer to write multiple works for the a cappella choir, and by Eric Whitacre, who is one of our most-performed living composers. While these pieces do not originate from a world unknown to us, the pieces do speak about the attainment of love in a paradise beyond this world.

The one outlier on this album is Henry Purcell, the only composer included from before the 20th Century. Hear My Prayer for 8-part a cappella choir was intended to be the first movement of a longer work, yet Purcell only completed this first introductory movement. In it, he dramatically pushed the boundaries of harmony and dissonance for his time period. The piece has been a touchstone for generations of composers interested in the complex possibilities in choral sound; so, perhaps, all songs on this album can be seen as numerous possible completions of a choral experiment begun by Purcell 400 years ago.

We conclude this album with my arrangement of an Indian raga called Desh. India is one of the few non-Western countries to have developed separate Classical, folk, and popular music genres. The Classical music of India dates back thousands of years, and this arrangement is intended to give the Western choir access to a predominantly instrumental genre. - Ethan Sperry



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