New Cantatas and Madrigals
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR638     Release Date: 1991-01-01
Suzanne Peck, soprano; Karen Krueger, mezzo-soprano; Mukund Marathe, tenor; Paul Rowe, bass; William Parker, baritone; Wilbur Pauley, bass; Steven R. Gerber, piano; Michael Skelly, piano; Diane Lesser, oboe; New Calliope Singers; Peter Schubert, Conductor; New York Cornet & Sacbut Ensemble; Peter Schubert, Conductor

In its twenty-two-year career (1969-1991) New Calliope Singers presented over fifty premieres alongside more traditional concert repertoire. The group's members were mostly amateur singers with a high degree of musical sophistication, and a few professional singers. During most of its career, the group was accompanied in rehearsal and performance by Michel Skelly, who is a member of the piano faculty at Columbia University. Founding Music Director and Conductor Peter Schubert left Columbia University and New York to teach music theory at McGill University in Montreal.

The pieces brought together on this recording fall easily into the categories of madrigals and cantatas. The madrigals are short a cappella pieces on 16th and 17th century texts in groups of three or four, the cantatas (although only the Gideon is explicitly named as such ) are larger scale pieces involving instruments and soloists. However, the pieces can also be grouped along other lines. For instance, three of the works (Gerber, Druckman, and Wright) are predominantly diatonic, while of the other three, the Gideon is atonal and the Monod and Babbitt, serial. Some are composed in the traditional four part arrangement (SATB) while others divide in a variety of ways, creating more unusual textures and spacings. The Monod and Babbitt are delicately non-metrical while the others are rhythmically forthright, driven largely by text declamation. The contrast is perhaps due to consideration of language: three of the works are in English, while the others are in Italian, German, and French. Similarly, the composers' biographies show common traits.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

New Calliope Singers

New Cantatas and Madrigals

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Track Listing

Shake off your heavy trance
Jacob Druckman
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faery beam upon you
Jacob Druckman
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Death, be not proud
Jacob Druckman
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Corinna's going a-maying
Jacob Druckman
Buy
Three Cultivated Choruses: Madrigal No. 1 - Amarilli
Milton Babbitt
Buy
Three Cultivated Choruses: Madrigal No. 2 - Dovro dungue morire
Milton Babbitt
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Three Cultivated Choruses: Madrigal No. 3 - Dovro dungue morire
Milton Babbitt
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Habitable Earth: Part I
Miriam Gideon
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Habitable Earth: Part II
Miriam Gideon
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Habitable Earth: Part III
Miriam Gideon
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Cantus Contra Cantum IV
Jacques-Louis Monod
Buy
Madrigals: I. When as in silks
Maurice Wright
Buy
Madrigals: II. Alas, this life
Maurice Wright
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Madrigals: III. The Expiration
Maurice Wright
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Madrigals: IV. My love in her attire
Maurice Wright
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Une Saison en Enfer
Steven R. Gerber
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