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Conspirare & Craig Hella Johnson - Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings (2015)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 23-03-2018, 11:59
Conspirare & Craig Hella Johnson - Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings (2015)
Artist: Conspirare & Craig Hella Johnson
Title Of Album: Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Country: USA
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (image + .cue, log, booklet)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 73:52 min
Full Size: 278 MB


Ode to Common Things
1. Oda A Las Cosas
2. Oda A La Cama
3. Oda A La Guitarra
4. Oda A Las Tijeras
5. Oda Al Pan
6. Tu sangre en la mia Soneta 53
7. Tu voz Soneto 52
8. La cancion desesperada

The subtitle "The Poet Sings" does not refer specifically to Pablo Neruda or to the Neruda poems set in this collection by the fine small American choir Conspirare. Instead, the designation comes from a series of concerts performed by the group in its home base of Austin, Texas, all of which will be devoted to settings of works by specific poets. As it happens, Neruda, whose poetry Conspirare has touched on before (on Threshold of Night, its Harmonia Mundi debut), makes an ideal subject for this experiment. Eight poems, set by three different composers, are featured here, and all play to Conspirare's strengths: a feel for text merged with a richness of harmony and a clear, pure tone. But it is the five poems of the Ode to Common Things, set by Cary Ratcliff, which really stand out. Ratcliff's settings match the simplicity of Neruda's images with sparse, almost minimalist constructions (heard here is a chamber version of the work that must be superior to the unspecified original), and the intense precision of Conspirare's performance results in something really chillingly good. The more intricate sonnet settings of Shawn Kirchner and the more expansive La canci?n desesperada as set by Donald Grantham also offer a meeting of the minds between composer and performer, but the Ratcliff is worth the purchase price by itself.

Harmonia Mundi traveled far from Texas to find a sonically appropriate venue: the recording was made at the Sauder Concert Hall of Goshen College in Indiana. But the results are impressive. A major release by an American choir that is offering strong competition for its European counterparts. -- James Manheim

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