Scenes from the Gospels : Motets from Josquin to Palestrina
Renaissance motets based on texts from the Gospels. The pieces on this recording were composed between 1500 and 1564 by the "lost generation" of composers - Willaert, Jachet, Manchicourt and Gombert, and depict various events in the life of Jesus, from birth to crucifixion.
Listen to "In diebus illis" by Palestrina
Review of the album by Frédéric Lambert on the radio program "Médium large" on ICI Radio-Canada January 31, 2014 (scroll to the bottom of the page to Musique avec Frédéric Lambert: Motets from Josquin to Palestrina):
Atacama: Symphonie #3 de Tim Brady
David Olds, The WholeNote - March 2013
Mellano’s was not the only intriguing symphonic work involving voice and electric guitar to come my way this month. Tim Brady – Atacama: Symphony No.3 featuring Bradyworks and Vivavoce (ATMA ACD2 2676) is a setting of poems from the collection Symphony by Chilean activist Elias Letelier who was given sanctuary in Canada in 1981 after being imprisoned and tortured by the Pinochet regime. Brady says “The text speaks of the political terror of the Pinochet era in Chile, one of the country’s darkest moments, but it uses striking metaphors of hope and love in the midst of the nightmare of torture and disappearances. This mixture of tenderness and cruelty, of light and dark, gave me a kind of strong emotional and dramatic contrast that I look for in a text.” His effective settings range from mostly a cappella, close harmony singing by the virtuosic Montreal choir to extended, often minimalistic rhythmical instrumental passages by his unique ensemble of keyboards, percussion, flute(s), clarinet(s), saxophone(s), violin, viola, double bass and his own electric guitar. Perhaps most effective are the movements that skilfully combine the two as Brady continues to redefine the designation “symphony.”
Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone Magazine - June 2013
...Brady's 50-minute journey is relentless and affecting, especially shaped with urgent commitment by the combined forces of VivaVoce and Bradyworks.
Byron Coley, WIRE Magazine - June 2013
The most striking (performance) was Tim Brady's Atacama: Symphony #3. Brady is a Montreal guitarist who thinks big. The movements evolve in interesting ways, alternating choral and instrumental parts for a while, then sort of smashing everything into everything else at high velocity...and it worked well. A CD of the piece was recently issued by ATMA, and it's highly recommended.
Listen to "Movement 5". Atacama
Good Night, Good Night, Beloved!
... and other Victorian part songs
VivaVoce in a February 2012 recording session
The Complete Magnificats,
Three Salve Reginas
Craig Zeichner, Early Music America
VivaVoce is a mixed-voice ensemble of very polished singers. They produce a body of sound that seems larger than their 19 voices but is always clear and precise in all aspects of the singing. There is great power in the way voices build upon other voices—the opening of the Magnificat I is thrilling—but they also have great delicacy when needed. I came away thinking that these are singers who pay attention during rehearsals; compliments to director Peter Schubert for leading such solid performances.
Listen to "Salve Regina II"
American Record Guide
Viva Voce is an excellent mixed choir. Their sound is perhaps an ideal balance between the clarity of certain English mixed groups (such as the Tallis Scholars), which can be somewhat antiseptic, the unique "pure" sound of English boys choirs, and the rather robust sound of some traditional mixed choirs (some of Robert Shaw's recordings) … This is a significant release and ideally demonstrates an aspect of De la Rue's genius not always evident in his more intellectual mass settings and motets. In contrast to many Naxos releases, this one includes text and translations.
Frédéric Cardin, La Scena Musicale
Ce disque est exceptionnel pour deux raisons. D'abord, il nous offre le premier enregistrement complet des remarquables Magnificats de Pierre de La Rue (1460–1518). Deuxièmement, il nous donne la chance d'entendre Peter Schubert et son ensemble Viva Voce s'exprimer avec une splendeur qui ne peut que les inscrire dans la lignée des grands ensembles vocaux spécialisés en musique ancienne. Le style de La Rue est à la croisée de l'ancien et du nouveau. Il utilise aussi bien les techniques, déjà éprouvées, de la 1re moitié du 15e siècle que les nouvelles méthodes apparues dans la 2e. Chez de La Rue, les mélismes mélodiques du cantus firmus cohabitent intelligemment avec la nouvelle rigueur imposée à la relation entre structure syllabique et développement motivique. Ce coffret double est un délice pour tous les amoureux de polyphonie. De plus, il permettra à l'un de nos fleurons musicaux de rayonner aux quatre coins de la planète.
Steven Whitehead, www.crossrhythms.co.uk
… the sumptuous singing of VivaVoce is a joy to hear …
September 27, 2007
Stéphane Grant, Radio France
… un double album très inspiré, très fervent … vraiment passionnant à découvrir.
29 septembre 2007
Il n'y a rien de moins éthéré que les voix « terriennes » du chœur canadien VivaVoce, mais quelle sincérité dans son interprétation!
David's Review Corner
Intonation is spotless, and if the music sags in the second Salve Regina, the performances as a whole are most enjoyable … The sound quality from the Montreal church adds that bloom of reverberation to the sound that we have now grown to love in such recordings.
Mark Sealey, MusicWeb International
This is a significant—and warmly welcomed—release. The singing of Montréal-based VivaVoce is clean and characterful. Because the texture of La Rue is not so dense as that of Josquin, there is a greater emphasis on the individual singers than on unified ensemble sound. It's more of collection of soloists. Which is not to imply any lack of polish or roughness. In fact, the singing—the voices are very closely miked—is real and personal with a note of purpose and urgency throughout …