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Concordia Choir

Your Heart Shall Rejoice (2001)

4.3

May 8, 2002

Tuning / Blend 5.0
Energy / Intensity 4.7
Innovation / Creativity 3.7
Soloists 3.3
Sound / Production 4.0
Repeat Listenability 3.7
Tracks
1 Jubilate Deo - Giovanni Gabrieli 4.3
2 I Will Not Leave You Comfortless - William Byrd 4.7
3 Sing Joyfully - William Byrd 4.7
4 Singet dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied - Heinrich Schutz 4.3
5 Selig Sind die Toten - Heinrich Schutz 4.7
6 Ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben - Heinrich Schutz 4.3
7 Komm, Jesus, Komm - J.S. Bach 4.7
8 Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf - J.S. Bach 4.3
9 Lobet den Herrn - J.S. Bach 4.3

Recorded 1996 – 2001
Total time: 45:44, 9 songs


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 4
Soloists 3
Sound / Production 4
Repeat Listenability 5
Tracks
1 Jubilate Deo - Giovanni Gabrieli 5
2 I Will Not Leave You Comfortless - William Byrd 5
3 Sing Joyfully - William Byrd 5
4 Singet dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied - Heinrich Schutz 5
5 Selig Sind die Toten - Heinrich Schutz 5
6 Ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben - Heinrich Schutz 5
7 Komm, Jesus, Komm - J.S. Bach 5
8 Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf - J.S. Bach 5
9 Lobet den Herrn - J.S. Bach 5

Your Heart Shall Rejoice is a collection of Renaissance and Baroque motets. For many a modern listener, there may be more recognizable sentiment in the latter, but The Concordia Choir, to its credit, performs every track with equal aplomb.

The group's sound, to my ear, is admirably mature while avoiding grim weightiness. This light-voiced direction allows the setting of each piece to speak for itself. It also allows the text to shine through: there is no hint of unclarity as the singers switch comfortably from one language to the next, and indeed from one period to the next.

There are no real problems to speak of. Although the direction is taut and expressive, there is no overt "innovation", which is a good thing. The singers mesh well with one another; it is a small shame that no solo opportunities are provided.

As always, there are standouts: Ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben is especially well-done, and Sing Joyfully is an unusually emotive treat.

All told, my small additional kudos to a choir which has long since proven its skill, for another shining recording.


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 4
Innovation / Creativity 3
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 4
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 Jubilate Deo - Giovanni Gabrieli 4
2 I Will Not Leave You Comfortless - William Byrd 5
3 Sing Joyfully - William Byrd 5
4 Singet dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied - Heinrich Schutz 4
5 Selig Sind die Toten - Heinrich Schutz 5
6 Ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben - Heinrich Schutz 4
7 Komm, Jesus, Komm - J.S. Bach 5
8 Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf - J.S. Bach 4
9 Lobet den Herrn - J.S. Bach 4

I have to admit, I'm a little intimidated reviewing this album after reading the liner notes. The conductor and composer of The Concordia Choir, Rene Clausen, is a very accomplished individual with obviously overwhelming musical talent. I think I'd feel a little more comfortable if he were telling me what he thought of his project while I just stood there and nodded my head in agreement.

I became aware of The Concordia Choir from their 1998 CARA-nominated song Tonight, Eternity Alone off of their 1998 CARA-winning album The Choral Music of Rene Clausen. This song, which I heard for the first time about three years ago, moved me. I still listen to it on the 1998 CARA album every so often. They sang that track with such passion and vigor that I couldn't wait to tear into their new album, Your Heart Shall Rejoice.

Clearly this album does not show the same passion as The Choral Music of Rene Clausen, but then again, this is an entirely different album. This album features works from Gabrieli, Byrd, Schütz, and Bach. These works were written in the 16th and 17th century, and trace the transition of the Renaissance to the Baroque musical period.

The Concordia Choir sings these songs well. In fact, they sing them very well. There are many moments in these songs where the blend is seamless, the vowels are warm, and the balance ideal. Large towering columns of sound one minute and then delicate soft diction the next. Dynamics, intonation, fervor, and human spirit united by the lush air of music's soft breath.

By my own personal preferences, none of these songs will be my new Tonight, Eternity Alone. None of these songs spoke to me in a way that made me hear the song's inner voice and true meaning. This is not a discredit to the artist, but an individual preference for certain styles and composers.

If you enjoy this era of music, these composers, and these songs, you won't find a better recording of them anywhere.


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 4
Soloists 3
Sound / Production 4
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 Jubilate Deo - Giovanni Gabrieli 4
2 I Will Not Leave You Comfortless - William Byrd 4
3 Sing Joyfully - William Byrd 4
4 Singet dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied - Heinrich Schutz 4
5 Selig Sind die Toten - Heinrich Schutz 4
6 Ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben - Heinrich Schutz 4
7 Komm, Jesus, Komm - J.S. Bach 4
8 Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf - J.S. Bach 4
9 Lobet den Herrn - J.S. Bach 4

Concordia Choir's Your Heart Shall Rejoice is a perfect example of how beautiful choral music can be when sung with both skill and heart.

The album is a lovely collection of Renaissance and Baroque motets by Bach, Schütz, Byrd and Gabrieli. The Concordia Choir is led by conductor and composer Rene Clausen, whose skill is demonstrated in the smooth, blended sound and clear diction of the choir, and also in the finesse with which the music is sung. The sincerity of emotion rings clearly through the speakers, and there is no doubt that these singers are totally involved in the vocal experience.

One of the most amazing aspects of this album is that this full, rich sound is created by college students, many of whose voices would not yet have achieved full maturity.

This album caters to a very specialized genre, and may not appeal to every listener. But if you love Baroque music, this album is a must! I'll be putting it in my 'thunderstorm' pile; music to play at night with the lights out, curtains open, and a crashing great lightning storm to watch outside while the music floats and the thunder rolls...

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Ordering Information

To order, visit www.concordiarecordings.com or call 1-800-801-4564.

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