LSM Newswire

Friday, August 7, 2015

Divine Art Records - SDG Music Foundation to Release First Psalms Project CD

Psallite CD
Cor Cantiamo
Eric A. Johnson, conductor
SDG Music Foundation, producer
Divine Art Records CD
DDA 25133; around $18.99
Global distribution via Naxos/all main digital platforms

Glen Ellyn, Ill. — Available for the first time on CD, five choral works from SDG Music Foundation’s “Psalms Project” will be included on the Psallite CD, recorded by Cor Cantiamo, the touring choral ensemble in residence at Northern Illinois University, to be released by Divine Art Records early 2016.  

Psalm 96, Peter Bannister (France)
Psalm 141, Gavin Bryars (UK)
Psalm 67, Eriks Ešenvalds (Latvia)
Bless the Lord, o my soul, Galina Grigorjeva (Ukraine)
Preserve Me, O God, Daniel Kellogg (USA)

The SDG Psalms Project, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., is a collection of 15 contemporary choral works based on the poetry of the Hebrew Psalter. Because these texts transcend the barriers of culture and geography, SDG invited a group of internationally renowned composers to explore the Psalms’ symbolism and depth as a source of inspiration and strength for our time, and to expand the musical reach of the Psalms for a 21st-century audience.

“The compositions of the Psalms Project encompass the full range of the sacred journey. From intensely personal and penitential settings to grand, sweeping, celebratory pageantry, these new compositions both honor the traditions of the past and create new sound worlds in which contemporary audiences can experience the divine.”
—Eric A. Johnson, Founding Artistic Director, Cor Cantiamo

Conductor Johnson explains that the CD title “Psallite” is inspired by Renaissance composer Michael Praetorious’s Psallite, unigento, which roughly translates as “sing your psalms.” The CD extends the Psallite concept broadly to include works across the centuries that embody the penitential, celebratory and jubilant quality of King David’s Psalm texts.

Since its founding over 20 years ago, SDG has commissioned over 37 original works of classical sacred music, from 25 composers of 9 nationalities. One of SDG’s goals in partnering with Cor Cantiamo to produce the Psallite CD is to place SDG’s commissions in an historical context.

“At the core of SDG’s mission is not only a commitment to preserve the sacred masterpieces of the past, but also a passion to extend the historical continuity of classical sacred music into the future. The Psallite CD brings together both aspects of our mission as an advocate for sacred music.”
—Joseph A. LoSchiavo, President and CEO, SDG Music Foundation

Toward that end, the Psallite CD includes 7 additional works ranging from the 16th to the 21st centuries, from the liturgical to the traditional, from motets to spirituals:

Chantez à Dieu, J. P. Sweelinck
Exultate Deo, G. P. Palestrina
Doxologia, Ily Matthew Maniano
Hard Times, Stephen Foster, arr. Craig Hella Johnson
Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel, Traditional, arr. Moses Hogan
By and By, Traditional, arr. Carol Barnett
We Shall Walk Through the Valley, Traditional, arr. William Appling

The album was engineered by Grammy Award-winning personnel from the famed Abbey Road Studios: Donald Fraser, producer, and Arne Akselberg and Simon Kiln, engineers. The Psallite CD is scheduled for release in early 2016: the exact release date will be advised as soon as the schedule is finalized. The CD will be  released by Divine Art Records, number DDA 25133 and will be available from all good music dealers around the world. Digital download available from Classics Online, iTunes, Amazon and many other platforms.

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