Tag Archives: Phoenix Chorale

Phoenix Chorale 2011      Photo by: Tim Trumble

Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale plans album release party

GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Charles Bruffy brings together his two professional choirs, the Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale, for this recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-night Vigil (RACHparty.com). The scheduled release date on the Chandos label marks the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of the work given by the Moscow Synodal Choir on March 10, 1915.

            To celebrate the release of the recording and the 100th anniversary of the world premiere performance, the Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale have teamed up with Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s Choral Stream to host a worldwide listening party starting at 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The listening event, or #RACHparty, features the live radio broadcast premiere of the complete album on the Choral Stream followed by an exclusive live video interview / hangout featuring conductor Charles Bruffy, singers from both choirs, and more. The #RACHparty will be hosted by the Manager of the Choral Works initiative for American Public Media and Choral Stream coordinator, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. Full details at bit.ly/RachPartyMPR.

             Before the #RACHparty begins that evening, American Public Media’s Performance Today will broadcast a sneak preview of highlights from the new release to a national audience. During the broadcast, Performance Today host Fred Child will speak with artistic director Charles Bruffy and Dr. Vladimir Morosan, president of Musica Russica and a leading expert on Russian choral music. Child and Morosan will discuss the audience reaction to the premiere of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers and why the piece is still relevant today.

            The album can now be pre-ordered on iTunes which is also offering “Lord, Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant Depart in Peace” (Track 5) as an Instant Gratification download.

            This SACD recording of Rachmaninoff’s All-night Vigil follows live performances of the work by the combined ensembles in April and May 2014 in Phoenix and Kansas City. The Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale are regarded as among the finest professional choral ensembles in the world. Their recordings have earned a combined total of ten GRAMMY® Award nominations and four wins. Building on the success of previous collaborations, the performances marked the seventh time that the two choirs have performed together. Of their 2009 performance at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times wrote that the choirs “performed with a buoyant pulse and energetic finesse’, and praised ‘the choirs’ refined sound and elegant phrasing.”

Phoenix Chorale 2011      Photo by: Tim Trumble

iTunes honors Phoenix Chorale’s ‘Northern Lights’

Phoenix Chorale’s “Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo” has been named Best Classical Vocal Album of the Year on iTunes’ Best of 2012.

“I’m thrilled that Phoenix Chorale’s Northern Lights album featuring my choral music is the iTunes 2012 Classical Vocal Album of the Year. The dominance of digital downloads is no longer the future; it is already here,” said composer Ola Gjeilo. “And with iTunes being the world’s number one music outlet, this is such a great honor. I have been a huge Apple fan for years.”

This recognition comes on the heels of last week’s news of two Grammy nominations awarded to Charles Bruffy, artistic director of the Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale.

“Sometimes reality even exceeds our dreams,” said Bruffy. “It’s so remarkable to have the Kansas City Chorale’s ‘Life and Breath’ with a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Choral Recording’ and then to turn around and have the Phoenix Chorale’s Northern Lights named iTunes Classical Vocal Album of the Year. I knew we were onto something special with composers René Clausen and Ola Gjeilo and I’m so honored to have been a part of bringing their music to life. It is profoundly gratifying to receive this acknowledgement by our colleagues and the industry for our work.”

Northern Lights is still the top selling title for Chandos Records in the United States for the year, climbing industry charts and coming in at #4 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart and climbing to #5 on the United Kingdom’s Gramophone Specialist Classical Chart.

“Chandos Records has built up a reputation over the years for releasing many fine recordings of choral music,” said Ralph Couzens, managing director of Chandos Records in the U.K. “With choirs possessing the incredibly high standard of the Phoenix Chorale combined with the sort of imaginative repertoire found on their Northern Lights album, this legacy – which both inspires and is inspiring – continues.”

On February 28, 2012, Chandos Records released the first ever recording of choral works by young Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (Yay-lo) titled Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo.  Performed by Charles Bruffy, the Phoenix Chorale, The Harrington String Quartet, saxophonist Ted Belledin and the composer himself, Northern Lights contains five world premiere recordings and three pieces which were either commissioned, composed, or dedicated to the Phoenix Chorale.

“All of us here at Naxos of America knew from the very beginning that Northern Lights was a very special release, the fact that iTunes has chosen it as vocal album of 2012 is not only AWESOME but also confirms how special this recording truly is!” said Collin Rae, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Naxos of America, the North American distributor for Chandos.