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  Coviello Classics -
  COV 40611
  Simple Gifts - Halsey
  Aaron Copland: Simple Gifts (A shaker melody) for men´s choir; Simple Gifts (A Shaker melody) for women´s choir; Three Old American Songs
Benjamin Britten: Hymn to St Cecilia op. 27; The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard; Three Folksong Arrangements; The Bonnie Earl o´Moray; The Salley Gardens; Oliver Cromwell
Michael Tippett: Five Negro Spirituals from A Child of our Time (Steal away; Nobody knows; Go down, Moses; By and by; Deep river)
Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei op. 11; A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map
Randall Thompson: Alleluia

Rundfunkchor Berlin
Philip Mayers (piano)
Tobias Schweda (percussion)
Simon Halsey (conductor)
Track listing:
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Reviews: 1

Review by raffells August 6, 2007 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Ok its taken me over twelve months to decide on this disc.Mainly because of slight anoyance that it is a choral plus piano and big drum production.No orchestra.
I didnt read the small print but wanted most of these works.
The singing is generally very good to excellent if you can stand a male tutonic sounding Simple gifts as the starter. Somehow this goes, when a semi Welsh sounding choir performs the Britten Hymn to St Cecilia.This also has some superb female solo singing.Which thus raises the piece to better than its parts.Next on this heavily American ? based disc comes Tippets Five Negro Spirituals from probably his best work.A Child of our Time,and IMO these are the best part of that work.
Following on is my favourite part of the disc.Unfortunately only 3 Old American songs by Copland and this is enjoyable but lacking that American accent and swagger on the best versions.
Following this we have Barbers Agnus Dei,almost a vocal version of his poorer but mega famous work.
Sadly we have Randall Thompson Allelujia .repeated in various ways for 6 minutes 32 seconds.Then its Bach to a nice Barber works for the mens choir and to finish a very short repeat of Simple gifts for womans choir.
Soundstage in stereo is super with the hall ambience well captured.Its also surround.
Great value for money.Just takes a while to adjust to in my case.

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Works: 8  

Samuel Barber - A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, Op. 15
Samuel Barber - Agnus Dei, Op. 11
Benjamin Britten - Folksong Arrangements
Benjamin Britten - Hymn to St. Cecilia, Op. 27
Benjamin Britten - The Ballad of Little Musgrave & Lady Barnard
Aaron Copland - 3 Old American Songs
Aaron Copland - Simple Gifts
Michael Tippett - A Child of Our Time