celestial harmonies

Therese Schroeder-Sheker

In Dulci Jubilo

Celestial Harmonies 13039-2

UPC 0 1371 13039 2 6

  1 Carol:       The Holly and the Ivy...

  2 Carol:       Lo! How a Rose

  3 Ballad:      Down in Yon Forest

  4 Prosa:       Ave Maria

  5 Carol:        In Dulci Jubilo

  6 Romance:  Nightingale

  7 Hymn:      Salve MaterMisericordia

  8 Ballad:      Bush and Thorn

  9 Ayre:        Since first I saw your Face

10 Lied:         Innsbruck

11 Suite:        In Awe of the Nativity

Die Sopranistin singt mit zarter, heller Stimme zur eigenen Harfenbegleitung elf Weihnachtslieder vom 12. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart. Wer Besinnlichkeit ohne Kitsch möchte, ist hier bestens bedient.

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In Dulci Jubilo, the Christmas recording by internationally renowned harpist and vocalist Therese Schroeder-Sheker features refined and expressive versions of favorites like The Holly and the Ivy, Ave Maria, and Lo! How a Rose, alongside thoughtful renderings of lesser–known songs from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries.

 

Schroeder-Sheker also includes her own musical reflections on the Christmas season. Down in Yon Forest, for instance, encompasses a masterful marriage of traditions. The newly composed melody is set to an old Appalachian ballad that contrasts Grail-epic imagery with the ancient nature religion's May Queen, all the while remembering the Nativity. The harpist weaves these elements together with a sense of sweet naiveté and elegance, creating a gently profound emotional experience. In Awe of the Nativity is equally effective in its use of eclectic sources. In her sensitive blend of fragments from Renaissance crumhorn music, fifteenth century English carols and French motets, Schroeder-Sheker seems to hear both heaven and earth, singing praises in the winter sky.

 

Critics praised the Oregon-based artist's sublime, seraphic voice on her 1990 Celestial Harmonies release, Rosa Mystica (13034-2). As Pulse! magazine noted, "her gentle soprano vocals have an angelic purity to them, especially when matched with the warmth and clarity of her harp accompaniments". On In Dulci Jubilo, Schroeder-Sheker seems to possess the voice of an angel as she explores the deeper meaning of the Nativity through a graceful and reverent collection of holiday songs.

 

Therese Schroeder-Sheker is an expert in the music of the late Middle Ages and director of Ars Antiqua, a center devoted to the research and performance of medieval musicology. She is a former Associate Professor of Music at Regis College in Denver, Colorado.

 

Schroeder-Sheker's gift lies in her ability to render ancient forms of musical expression relevant to twentieth century audiences through her international performances and recordings. The talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist plays medieval, renaissance harps, psalteries, recorders, bells and portative organ.

 

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Sometimes, dedicated listeners are the very best of reviewers. Here are just three quotes from what music (and christmas) lovers had to say on amazon.com:

 

If I had to throw away all of my holiday music CDs but one (and I have dozens), this would be the hands–down winner. No recording more beautifully captures the holiday season for me, the austerity of the manger contrasted with the opulence of the feast we celebrate to honor Christ's birth. This is music for a sparkling winter night, simple, clear, elegant and perfect. Therese Schroeder-Sheker plays the harp beautifully, and sings like an angel, her voice full of sweetness, sadness, and ultimately serenity. Her sincere belief in her material shines out of every performance...you will never be able to imagine Christmas without it once you've experienced it. Don't forget to send a copy to someone special.

 

Therese Schroeder-Sheker truly sounds angelic in this beautiful CD. It evokes such a sense of peace and tranquility. This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas CDs – which, I think, would be just as soothing & comforting any time of year. And I would echo the 2 previous reviews. Heavenly! Close your eyes when you listen to this and you'll think you're being serenaded by an angel!

 

This music reminds us why Christmas is also a time for reflection and peace. Every arrangement comes from her heart and soul but with Schroeder-Sheker's profound musicianship beneath. Give this as a gift to someone who needs time for peace and beauty in his or her life . . .

 

 

 

 

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