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Celestial Harmonies
US $15
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.

the project

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 Denver-based artist's sublime, seraphic voice on her 1990 Celestial Harmonies release, Rosa Mystica (13034). 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.

the artist

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.

tracklist

1 The Holly and the Ivy 3'31"
2 Lo! How a Rose 4'10"
3 Down in Yon Forest 4'36"
4 Ave Maria 2'09"
5 In Dulci Jubilo 6'11"
6 Nightingale 3'55"
7 Salve Mater Misericordiae 5'32"
8 Bush and Thorn 5'12"
9 Since I First Saw Your Face 3'50"
10 Innsbruck 4'40"
11 In Awe of the Nativity 3'56"
  Total Time: 48'22"