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Cantus Detailed performer information
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Label: Signum Classics
Recording details: July 2016
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Produced by Susan DelGiorno & Chris Foss
Engineered by David Merrill
Release date: June 2021
Total duration: 69 minutes 39 seconds

Now in its 25th season, the men’s vocal ensemble Cantus is known across America for its trademark warmth and blend and its innovative programming: qualities very much to the fore in this new album.

In a world filled with increasingly superficial connection between individuals and communities, humanity is yearning like never before to find a real sense of meaning in their lives. Chamber vocal ensemble Cantus’ release of fresh, intimate and relevant new vocal works is a journey of longing and self-discovery with trademark virtuosic delivery. Manifesto takes a nuanced look at identity and relationship—with our friends, lovers, family and the divine.

In keeping with Cantus’ commitment to the creation of new music for tenors, baritones and basses, the preponderance of the works on Manifesto were written specifically for Cantus, and all works are world premiere recordings.

Philia (Roger Treece)
A lush nine-part piece with Treece’s trademark jazz-inspired harmonies, Philia is a celebration of friendship and companionship with all of humanity, with original text by the composer.

Luceat eis (Timothy C Takach)
'No man hath greater love than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.' Written for the commemoration of service members who died during the 9-11 terrorist attacks, this setting of a portion of the requiem text honors the sacrifices of those brave heroes with the addition of the biblical verse, John 15:13.

Tango with God (Ysaye Maria Barnwell)
An impassioned setting of a poem by Thomas Merton, this piece—a favorite of Cantus audiences—examines the struggle of all people on their individual journey of faith.

Manifesto (David Lang)
Lang’s minimalistic setting shifts our gaze to love in our technological age. His piece is a setting of text from Google’s auto-complete list of 'I want to be with someone who …', painting a naked and honest portrait of society’s shared-yet-secret longings.

If I profane with my unworthiest hand … (Libby Larsen)
A setting of the famous 'love sonnet' from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, If I profane ” explores the magic attraction that unites two people the moment they fall in love.

To my brother (Joseph Gregorio)
Gregorio’s devastating composition turns the listeners attention to the familial. The text is a letter written from James Clementi to his brother, Tyler, who died by suicide after his roommate exposed his sexuality on social media. What results is a wistful and heart-rending expression of love from one sibling to another.

Gagòt (Sydney Guillaume)
Translated as 'mess' from Haitian Creole, Gagòt begins by illustrating the emotionally overwhelming aspects of life and eventually moves to an evocative picture of the calm and peace that comes with resolution.

Song of sky and sea (Paul John Rudoi)
Rudoi’s virtuosic four-movement work sets to music a collection of ecstatic poetry from ancient mystic poets Hafiz, Rumi and Kabir. The piece details a spirit’s journey of realization from the moment of death, growing in love and ultimately becoming one with the Divine.

Psalm of the soil (Sarah Kirkland Snider)
For many, the idea of home is not a location, but an ongoing inward journey of self-discovery and identity. A lush setting for nine voices, Snider’s piece is an emphatic call to 'find who you are in this new place'.

Evening stars (Dale Warland)
A collection of settings of the poetry Sara Teasdale for double choir and piano, the piece traces the arc of recovery from the loss of a beloved mentor and is an ideal showcase for Cantus’ trademark warmth and blend.

Cantus © 2021

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