Our Newest Release. Perfect for holiday gift-giving and stocking stuffers.
The Chorale's well-loved Christmas concerts are captured in this archival collection of Chorale favorites recorded in concert between 1985 and 2010. With works spanning five centuries, there is something for everyone on this new recording.
Nominated for the 1980 Pulitzer Prize in Music, William Ferris's Snowcarols receives its world premiere recording. Performed by the William Ferris Chorale, directed by Paul French, Snowcarols is filled with memorable melodies and brilliant orchestrations. Also included are several shorter, Christmas-themed works by the acclaimed choral director and composer. This unique program reveals the big-hearted spirit of a giant of American choral music.
Celebrate the Christmas season with the music we remember so well from childhood: favorite Christmas carols, in beautiful arrangements, sung with style and grace by the William Ferris Chorale, Paul French conducting. Angels We Have Heard On High, O Holy Night, Carol of the Bells, O Come O Come Emmanuel, Away in a Manger, Deck the Hall, Ave Maria, O Christmas Tree, The First Noel, Caroling Caroling, and more!
"The Chorale brings its hearty sound and secure blending of voices to perennial favorites. The ensemble sounds like it’s having a good time and so will you." --Chicago Tribune. Features the London Symphony Strings.
CHORUS & ORCHESTRA
A miracle play for singers, actors and instruments. “The highlight is the rousing finale in which the chorus – urged on by two zealous organs – slowly soars into rapturous joy in praise of God and angels.” --Chicago Tribune.
Gian Carlo Menotti's operatically inspired Missa "O Pulchritudo" (1979) for chorus, soloists and full orchestra (recorded under the composer's supervision) is paired with Louis Vierne's thunderous Messe Solennelle (1899) for chorus and two organs.
Highlights of 35 glorious William Ferris Chorale seasons. Includes works of Barber, Diamond, Verdi, Walton and a performance of the Vaughan Williams masterpiece for chorus and orchestra, Toward the Unknown Region.
World premiere recording of Leo Sowerby's towering poem for chorus and orchestra. With texts drawn from the Book of Revelations, this masterpiece was composed for the 50th anniversary of the Washington National Cathedral.
World premiere performance of the only work for chorus and orchestra by Chicago composer Edward Collins (1886-1951), after microfilm copy of the 1928 score was found by William Ferris.
To honor Gian Carlo Menotti on his 70th birthday, the Chorale gave the Chicago premiere of his charming allegory The Egg. Full of pageantry and beautiful melodies, and with characters ranging from the Seven Deadly Sins to hermit Saints, this one-act opera is a true treasure.
A Chicago musical landmark since 1971, the William Ferris Chorale is known for its “warm yet full-bodied choral tone and articulate, unaffected expressive gestures” (ClassicsToday.com) and “knack for unearthing interesting, seldom-heard music” (Chicago Tribune).
American Choral Premieres is the latest testament to the choir’s mission and stellar reputation. With its music director and conductor Paul French, the mid-size, mixed-voice ensemble performs world-premiere recordings of sacred and spiritual pieces by nine recent and contemporary composers including Alan Hovhaness’s Four Motets, Op. 268; George Rochberg’s Behold, My Servant; Easley Blackwood’s A King James Magnificat; Paul French’s Who Am I?; and William Ferris’s Lyrica Sacra.
Music sunny-side-up is the order of the day for this collection of American and British part songs. From Aaron Copland’s Simple Gifts to the lilting folk songs Shenandoah and Afton Waters, this is a CD that will make you smile!
Heartfelt love songs by Elgar, Foster, Barber, Mathias, Grainger and others. Pianist John McCabe accompanies the Chorale in Elgar’s From the Bavarian Highlands.
Two unaccompanied romantic early works on texts of Richard Wilbur by the Academy Award-winning composer. Also includes Gazebo Dances for two pianos and the Violin Sonata performed by his father.
CHOIR, ORGAN & BRASS
Music for the Millenium
This celebration for choir, brass and two organs is a sonic splendor and features works of Dupre, Perosi, Walton, Rorem, Parry, and Hoiby. Crowning the recording is "Festival Alleluias" William Ferris' thrilling arrangement of the famous Widor Toccata from the 5th Symphony.
World premiere recording of Leo Sowerby’s telling of the Crucifixion of Jesus. Hailed by the Washington Post as "the 20th century’s St. Matthew Passion."
Easter music composed by the Cistercian hermit, Chrysogonus Wadell, a fellow monk in community with Thomas Merton. Waddell’s compositions are inspired by early Gregorian monody yet are uniquely contemporary.
MUSIC OF WILLIAM FERRIS
Michelle Arreyzaga, Bruce Hall and Paul Nicholson perform a comprehensive collection of Ferris’s songs. The texts are an eclectic mix of poems by Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Anne Morrow Lindburg, John Keats and ancient Irish prayers.
Four world-premiere recordings of achingly beautiful music by William Ferris performed by the London Symphony Strings, baritone John Shirley-Quirk, oboist Sara Watkins, The Chicago String Ensemble, tenor John Vorrasi, the Composer Festival Orchestra and the William Ferris Chorale.
Pianist Justin Kolb plays the major piano works of William Ferris, including Sonata and the seven-movement A Suffolk Memory. "Through this CD, Kolb confirms Ferris as a composer of unquestionable musicianship."—-Clavier Magazine.