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Canty - Carmina Celtica - Classic Examples (CKUA)


01 December 2010
Classic Examples (CKUA)
Mark Antonelli

Canty is billed as Scotland's only professional medieval music group.  They are a vocal quartet made up of the female singers from the Scottish choir Cappella Nova, and are accompanied by William Taylor, a specialist in historical harps.  The impetus for the group's formation was the 900th anniversary of the birth of Abbess Hildegard von Bingen.  They have a handful of recordings out including one Hildegard's music.  Their newest disc is called Carmina Celtica.  It's a rarity in that it presents premiere recordings of pieces from both ends of the classical music timeline: the medieval period and the modern or contemporary era.  What links these pieces together is their spiritual nature...whether it's music from the Inchcolm Antiphoner or a piece by the modern composer James MacMillan.  
 
The sound on the disc is amazing.  It was recorded at Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh and the voices and various harps can best be described as crystalline.  There are eighteen tracks including pieces by contemporary composers like Ivan Moody, John Tavener and Gabriel Jackson, examples of plainchant and pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries.  All in all an incredible audio experience...very highly recommended.
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