Cantus, one of America’s premiere male vocal ensembles, proudly announces the release of its latest album, There Lies the Home, a collection of music about the sea. Art songs, folksongs, new commissions, modern masterworks, and pop songs come together to weave the tale of one man’s journey across the sea in a way that has become the hallmark of Cantus.
There Lies the Home features works by such varied composers as Amy Beach, Charles Stanford, Veljo Tormis, Gordon Lightfoot and Sting. Also featured is the world premiere recording of “A True Heart is Waiting,” a work written for Cantus by composer Edie Hill. Stretching beyond the trappings of typical crossover albums, There Lies the Home highlights the versatility and talent of Cantus, all the while illuminating the album’s story of a voyage across the sea and the return home.
For the past ten years, Cantus has gained recognition as one of America’s finest professional male vocal ensembles. As one of the few full-time vocal ensembles in the world, the ensemble enjoys a vigorous schedule of national tours, subscription concerts in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, several innovative residencies, collaborations, educational programs and recording. Cantus has been praised by critics and the public alike for its broad repertoire, bold ensemble singing and engaging stage presentation. Cantus’ albums have been praised by Gramophone, saying the ensemble sings “with astonishing perfection of tone and diction. Means and ends join in genuinely glorious music-making. The complexity of the music is fully expressed, the diction is perfect, the emotions alive.”
This album was recorded in 24 bit sound by Stereophile magazine editor John Atkinson at the 1,800 seat Great Hall at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences in Sioux Falls, SD. The album has been produced and released by Cantus Recordings. This is Cantus’ ninth commercial CD release.
For the past ten years, Cantus has gained recognition as one of America’s finest professional male vocal ensembles. As one of the few full-time vocal ensembles in the world, the ensemble enjoys a vigorous schedule of national tours, subscription concerts in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, several innovative residencies, collaborations, educational programs, and recording. Cantus has been praised by critics and the public alike for its broad repertoire, bold ensemble singing and engaging stage presentation.
Cantus’ repertoire spans all periods and genres, including contemporary works, art songs, early music, world music, and pop. The ensemble regularly commissions new works. Recently Cantus premiered “A True Heart is Waiting” by Twin Cities composer Edie Hill. Cantus and Hill are also the recipients of the 2005 Chamber Music America commissioning program grant and will premier “A Sound Like This,” a setting of the poetry of Kabir translated by Robert Bly in the spring of 2007. Cantus also spearheads the Male Choir Commissioning Consortium, whose first commission, “Private First Class Jesse Givens” by Lee Hoiby, is a setting of a letter by a fallen U.S. soldier in Iraq. Cantus’ “Music for Men’s Voices” choral series is published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company and features works written for and by the members of Cantus.
Cantus’ coast-to-coast tours have included performances throughout the United States, appearing on major concert stages from New York to San Francisco. In the summer of 2003 the ensemble made its European debut at France’s Polyfolia Festival. Cantus made its orchestral debut with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in December 2001 in a program titled “Cantus and Carols,” and now appears annually in what has become a holiday tradition for both Cantus and the SPCO. Cantus has also sung with the SPCO in programs featuring works by Mozart, Holst and Pärt and has sung with the Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Doc Severinsen. The ensemble has performed at the American Choral Directors’ Association’s national and regional conventions and numerous choral festivals. In the summer of 2002 the ensemble sang to great acclaim at the Oregon Bach Festival and at the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music in Minneapolis.
In accordance with its founding mission statement, Cantus is an active proponent of music education, encouraging people of all ages – especially young men – to sing. Its members are frequent clinicians at festivals, schools and universities throughout the country.
Cantus has recorded seven CDs on its own label, Cantus Recordings. Their most recent CD’s, a Christmas collection entitled Comfort and Joy: Volume 1 & 2, received rave reviews from the critics and public alike. A recent Gramophone review stated, “Means and ends join in genuinely glorious music making. The complexity of the music is fully expressed, the diction is perfect, the emotions alive. If comfort is defined as a warm bath of choral sound, then this is perfect.”