BEST CLASSICAL ALBUM
Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award 2001
In 1936 the E. C. Schirmer Music Company published a collection of 30 works chosen and edited by its editor-in-chief, Henry Clough-Leighter. This collection, "The A Cappella Singer," became one of the most widely circulated and often printed music anthologies in the 20th century. Its success lay partly in the variety of its works – Italian madrigals, French chansons, English madrigals, even a pair of Russian romantic part-songs. In essence, "The A Cappella Singer" achieved what so many Renaissance collections sought to achieve and did – popularity and demand – with a well-chosen assortment of popular music from the Renaissance and spanning four centuries as well.
The front-to-back recording of all 30 works in "The A Cappella Singer" by the Douglas Frank Chorale was nominated with some of the most-respected vocal ensembles worldwide (Anonymous 4, Chanticleer, the Tallis Scholars) and won the distinguished Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) in 2001 for Best Classical Album.
"This professional choral ensemble from New York is the first to have recorded this famous collection of Renaissance madrigals and dance tunes published by E. C. Schirmer in 1936. The book includes fanciful ditties and serious madrigals by popular composers of the time (like Morley, Weelkes, Gibbons, Byrd), and the group does them justice here with lots of expression and fine musicianship. Fa-la-la-lovely!"
–Don Gooding, a-cappella.com
"The Douglas Frank Chorale is a marvelous professional group ... which brings to exuberant life one of the best known choral repertoires of last century."
–John Neal, Primarily A Cappella
"This album is a collection of some of the best music available from the Renaissance period – almost a greatest hits album, if you will. 'Matona, mia cara' is the essence of what I expect out of an album of this nature. Great dynamics, diction, style and musical passion. I dare any chorale in the nation to sing the 'Don, don don, diri, diri, don, don' refrain better than the Douglas Frank Chorale. It's just not possible. In 'Rest, Sweet Nymphs,' the Douglas Frank Chorale creates the texture and haunting melody of this madrigal almost better than the composer could've imagined. I think I speak for everyone else in the world by saying, 'Thank you.' The Douglas Frank Chorale deserves a lot of credit for a good project. Truly a treasure to add to your music collection."
–Jonathan Sears, Recorded A Cappella Review Board
"This group truly shines with beautiful tuning, balance and musicianship. The singers are talented and very much at home in the various musical styles they explore. Further, easily maneuvering through homophonic and contrapuntal settings, through English, French, German and Italian, these singers are clearly dedicated to their craft. As a concept, the album is flawless. The extensive liner notes, replete with both biographical information about each composer and specific details about each song, greatly enhance the listening experience. Other groups recording period music could take a lesson from this album in how to take the edge off music which, for many less adventurous listeners, is often discarded as dated, inaccessible and unintelligible."
–Elie Landau, Recorded A Cappella Review Board
"Congratulations and thank you to Mr. Frank and the Douglas Frank Chorale for doing what someone should have done decades ago: recording the immortal 'The A Cappella Singer' front to back. Teachers and directors will rejoice to finally have a reference for choosing and teaching 'The A Cappella Singer' pieces in their classrooms. But the Chorale didn't create some publisher's sampler here. Instead they expanded and updated the songs 'to a contemporary adult sensibility' (to quote the marvelous liner notes) all the while observing traditional balance and voicings. All in all, a worthy addition to both the casual and professional music library, as a teaching tool or a soundtrack for a relaxing day at home."
–Brock Harris, Recorded A Cappella Review Board
"The ensemble singing is excellent ... probably the best collection of madrigals to be found anywhere."
–Ward Swingle, The Swingle Singers