“A Harvest Home” – Cantus – Cantus

by | Dec 21, 2014 | Classical CD Reviews

“A Harvest Home” – Cantus – Cantus CTS-L04, 52:34 [Distr. by Allegro] ****:

It’s nearer to Christmas than to Thanksgiving as I write this, but I can’t imagine a better holiday gift—or acquisition—than this sterling recording by the all-male choir Cantus. “Thanksgiving with Cantus” evolved into an annual occurrence under the auspices of Minnesota Public Radio, and these tracks, over a four-year period, were recorded for broadcast. The First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, is the sight of the sessions, and the recorded sound, while quite “live” and bright, nevertheless represents an outstanding effort by the engineers.

Look at the tracks and you will find many favorites, beautifully performed and arranged, along with a generous dose of humor and good times as well. This is the best Thanksgiving album I have heard since 2005’s Home to Thanksgiving – Songs of Thanks and Praise by Paul Hillier and his Theatre of Voices, though that offering was a tad more serious in tone. Nonetheless, this is heartwarming and inviting, and anyone interested in the music specifically for this time of year won’t want to be without it.

TrackList:

1. For the Beauty of the Earth – Conrad Kocher, arr. Paul John Rudoi
2. The Pasture – Randall Thompson
3. America the Beautiful – Samuel A. Ward, arr. Paul John Rudoi
4. Would You Harbor Me? – Ysaye M. Barnwell
5. My Journey Yours – Elise Witt, arr. Michael Holmes
6. Come, Ye Thankful People, Come – Jason McCoy
7. We Gather Together – Eduard Kremser, arr. Aaron Humble
8. Holy Manna – William Moore
9. Food, Glorious Food – Lionel Bart, arr. Aden G. Lewis
10. Tyteberet – Edvard Grieg
11. Trinklied – Felix Mendelssohn
12. Fiddle Tune – Traditional, arr. Chris Foss
13. Turkey in the Straw – American Folksong, arr. Dwight Bigler
14. Simple Gifts – Joseph Brackett, arr. Stephen Caracciolo
15. How Can I Keep From Singing? – Robert W. Lowry, arr. Stephen Caracciolo
16. A Thankful Heart – John T. Hocutt, arr. Aaron Humble
17. Eventide – Byron Adams

—Steven Ritter

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