Gloriae Dei Cantores marks the centenary of American composer Alan Hovhaness with this collection of sacred choral works: Alan Hovhaness, From the Ends of the Earth. With selections spanning Hovhaness' rich musical career, this SACD invites the listener to explore the broad-ranging cultures and styles from East and West that the composer loved and sought to portray in his music. The critically-acclaimed Gloriae Dei Cantores lend their hearts and voices to Hovhaness' "noble desire for the regeneration of mankind," and invite a new generation of listeners to experience his work.
"In the superb hands and voices of Gloriae Dei Cantores, Hovhanness clearly aligns himself with a higher authority."— Gramophone
"Really, this is music of unexpected range and quality, not at all what one might expect from the composer of that lid - and roof-lifting spectacular, the Mount St Helens Symphony. In short, From the Ends of the Earth is one of the finest choral recordings I’ve heard since the Tyberg Masses, made with the South Dakota Chorale (Pentatone). That album, also available from NativeDSD, was one of my top picks for 2016, which tells you something about the musical and technical prowess on show here...Be sore amazed; I certainly was...This is singing and playing from the heart, and Steve Colby’s expansive, naturally balanced recording captures it all to perfection. This album gets off to a splendid start, with the incisive, spirit-lifting Cantate Domino. The organ accompaniment is warm, weighty and, in keeping with the up-tempo nature of the piece, surprisingly nimble. . . As for Unto Thee, O God, the second of the Four Motets, it’s distilled delight. What a lovely, rich tone this choir has, the Ave Maria haloed by another Schuman solo, plus harp, oboes and French horns...I daresay the grateful acoustic of the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts – the choir’s home turf – has a significant part to play in the success of this album; it’s not a cavernous space with a muddying echo, so detail and nuance are never lost. More important, there’s an intimacy here that’s entirely right for music that speaks from soul to soul. As for the well-rounded organ – the Stygian pedals thrilling in the title piece, From the Ends of the Earth – it’s a perfectly scaled presence throughout. And I can’t fault the conductor, who shows impeccable judgment and unfailing musicality from start to finish."
—Dan Morgan, Music Web International
". . . an excellent introduction to the sacred music of this fascinating and deeply spiritual composer."
"The performances are carefully shaped, with much attention to intonation, balance and nuances of phrasing. The disc is a worthy contribution to the Hovhaness discography..."
—Walter Simmons, Fanfare
"This album, recorded in great surround sound, brings to light nine previously unrecorded works..."—Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition
"...a significant and comprehensive recital that crosses over the composer's unique sound and varied styles...A very well done disc, superbly sung...a pretty special release. The singing shows Gloriae Dei Cantores at their bright, enthusiastic best. The super audio format is worthy of its name, and we're supplied with the most handsome booklet I've seen in quite some time."
—Philip Greenfield, American Record Guide
"Most of this music will be new to listeners, and we are fortunate to have these dedicated performances beautifully recorded."
—Robert Benson, ClassicalCDReview.com