18 Songs, 1 Hour 8 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded live in October 2008, A Company of Voices testifies to the craft and imagination that arranger/conductor Craig Hella Johnson and his group Conspirare bring to the choral tradition. With a feel for unlikely points of connection, the Austin, Texas–based ensemble interweave folk and Broadway material with classical pieces and age-old spirituals. Johnson infuses Conspirare with a sense of freedom that can be positively daring. His self-described musical “collages” are often audacious and stunning, as this album’s blending of “Wayfarin’ Stranger,” “You’re No Good," and “De Profundis” makes clear. Pop songs like Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” and Annie Lennox’s “1000 Beautiful Things” are given revelatory treatments, while interpretations of modern classical works like Eric Whitacre’s “What If” and Tarik O’Regan’s “Triptych” are engaging and provocative. Conspirare soars through African-American hymns (“Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?”), captures the majesty of liturgical pieces (Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei”), and illuminates Appalachian-style balladry (Dolly Parton’s “Will There Really Be a ‘Morning’?").

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded live in October 2008, A Company of Voices testifies to the craft and imagination that arranger/conductor Craig Hella Johnson and his group Conspirare bring to the choral tradition. With a feel for unlikely points of connection, the Austin, Texas–based ensemble interweave folk and Broadway material with classical pieces and age-old spirituals. Johnson infuses Conspirare with a sense of freedom that can be positively daring. His self-described musical “collages” are often audacious and stunning, as this album’s blending of “Wayfarin’ Stranger,” “You’re No Good," and “De Profundis” makes clear. Pop songs like Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” and Annie Lennox’s “1000 Beautiful Things” are given revelatory treatments, while interpretations of modern classical works like Eric Whitacre’s “What If” and Tarik O’Regan’s “Triptych” are engaging and provocative. Conspirare soars through African-American hymns (“Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?”), captures the majesty of liturgical pieces (Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei”), and illuminates Appalachian-style balladry (Dolly Parton’s “Will There Really Be a ‘Morning’?").

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