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music of the oceans, lakes, and seas

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Product Description


OCEANA:  Music of the oceans, lakes, and seas

The Esoterics sets sail with an album inspired by songs about the open water. This disc is the first in a series of three “choral ecologies” that feature music about three components of the Earth’s biosphere: the ocean, the forest, and the atmosphere.  In OCEANA, The Esoterics chronicle four modern works whose texts are narratives of our relationship with the most abundant natural resource on our planet.

The ocean was a common theme for Swedish composer Gösta Nystroem (1890-1966), who often went to the shore near his Gothenburg home to paint. In Nystroem’s Tre havsvisioner (Three sea visions), composed in 1956 for eight-part chorus, the constancy of the sea inspires the contemplation of life’s ebb and flow.

To conclude his 1996 choral/orchestral symphony Oceana, Argentinean Osvaldo Golijov (b 1960) penned hisCoral del arrecife (The coral of the reef) for double chorus, setting the poetry of Pablo Neruda in an undulating homage to the eponymous goddess.

British composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012) is well known for his film scores and his performances as a jazz pianist.  Setting poems by Marvell, Spenser, and Shakespeare, Bennett’s Sea change captures the mystery of the sea and its islands, and includes a fantastic, ferocious roster of sea monsters!

These oceans vast, by founding director Eric Banks (b 1969), sets six nautical poems by Herman Melville that draw on Melville’s voyages on whaling ships in the South Pacific. These poems trace the emotional journey of sailors: from the optimism of setting forth; through the fear, abandon, longing, and delirium during the trip; to the relief and wonder upon arriving at “the enviable isles.”


Track Listings


Sea change Richard Rodney Bennett 15:59
1 I The isle is full of noises 2:49
2 II The Bermudas 6:01
3 III The waves come rolling 4:02
4 IV Full fathom five 3:07
5 Coral del arrecife Osvaldo Golijov 9:20
Tre havsvisioner Gösta Nystrœm 11:33
6 I Havets hand 3:40
7 II Vid havet 3:15
8 III Havet 4:38
These oceans vast Eric Banks 22:57
9 I The land of love 4:49
10 II The ledges of danger 2:41
11 III The uttermost rim 5:25
12 IV The last outpost 4:55
13 V The lagoons unruffled 4:06
14 VI The enviable isles 5:01
Total duration: 63:49