Chrysalid Requiem goes straight to the heart of Western music. Moving beyond the mysticism of Tavener and Arvo Pärt, this intensely spiritual Requiem is fresh, delirious, and deeply personal. Toby Twining has put together a unique ensemble of singers capable of a phenomenal range of vocal techniques. The amazing result illuminates 1000 years of Western vocal tradition and transforms the West's most solemn ritual into a celebration of the human voice and the human spirit.
"A thing of disarming beauty, and a wholly personal statement."
- Josef Woodard, Los Angeles Times
"There's good music, there's great music, and every once in a while there's mind-blowing music. I can't recommend this disc highly enough."
- Payton MacDonald, American Record Guide
About Chrysalid Requiem
Responding to one of the West's most sacred traditions, Chrysalid Requiem is a passionate, hour-long a capella work that reflects traditions from across the globe and all of time while written and recorded for the 21st century. Moving beyond the mysticism of Tavener and Arvo P?rt, this intensely spiritual new requiem is fresh, delirious, and deeply personal. Chrysalid Requiem combines pure, unadorned singing with intricate hocketing, overtone chanting, and vocal traditions from around the world. These techniques fit seamlessly into a completely new harmonic framework based on the overtones of ringing bells that Toby Twining crafted specifically for this piece. The result illuminates 1000 years of Western vocal tradition and transforms the West's most solemn ritual into a celebration of the human voice and spirit.
Toby Twining has assembled some of the world's most versatile singers to sing this virtuosic work. Each singer recorded his or her part individually to create the album's close-miked pop aesthetic. However, co-producers Twining and Mark Johnson were careful to ensure that no voices were electronically altered in the recording process (unlike many current releases in the classical and pop worlds).
Chrysalid Requiem debuted and was broadcast live at the People's Commissioning Fund concert at Miller Theatre, NYC in May of 2000. WNYC's venerable radio host John Schaefer, who produced the live broadcast, later commented for Bang on a Can's newsletter:
"For the next week [after the broadcast], our Music Library and I fielded calls and emails from listeners wanting to know what they'd heard, when they could hear it again, where they could buy tapes, etc. Each of the pieces seems to have gone over well... But the work that got the most response was the one that broke all the rules: The Highly-Paid Classical Radio Consultant's Guidebook says no vocal music, nothing longer than 20 minutes, and for God's sake, if you can't play major keys all the time, at least keep to the lighter minor key works. Fortunately, a lot of radio listeners seem to have misplaced their copy."
Soprano 1: Martha Sullivan
Soprano 2: Eileen Clark
Soprano 3: Eric Brenner, Elizabeth Farnum, Karen Krueger (Offertory)
Alto 1: Meg Bragle
Alto 2: Eric Brenner
Alto 3: Elizabeth Farnum
Tenor 1: Michael Steinberger
Tenor 2: Toby Twining
Tenor 3: Toby Twining, Mark Johnson
Bass 1: Mark Johnson, Toby Twining
Bass 2: Mark Johnson
Bass 3: Jon Szabo