From the Library: Vocal Magic

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 4 March, 2009

In today’s From the Library programme, we present a selection of music from the Middle Ages to the present time with one thing in common: they feature the human voice. From the music of the troubadours to Adiemus; from Tallis motets to Libera; from Baroque choral music of South America to Enrico Caruso.

In fact the Caruso recording is an interesting one to pick on in the midst of such a wide-ranging programme. This, and the other vintage recordings in the show today (there are a dozen or two) are taken from the Nimbus Records Prima Voce series, in which the original 78rpm discs, instead of being captured direct with super-high-tech replay gear and digital signal processing, are played back as they were intended – on a specially-constructed (and rather large) horn gramophone with thorn needles (an extension of some of the gramophones of the 1930s) – and recorded with a special microphone that picks up the whole thing in surround sound believe it or not. Thus you get the very best from the recordings. You can read more about the process here.

But these are just a small part of today’s programme. There is much more. Like the King’s Singers tackling Lennon & McCartney… we could go on. Overall, a vast and varied collection of vocal music for your delectation and pleasure. Listen and enjoy.

From the Library is produced in conjunction with the Caledon Library; today’s programme was produced by Elrik Merlin. You can listen to it on our Main Stream as follows:

If you want to have the Radio Riel Main Stream playing on your parcel, please set the media music URL to:

If you want to listen off-world, simply click here.


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