Much, if not most, of the choral music sung in the western world in the last millennium has been inspired by and written for the Christian Church. Like nearly all choirs, Chor Leoni has sung and enjoyed this treasure trove of choral masterpieces by the likes of Byrd, Bach, Handel, and virtually all of the ‘classical’ composers.
Many of our audience and singers have also enjoyed performing and hearing Christian music written not for the concert hall, or great cathedral, but by and for ordinary people. Partly at our listeners’ request, and partly for our own enjoyment, we put together a collection of hymns and spirituals for our spring 2009 concert. The wildly enthusiastic, standing-room-only response to those performances inspired us to make this CD.
So here is (we hope) your favourite men’s choir, singing songs written by and for ministers, congregations, believers, workers, slaves, and just plain folk. Many of them sung first, and only written down later. This was music originally heard not in concert halls or cathedrals but in country churches, cotton fields, ghettos, and – at ‘meetin’s.’
We invite you to sit back and let these beloved old songs and spirituals wash over you. May they bring you back to less complicated times when people shared through common song their joys, their pain, and their hopes.