New directions in vocal and instrumental chamber music . . .

Artistic Director and Conductor Michael Tamte-Horan's blog is devoted to information about CANTATICA concert program's (repertoire, composers, recordings, videos, and musical scores) and Michael's radio program, First Sunday on Hearing Voices, WDIY Allentown, 88.1 FM and, heard the first Sunday of every month, 7:00-9:00 PM.



08       Solbønn (Sun Prayer) - Traditional Norwegian Folk Dance incorporating fragments of texts in both Swedish

           and Norwegian from a folk song existing in both countries/Arr. Swedish choral conductor and arranger Gunnar   

           Eriksson (3:48)

Performer: Gjermund Larsen, Norwegian Hardanger fiddle; Norwegian Soloists Choir; Grete Pedersen; conductor

CD: White Night: Impressions of Norwegian Folk Music - BIS 2011


SONGS - a group of eight choral songs (2005) - Toivo Tulev (Estonian, b. 1958)

Text: in English, Latin and Spanish - is a meditative collage of religious texts created by the composer from three sources: the Song of Songs of the Bible, in both English (the King James version) and Latin translations (Neo Vulgata); and two Spanish poems, with English translations of portions of them, by the 16th century Spanish mystic and Roman Catholic saint Juan de la Cruz (St. John of the Cross): (1) Cantico espiritual (Spiritual Canticle) and (2) Coplas del alma que pena por ver a Dios (Stanzas of the Soul that Suffers with Longing to See God).  

For vocal soloists, chorus and a small orchestra that includes recorder and duduk (the ancient Eurasian double-reed wind instrument somewhat akin to the oboe).

01       I. By night - 3:04

02       II. Where have you hidden, Beloved - 2:23

03       III. This life that I live - 04:12

04       IV. Nigra sum (I am black) - 4:02

05       V. Behold, thou art fair - 5:01

06       VI. I am come into my garden - 2:58

07       VII. Reveal, reveal your presence - 3:10

08       VIII. Mira que la dolencia de amor (Look at the condition of love) - 4:25  

Performer: Robin Blaze, English countertenor; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Paul Hillier (English), conductor

CD: Toivo Tulev: Songs - Harmonia Mundi 2008


FIVE IMAGES AFTER SAPPHO (1999) - Esa-Pekka Salonen (popular Finnish composer and conductor, b.1958)

Song cycle for soprano and orchestra

Text or libretto, by the composer, is based on the ancient Greek poet Sappho’s fragmentary poems (translated into English from the original Greek).

(Texts and notes found at:

02       I.   Tell everyone - 2:20

03       II.  Without Warning - 3:31

04       III. It's no use - 2:14

05       IV.  The evening star - 3:01

05       V.  Wedding - 7:53

Performer: Dawn Upshaw, soprano; London Sinfonietta; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

CD: Esa-Pekka Salonen: LA Variations, Images after Sappho, Mania - Sony Classical 2001


02       Lux Aeterna (Light Eternal, 1992) - Maija Einfelde (Latvian composer, b.1939) - 6:21

Scored for 12-part choir, church bells, and vibraphone

Text: In Latin, from the Catholic Latin Requiem Mass for the dead

07       PILIENS OKEANA (A Drop in the Ocean, 2008) - Ēriks Ešenvalds (Latvian       choral composer, b. 1977) - 7:27

For whistling, soprano solo, and 10-part a cappella choir

Text: In Latin and English - A patchwork of different prayers, at times overlapping each other, and representing the four elements of the ocean - (1) Pater Noster (the Lord’s Prayer), (2) the Peace Prayer of the 12th century Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher, St. Francis of Assisi, (3) Song of the Sisters of the Calcutta Mission (of Mother Teresa of Calcutta), and (4) the words of Mother Teresa herself - ending with her quote: “My work is nothing but a drop in the ocean, but if I did not put that drop there, the ocean would be one drop the less.”

I.         Pater noster (Our Father) - In Latin

II.        Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi - In English

III.       Song of the Sisters of the Calcutta Mission - In English

IV.       Quote by Mother Teresa - In English

Performer: Agate Burkina, soprano; Latvijas Radio Koris (Lativian Radio Chorus); Sigvards Klava, conductor

CD: The Fruit of Silence - Skani 2015


01       SPARROWS (1978) - Joseph Schwantner/Joseph Clyde Schwantner (American composer and educator; winner

           of the Pulitzer Prize for Music 1979; b. 1943) - 17:50

Song cycle for soprano, chorus and chamber ensemble: flute/piccolo, clarinet, harp, piano, violin, viola, cello, and percussion

Text: fifteen haiku by the Japanese poet of the late 18th/early 19ty century,  Kobayashi Issa, translated into English 

Performer: Lucy Shelton, American soprano; 20th Century Consort; Christopher Kendall, conductor  

CD: 20th Century Consort - Innova 2004


09       Solistvals (Soloist’s Waltz) - a newly-composed work in the style of a traditional Norwegian folk dance by the

           well-known Norwegian Hardanger fiddler, Gjermund Larsen - 3:58

02       Gropen - Traditional Norwegian Dancing Tune/Arr. by Norwegian Hardanger fiddle player Gjermund Larsen - 


Performer: Gjermund Larsen, Norwegian Hardanger fiddle; Norwegian Soloists Choir; Grete Pedersen; conductor

CD: White Night: Impressions of Norwegian Folk Music - BIS (2011)


08       Bruremarsj Fra Gudbrandsdalen (Wedding March from Gudbrandsdalen) - 3:05

06       I Mine Kate Ungdomsdagar (In My Reckless, Youthful Days) - 3:41

09       Rolandskvadet (The Song of the Roland) - Mediaeval ballad, Telemark - 2:49

03       Villemann Og Magnhild (Villemann and Magnhild) - Mediaeval ballad, after Kalenda Maya - 1:49

Performer: Trio Mediaeval (Anne Maria Friman (Sweden), Linn Andrea Fuglseth (Norway), (at the time of this recording) Torunn Østrem Ossum (Norway); Birger Mistereggen (a specialist in the rare Norwegian folk-drum tradition), percussion

Grammy-nominated CD: Folk Songs - 2007 ECM Records


01       Trėpute Martela (The Stomping Bride or The Flax-picking Song) - based on a Lithuanian folk song/a Roundelay  

           (a short simple song with a refrain and circle dance)/Arr. (1994) Vaclovas Augustinas (Lithuanian choral 

​           conductor and composer, b. 1959) - 4:23

For mixed, hand clapping, foot stomping, recorder, and percussion

Text: that can hardly be translated, tells about a young girl plucking, stretching, and spinning flax while dancing at the same time.

Performer: Ene Nael, harpsichord; Tõnu Jõesaar, viola da gamba; Neeme Punder  and Leonora Palu, recorders; Madis Metsamart, Iris Oja, Tiit Kogerman, and Kaia Urb, percussion; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Paul Hillier, conductor

CD: Baltic Voices III - harmonia mundi 2005

Michael's ​Blog

First Sunday on Hearing Voices is heard the first Sunday of each month, 7:00-9:00 PM, on WDIY Allentown 88.1 FM and (LISTEN LIVE). The program focuses on new music for solo voices, vocal chamber ensembles, and choirs - contemporary classical music, music of the theater, as well as new arrangements of a wide assortment of music including traditional folk hymns, songs and spirituals; popular music standards, and even some vocal jazz. All created and performed by classical musicians.

To listen live to First Sunday on Hearing Voices online, click HERE to go to the WIDY home page, and the click on the gray bar at the top of the home page.

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the program as well as any suggestions you may have. To get in touch with me, please complete the "Contact Michael" form to the right or contact Michael directly at