King's Singers

King's Singers Greatest Hits

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Considering the longevity of the King's Singers' career (which began in the 1960s with performances of the Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana, or, as they were more casually known, the Cam River Boys), it's only natural that a greatest-hits album would require two discs, each crammed full of arrangements of popular songs and vocal pieces from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Whether performing infectious versions of songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, smooth standards by Cole Porter and Harold Arlen, sublime motets by Adrian Willaert and Orlande de Lassus, or lush fin de siècle classics by Gabriel Fauré and Edward Elgar, the King's Singers always deliver entertainment first and foremost, and make their virtuosic repertoire fully accessible to audiences. Of course, their singing varies from classically polished formality to a more relaxed, even humorous glee club delivery, and the mix of styles can be a little disconcerting to purists; moreover, in some incarnations of the group, the upper parts in head voice can be a little shrill and taxing on the ear, so some listeners can only take the King's Singers in small doses. But fans who have adapted to their idiosyncratic sounds and enjoyed their lively manner will appreciate this generous retrospective, which brings together recordings made between 1974 and 1990. EMI's sound is quite clean and well balanced through this 40th anniversary collection, though the tone can vary a little between bright and sharp or warm and rounded.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:35
2 2:30
3 2:34
4 3:06
5 4:28
6 5:25
7 2:32 Amazon
8 3:18 Amazon
9 2:16 Amazon
10 3:10 Amazon
11 3:35 Amazon
12 2:24 Amazon
13 3:17 Amazon
14 2:31 Amazon
15 3:08 Amazon
16 3:25 Amazon
17 2:42 Amazon
18 2:18 Amazon
19 2:56 Amazon
20 3:55
21 3:52
Overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)
22 3:28
23 3:27
24 1:47
25 2:50

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:32
2 2:11
3 1:14
4 1:52
5 2:29
6 3:15
7 2:22
8 1:18
9 2:06
Songs of the Auvergne, for voice & orchestra in 5 series
10
2:44
Carnival of the Animals, zoological fantasy for 2 pianos & ensemble
11 2:19
12 1:20
13 3:45
14 4:38
15 6:04
16 3:04
Partsongs (4) for chorus, Op. 53
17 3:59
18 4:18
19 3:13
20 3:22
21 2:55
22 6:36
23 9:52
blue highlight denotes track pick