Amazing Grace Marie-Josée Lord
- 1The Holy City05:32
- 2Ave Maria03:08
- 3Notre - Pere (The Lord's Prayer)03:20
- 4Couldn't hear nobody pray03:51
- 5He's Got the Whole World in His Hands03:07
- 6Mary Had a Baby03:06
- 7Amazing Grace03:18
- 8Ain't Got Time to Die02:32
- 9Minuit, Chretiens!06:21
- 10Pieta, Signore07:05
- 11Noel blanc (White Christmas)04:18
- 12Ma Maria03:16
Info for Amazing Grace
Inspired by her love for spirituals and traditional carols, soprano Marie-Josée Lord embarks on a mystical journey for her very first Christmas album. Accompanied by the Ensemble Vocal Épiphanie, Lord sings such beloved gospel songs as Amazing Grace and Couldn’t hear nobody pray. Lord also sings classics of the Christmas season including the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria and Minuit, Chrétiens! by Adolphe Adam, accompanied by Jean-Willy Kunz at the organ of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Montréal and by violinist Antoine Bareil.
Rousing, earthy, vibrant songs that evoke the American gospel singing tradition and others that are full of joyous choruses and complex African rhythms are paired with other arrangements, such as the famous Bach-Gounod “Ave Maria,” beautifully and uniquely rendered by Lord. This very personal album reveals Lord’s heart and soul, and brings her own cultural history to the foreground.
Marie-Josee Lord, soprano
Jean-Willy Kunz, organ (on tracks 1-3, 5-7, 9-11)
Antoine Bareil, violin (on tracks 2, 3)
Ensemble vocal Epiphanie (on tracks 4, 6-9, 12)
Hugues Pemba, organ (on track 12)
Richard Biyavanga-Kiyedi, Djembé (on track 12)
In 2005, soprano Marie-Josée Lord was the recipient of the Prix d’Excellence de la Culture, awarded by the Fondation de l’Opéra de Québec, and was selected to repre- sent Canada at the Cardiff Singer of World competition. She won the Public Prize at the Canadian Lyric Fund Competition, and received the Raoul-Jobin Prize in 1998. Her first solo CD, which was recorded with the Orchestre Métropolitain under the baton of Giuseppe Pietraroia, won Marie-Josée Lord a Félix in the category Album of the year — classical vocal in 2011 and got a JUNO nomination. Released on the ATMA Classique label in November 2010, it has been a great success, with over 30,000 copies sold to date. Marie-Josée Lord made her professional debut in the Fall of 2003, singing Liù in Puccini’s Turandot at Opéra de Québec. Immediately after this, she flew to Rennes to sing the role of Julia in Passionnément (André Messager). In 2004, Montreal music lovers too were enraptured by her rendition of Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème at Opéra de Montréal, where she also sang Laoula in Chabrier’s l’Étoile in 2005.
In September 2006, Marie-Josée Lord sang the title role in Suor Angelica (Puccini) in the Opéra de Montréal’s season opening production. She has been heard as Marie-Jeanne in the world premiere of the operatic version of the celebrated musical Starmania (Plamondon / Berger) at Opéra de Québec in May 2008 and Opéra de Montréal in March 2009. In the early Fall of 2009, she brilliantly held the role of Nedda (I Paggliacci) at Opéra de Montréal. In spring 2012, Marie-Josée Lord sang the role of Meg Page in Falstaff (Verdi) at the Opéra de Québec. She has sung the role of Serena in Porgy and Bess (Gershwin) at l’Opéra de Montréal in February 2014. She has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on several occasions: at the Christmas concert at the Notre-Dame Basilica in December 2009; at the Starmania concert at Notre-Dame de Paris in February, 2010; and at the free outdoor concert for Haiti that the orchestra gave on September 2, 2010. Her latest album, titled Yo Soy Maria (2012) and featuring works from Latin America was released under the ATMA classique label.
is the first organist in residence of the OSM. In addition to playing both with the Orchestra and in recital, he sees to the development and showcas- ing of the OSM’s Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique installed at Maison symphonique de Montréal. Jean-Willy Kunz studied organ at the Lyon conserva- tory with Louis Robilliard, at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Mireille Lagacé and then at McGill University, where he earned a doctorate with John Grew. He has been a prize-winner at a number of organ competitions, including the Chartres International Competition and the Canadian International Organ Competition in Montreal, where in 2011 he won third prize and the Richard-Bradshaw Audience Prize.
Jean-Willy Kunz is organist and harpsichordist with Ensemble Caprice, as well as organist with the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. He is also conductor in residence with the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal for the season 2014-2015, along- side Christopher Jackson. Jean-Willy Kunz has recorded several discs, which reflect the broad range of his musi- cal influences: traditional music of the Balkans for saxophones and organ; two masses by Théodore Dubois for chorus and organ; 20th-century French music for harpsichord, flute and clarinet; Québec song with Pierre Lapointe; baroque music with Ensemble Caprice; Christmas music with Marie-Josée Lord; the original score for a number of short films. He has co-written a book on German organist Helmut Walcha (Do Bentzinger, 2004) as well as an article entitled “L’orgue et le regard de l’écoute” (Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2014).
The Ensemble Vocal Épiphanie
is a Montreal choir founded in 2004 and directed by two passionate musicians and entertainers, Frédéric Kuku and Olivier Bata. Choristers come from all over the world, communicating to the group their enthusiasm for music of all kinds. EVE is a multicultural choir with a liturgical vocation. Its reper- toire is varied, ranging from Classical to gospel music and including Negro spirituals and African folk songs. The many events at which EVE has performed in recent years include the International Advent Singing Festival in Vienna, concerts with the soprano Marie Josée Lord and, over the course of several consecutive years, appearances at the Mondial Loto-Québec de Laval choral festival .