Laudato SI

In the spirit of st. francis of assisi

Eli Tamar

Antonio Vivaldi

Tommaso Traetta

Luigi Boccherini

Gioachino Rossini

Joseph Haydn

Francis Poulenc

Antonín Dvorák

Giovanni Pergolesi




Navona records presents LAUDATO SI: IN THE SPIRIT OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI, a tribute to the 13th century Italian friar and preacher. Beloved over the world for his charity, devotion to poverty, and delight in Creation, St. Francis portrays his love for the beautiful in his poetic writings. In this exquisitely crafted vocal-organ program soprano Charlene Canty, countertenor Andrey Nemzer, and organist Nicholas Will present a fresh musical take on the Franciscan poetic tradition with world premiere recordings of three contemporary settings of texts by (or attributed to) St. Francis written by the composer Eli Tamar. These works are complemented by a series of solos and duets from various settings of Stabat Mater from the Baroque period to the mid-twentieth century.


The celebrated Peace Prayer of St. Francis receives a surprising make-over by the Russian born Israeli-American composer. With his unusually unhurried pace, fluid lines and subtle harmonies Tamar unlocks the intimacy of the prayer for the listener, guiding him in a profound sense of humility to spiritual exaltation and bliss.


“I have always been fascinated by the raw human sentiment and drama brought to the genre of sacred music by such composers as Mozart and Verdi. Personally, I am drawn to texts that invite dramatic treatment,” says the composer.  His Canticum Fratris Solis (Canticle of Brother Sun), with its universal message of kinship with nature and men, bears testimony to this approach. In this large scale composition Tamar weaves together elements of various styles: from Gregorian chant to medieval polyphonic textures, from Renaissance modal harmonies to impressionistic word painting and Italian verismo, all the while without resorting to stylization.


Soprano Charlene Canty and countertenor Andrey Nemzer belong to a rare breed of singers who can afford being unabashedly operatic in their approach to sacred music.  Their full-bodied yet flexible voices soar and float in harmony in such contrasting pieces as Rossini’s “Quis est homo qui non fleret” and Pergolesi’s “Quando corpus morietur.” Mr. Nemzer delivers a stunning rendition of Dvorak’s dramatic “Inflammatus et accensus,” traditionally performed by female alto voice.  Ms. Canty’s voice imparts a shimmering and mysterious aura to Poulenc’s dark “Vidit Suum.” Both singers exhibit perceptiveness, imagination and intelligence in their interpretation of Tamar’s demanding works that were written especially for them. Nicholas Will, their collaborator, showcases his virtuoso skills in Tamar’s “Salutatio Virtutum,” while his sensitive accompaniment and thoughtful organ orchestrations provide a breathing matrix for the singers.’




Eli Tamar’s multi-cultural background (Russian-born Israeli-American) contributed greatly to his ability to explore and synthesize different elements of styles while transcending spiritual barriers between various musical, literary, and religious traditions


Andrey Nemzer is currently a visiting soloist at the Metropolitan Opera. He was the 3rd Prize Winner of Placido Domingo’s OPERALIA 2014 and the Winner of Metropolitan Opera National Council 2012


Charlene Canty has appeared with such companies as The Pittsburgh Opera, The Long Beach Opera (LA), The Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Western Reserve, and The Warren Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a frequent guest soloist with The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Camerata


Nicholas Will is an Assistant Professor of Music at Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Director of Music at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. He is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists


World premiere of Prière de Saint François d'Assise and Canticum Fratris Solis took place at De Boni Arte Foundation’s international series of sacred music at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, in 2012 and 2013. Salutatio Virtutum was given its premiere at The Pittsburgh Encounter Festival of Faith and Culture at Saint Paul Cathedral in 2014


Eli Tamar is the composer and sound designer for the award winning film “Leningrad” (The Russian Guild of Film Critics and Historians Award, 2014; Grand Prix at the Yeysk Film Festival 2015, Russia)


Photography Inessa Beylin


Release Date April 8, 2016

Catalog Number # NV6036





Stabat Mater (a collection from settings by different composers

transcribed to voice with organ accompaniment)

Charlene Canty, soprano; Andrey Nemzer, countertenor;

Nicholas J. Will, organ

1 “Stabat Mater dolorosa” (alto) Antonio Vivaldi

2 “O quam tristis et afflicta” (soprano) Tommaso Traetta

3 “Quae moerebat et dolebat” (soprano) Luigi Boccherini

4 “Quis est homo qui non fleret(duet) Gioachino Rossini

5 “Fac me vere tecum flere” (alto) Joseph Haydn

6 “Vidit suum dulcem natum” (soprano) Francis Poulenc

7 “Inflammatus et accensus” (alto) Antonín Dvorák

8 “Quando corpus morietur & Amen” (duet) Giovanni Pergolesi


Eli Tamar

9 Prière de Saint François d’Assise *for alto and organ

 Andrey Nemzer, countertenor; Nicholas J. Will, organ


10 Salutatio Virtutum *for soprano and organ

Charlene Canty, soprano; Nicholas J. Will, organ


11 Canticum Fratris Solis *for soprano, alto and organ

Charlene Canty, soprano; Andrey Nemzer, alto; Nicholas J. Will, organ


*Premier recording




Tracks 1-10 recorded June 10, 12, and 21-23, 2014 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Carnegie PA


Session Producer Eli Tamar

Session Engineer Greg Davis

Editing, Mixing, and Mastering Eli Tamar


Track 11 recorded June 14, 2013 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Carnegie PA


Session Producer Eli Tamar

Session Engineer Greg Davis

Editing, Mixing, and Mastering Greg Davis and Eli Tamar


Works by Eli Tamar (tracks 9-11) ASCAP

Funded in part through a grant from the Franciscan University

of Steubenville


Executive Producer Bob Lord

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Production Engineer Nate Hunter

Art & Production Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Designer Emily Roulo

A&R Chris Robinson

Marketing Specialist Morgan MacLeod








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