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Pleasures of Their Company


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Come again! Sweet love doth now inviteKathleen Battle 2:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. AllemandeChristopher Parkening 1:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. What if I never speed?Kathleen Battle 2:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. GalliardChristopher Parkening 1:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Fine knacks for ladiesKathleen Battle 1:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Ave MariaKathleen Battle 2:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Aria (from Bachianas brasileiras No. 5)Kathleen Battle 5:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. La Maja de Goya (from Coleccion de Tonadillas)Kathleen Battle 3:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Boi-BumbaKathleen Battle 1:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. AzulaoKathleen Battle 1:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Para ninarKathleen Battle 2:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. CancionKathleen Battle 1:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. NanaKathleen Battle 1:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Seguidilla murcianaKathleen Battle 1:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Ain't Got Time To DieKathleen Battle 2:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Lord, I Couldn't Hear Nobody PrayKathleen Battle 2:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Ain't That Good News! (Arr. Russ)Kathleen Battle 1:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. Sweet Little Jesus BoyKathleen Battle 3:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. This Little Light Of MineKathleen Battle 2:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen20. Ride On, King Jesus!Kathleen Battle 1:58$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Pleasures of Their Company + Angels' Glory - Christmas Music for Voice & Guitar + Kathleen Battle: A Christmas Celebration
Price for all three: $37.62

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Product Details

  • Composer: John Dowland, Hector Villalobos, Charles Gounod, Enrique Granados
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Digital
  • ASIN: B000002RNM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,190 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
16
4 star
4
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 21 customer reviews
Timeless and Beautiful!
Joanne Sumner
Every home should have a copy!
Eric McCalla
A real listening treat.
J. Buxton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Eric McCalla on December 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought a cassette copy of PLEASURES OF THEIR COMPANY on its initial release almost 20 years ago. Then, I picked up a CD copy immediately when that was available. Every time it is played, I am still amazed at Kathleen Battle's crystal-clear diction and the high level of musicianship she shares with Christopher Parkening.
She really could record an album of Dowland songs, as the opening song, "Come Again! Sweet Love Doth Now Invite" to me is one I could listen to a thousand times and never grow tired of it. Her voice is so joyous in its tone and you know she enjoyed making this album with Parkening.
The "Ave Maria" and Villa Lobos aria from the Bachianas Brasileiras #5 are the other 2 masterpieces. The "Ave Maria" is literally like hearing the voice of an angel. The purity of Ms. Battle's voice is breathtaking here.
Of all the guitar/voice recitals I've listened to, this is far and above the finest available.
Every home should have a copy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Hulme on January 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Let me admit right up front - I believe Kathleen Battle has the most beautiful voice on Planet Earth today. She can soar, she can belt it out, she can get into a nice groove, and she can whisper in your ear.
On this outing she is accompanied by Christopher Parkening, a fine classical guitarist who (I believe) studied with Segovia, and carries on in his stead. The sparse guitar accompaniment, combined with Ms. Battle's awesome voice, is an emotional treat. Parkening also does a couple solos, as does Battle (unaccompanied).
The material is quite varied, from sacred (Gounod's "Ave Maria") to Spanish folk songs and Brasilian songs, to spirituals (Sweet Little Jesus Boy).
This CD gets substantial air time at my house, frequently on Sunday mornings.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Two superstars of their areas, Parkening and Battle combine here for a marvelous feast of guitar and soprano.
Wide range of compositions, from Villa-Lobis' Aria to 20th century Brazilian music. Especially enchanting is the Christmas song "Boi-Bumba" after My Good Ox. Excellent too are the versions of de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance.
A soothing recording with Bach to African spirituals done with power and grace with Battle's voice soaring on such as "Ain't got time to die."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Buxton on February 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a great introduction to Battle's silky voice. She and Parkening seem to complement each other so well. It is an emotionally moving and spiritually uplifting album. I dare you to find a Bach "Ave Maria" sung with more beauty, sensitivity, or tenderness. The Villa-Lobos pieces are also done to perfection. A real listening treat.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Epops on May 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't imagine these songs being performed with any greater technical brilliance than they are by Parkening and Battle on this CD. Both are virtuosos, him in the guitar, her the voice. Their skill is particularly apparent in the Dowland songs, the "Ave Maria", and the Bachianas brasileiras no. 5 (for me, the high point of the recording), which are all in a formal style well suited to the talents of the performers.

I compare the Brazilian songs to the version recorded by Salli Terri with Laurindo Almeida in the late '50's on "Duets with Spanish Guitar", which I have listened to repeatedly since I first heard it in 1959. Battle's phrasing, enunciation, and vocal skill are far superior to Terri's, but Terri brought a level of emotion to her singing that Battle seems to lack. Where Battle's perfection enhances her superb performances of the Dowland and Villa-Lobos pieces, it seems to detract from her performance of the Brazilian folk pieces.

I find this to be true again in the spirituals - vocal perfection and control detracting from the "soul" required to bring out the "spiritual" feeling. Imagine these same pieces sung by Mahalia Jackson or Aretha Franklin and you'll understand my point.

Parkening's performance has the same quality - technical virtuosity, especially noticeable in his lute-like technique in the Dowland solo - but lacking in emotional depth.

The classical selections are highly recommended, the folk pieces a bit disappointing, but overall an enjoyable recording.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Yowell Yelvington VINE VOICE on August 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is perhaps a bit late to comment on this CD, which was released probably in 1986 but somehow escaped my attention before. There are already 12 customer reviews, nearly all hitting the mark squarely, but I add my own voice to point out a thing or two not mentioned by the others. Also, I want to disagree (respectfully) with one of the reviews.

First, we nearly all agree that this is a truly excellent recording of two consummate performers presenting a very fine and varied program of outstanding music. From the first Dowland song (or "ayre") to the last spiritual the disk maintains a remarkably high level of artistry and musical delight. The match-up of Battle and Parkening seems celestially ordained!

Perhaps not sufficiently noted before is the great versatility of the artists. From the classic elegance of Gounod's "Ave Maria" to the earthy expressiveness of Henrique's "Boi-Bumbá" and the simple piety of the traditional "This Little Light of Mine" is a very wide stylistic distance, yet the two artists cover it the greatest skill, artistry, and élan. Few if any others could do it so well.

Another unmentioned aspect is the excellent diction in several languages which Miss Battle offers here. Though we may take for granted, perhaps, the English/American and even the common European languages, the tongue-twisting Brazilian Portuguese of Boi-Bumbá is a stunning accomplishment. (And in another joint venture with Parkening, the 1996 "Angels' Glory" disk of Christmas songs, she handles the Polish verse of "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly," the Catalan of "El Noi de la Mare" and the Welsh of "Suo Gan" with great aplomb!
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