Minnesota vocal group's 'Christmas With Cantus' is seriously stunning

"There are stacks of Christmas choir events to choose from over the holiday period. But for its exceptional combination of charm, thoughtfulness and sheer vocal quality it would be difficult to beat this one."

Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Cantus offers well-sung songs of stars and space

“'One Giant Leap' is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and, in a broader sense, the ability of the stars to inspire us to stretch our boundaries.... This admirably focused program is full of homages to science and the sky, wonder and discovery. And all eight voices were consistently strong in the group, the harmonies as warm and inviting as the down comforter you’re breaking out this weekend."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus blends harmony as usual, but soloists get a chance to shine

“'Unrequited' is a program full of songs about devoted love that’s unreturned, with its centerpiece taking Cantus to a destination it rarely visits: The world of 19th-century German lieder, art song that’s often of a romantic nature in both style and subject matter. Robert Schumann’s 1840 song cycle, 'Dichterliebe,' is his most famous contribution to the form, and Cantus’ members transform it into a series of 16 solo turns, each singer able to show off his skill with crafting an emotion-packed musical miniature."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
The Minneapolis Eight Serenade Pickman

“Cantus brought the poems’ haunting words about the human condition to life with poise and sincerity. Their eight voices work very well indeed, both Alone and Together.”

Susan Miron, Boston Musical Intelligencer
Cantus’ wistful look at the life cycle is tender and touching

"But even those averse to misty-eyed wistfulness will find much to like in the finely crafted harmonies woven by the singers, and perhaps by the singers’ between-song soliloquies, the most engaging and personal that Cantus has yet offered."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus ensemble delivers memorable concert in Palm Beach

"Known for its creative programming, the ensemble brought a thought-provoking set based on the concept of communication in an electronically connected world. The program, titled 'Alone Together,' offered selections that dealt with connection and isolation in one way or another."

Michael O’Connor, Palm Beach Daily News
Cantus goes global and local with powerfully poetic Christmas program

"Taking for inspiration the Anglican tradition of the 'Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,' it’s a concert that encourages your sense of wonder and asks you to view others through a more compassionate lens.It was a feast of fruitful harmony that made that idea of seeing the divine in all not seem like too tall a task."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus connects with a well-sung program about how we interact

"I came away thinking that this could be the best Cantus lineup in several years. They have excellent voices and blend them beautifully. If too much screen time has left you longing for some human connection, 'Alone Together' might provide the kind of bonding you need."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus lets solo singers shine with folky summer concert

"In this cleverly programmed, stimulating recital, Cantus cleared space for shared tunes and memories — and for the musical past to cast a genial, civilizing influence on our fractured present."

Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Cantus wraps songs and stories into captivating package

"[Christmas with Cantus] might be the ideal confluence of nostalgic and new for your holiday arts imbibing.... Strong both technically and emotionally, it warmed the heart and pleased the ears."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
The exquisite feel-good chorus maneuvered the Basilica acoustics

"The season opener on Saturday was the all-male, eight-voice, genre-crossing Cantus – a clean-cut ensemble from the Midwest that is said to eat cathedral acoustics for breakfast. And that, amazingly, turned out to be true....  smaller, low-vibrato, tightly blended voices, meticulously balanced with subtle treble highlights from high-range tenors came through with a clarity that I’ve never experienced there."

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
Cantus vocal ensemble opens season with vocal and mental clarity

"In Cantus' joyful, unpretentious performances, they cut directly to the quick of the evening's message — that even in a world we habitually view through dark lenses, moments of brilliant illumination are possible, some of them mediated by music."

Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Looking for warmth and nostalgia? Cantus’ Christmas program is for you

"To the rescue comes Cantus ... this is the group’s most warm and nostalgic Christmas program of recent years, one with a soft touch and a kind of Norman Rockwell aesthetic."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus opens season with beautiful music on horrors of war

"War-themed programs can be heavy going musically, but this one was absorbingly nuanced."

Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Cantus bring 'Pet Sounds' to the Cowles Center

"These boys can rock, swing, groove, and boogie, as well as do their standard shift of classical and contemporary music. They can, in short, do pretty much anything."

Terry Blain, Minnesota Public Radio
Cantus strikes a serious note

"Although Cantus prides itself on vocal teamwork, and sang with wonderful blend and expressivity throughout the evening, there were striking individual contributions.

"This was not always an easy evening, and it wasn't meant to be. Music is too often merely the food of love and leisurely distraction, and too rarely food for serious reflection. The sounds and images of "Would You Harbor Me?" lodge firmly in the memory, a pang to conscience and — who knows? — perhaps a stimulant to serious action."

Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Cantus has a sumptuous blended sound, which we immediately appreciate from the first chords of the initial Veni, Sancte Spiritus by Janáček—perfectly and colorfully balanced, rich and beautifully tender, while the interpreters perform very inspiringly with an agogic and dynamic build-up of musical phrases (and an enchanting descrescendo). Furthermore, Czech listeners certainly can appreciate their excellent Czech pronunciation."‎

Harmonie (Czech Republic)
Cantus mixes up a fine choral cocktail

"In my caroling fantasy, I'd open the front door some December evening and find the nine men of Cantus there. They would be holding forth with traditional tunes in Latin, Nigerian, Slovenian, English or Estonian, some familiar, most not, and bringing warmth to a cold night."

Rob Hubbard, Saint Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus covers five centuries of music in a sophisticated Christmas show

"For sheer vocal finesse and sophistication, the nine men of the Cantus vocal ensemble are nearly unrivaled. The group’s Christmas concerts have become something of an institution.... The program ranges widely over five centuries of music, in a striking variety of styles enabled by the effortless versatility that is a hallmark of the Cantus singers, along with their typically thoughtful linking narratives."

Terry Blain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Nothing but love for Cantus at the Lied Center

"From the opening chords of 'But Beautiful' by Jimmy Van Heusen, you could tell these guys weren’t messing around. Their balance, clarity and blend were truly remarkable. 'Lux Aurumque' by Eric Whitacre followed with a stunning sense of unity."

Jeremiah Johnson, Lincoln Journal Star
Cantus does Civic Music October 2015

"Cantus demonstrated a wide range of rich vocal harmonies as they sang songs of romance, brothers, mothers and religion.... Cantus works with no sheet music or baton. They use eye contact to stay together. No other group of nine men except a baseball team can work so well together with only subliminal cues."

Bob Saar, The Burlington Hawk Eye (IA)
I’ve got love on my mind

"Countless thinkers, creatives and dreamers have attempted to pin down the word 'love' to no avail because its true meaning is broad and diverse. While local men’s vocal ensemble Cantus doesn’t aim to define the word with their latest concert, 'The Four Loves,' they make classic conceptions of the word relevant through their artful, heartfelt arrangements."

Grant Tillery, Minnesota Daily
Cantus 'Covers' concert; a guide to Northern Spark

"Opening last weekend, continuing through this weekend, 'Covers' is a joyous evening of songs you mostly know, in arrangements (by the singers themselves) that showcase their marvelous voices and exquisitely stacked, interlocking harmonies."

Pamela Espeland, MinnPost
Cantus revives moving 'Singing Revolution' program

"The concerts were a tremendous success when Cantus first performed the program in 2012, and the new edition that debuted on Thursday evening at Minneapolis' Cowles Center might be even better."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
"A Harvest Home" - Cantus

"A warm fire with music that kindles warm hearts—what more could you want.... Look at the tracks and you will find many favorites, beautifully performed and arranged, along with a generous dose of humor and good times as well."

Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition
'All is Calm' is a powerful, lovely play about an ugly time in history

"This sense of verisimilitude is part of what gives 'All is Calm' its poignancy and its charm.... The real-life telling gets depth, texture and additional historical context from the songs, which are masterfully delivered by Cantus."

Dominic P. Papatola, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus: A Harvest Home (2014)

"Fall is the welcoming of Winter, it is a time of winding down and being grateful. Cantus has caught this promise from across the globe and distilled it into a seasonal offering that smells of apples and roast turkey. Please pass the cider ..."

C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

"Well, I attended a concert on Sunday afternoon that demonstrated that it doesn't have to be that way. The nine-man vocal group, Cantus, presented its annual Fathers' Day concert at Minneapolis' Lake Harriet Bandshell, and I was astounded by how good it sounded. The harmonies and instrumentation came out of the speakers atop the bandshell impeccably blended and balanced, with scintillating solos and the sumptuous sum of the group's voices as clear as the azure sky above."

Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cantus songs survey the Dvorak influence
"As usual, the diction, in Czech, German, Russian and English, was flawless, as was the remarkable dynamic control. A crescendo in the 'Pilgrim Chorus' from Wagner’s 'Tannhäuser' sounded much larger than the nine members."
William Randall Beard, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"The Minnesota-based artists have beautiful voices, well-trained and well-used, and a fine, enviable blend. They’re perfectly in sync with one another, with perfect delivery of their memorized music. They sang a carefully constructed program built from unusual and worthwhile pieces of music that sounded good in the resonant space of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis."
Sarah Bryan Miller, St.Louis Post-Dispatch
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