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Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi

Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi

1 Mar 2003

£4.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 17 Feb 1997
  • Release Date: 17 Feb 1997
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • Copyright: (C) 1996 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 1996 Virgin Records Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:06:47
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001IMRA84
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,591 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Aug 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is definitely the best of all the Adiemus albums, it combines the usual African chant and classical music with rhymic beats and startling originality. This is also the only album that makes full use of the dark, rich sound of the female singer (Miriam Stockley), only occasionally used in other albums. Her voice is so powerful and moving that her songs (of which there are only three on the album) have a tendancy to overshadow the others. However each of the other tracks have a magic of their own, combining pan pipes, traditional instruments and the human voice to take the listener on a journey.

Song 3 is rousing and spirited, song 6 melancholic and pure, but by far the best song (for me) is song 8. Sung by Miriam it is achingly plaintive, the sound of a lost soul watching the stars shine over the ocean, the sound of the princess in the tower waiting for her long dead prince to come.

The music is inspiring and lyrical, harmonious and ofentimes touched with a real beauty. I would defy anyone to turn the lights out at night, listen to this album and not feel indescribably moved. An absolute must..
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Mar 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit to buying Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi with a little trepidation. Having enjoyed the first recording (Songs of Sanctuary) I actually felt nervous about the second one - would it be as good or better, or would I be disappointed. I needn't have worried, as Adiemus II literally blows you away. From the first track it is unmistakingly recognisable as the work of Jenkins, but it is clear that it is also the work of a man who has realised that he is 'never satisfied'. This recording is more symphonic in nature than the first, Jenkins uses the full orchestra to great effect throughout in developing his themes to a much fuller extent than in Songs of Sanctuary. This is a man who knows how to use an orchestra well without the recording coming across as an solely 'orchestral work'. Jenkin's use of the horn section is particularly satisfying - listen to it and you'll appreciate what I mean! The emphasis is still very much on the ethereal singing of Miriram Stockley who again delights us with her clear yet powerful tones - her voice and Jenkin's music - a match made in heaven!
A must for all Jenkins lovers and those who have never even heard Songs of Sanctuary.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roo on 29 Aug 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
This is definitely the best of all the Adiemus albums, it combines the usual African chant and classical music with rhymic beats and startling originality. This is also the only album that makes full use of the dark, rich sound of the female singer, only occasionally used in other albums. This womans voice is so powerful and moving that her songs (of which there are only three on the album)have a tendancy to overshadow the others. However each of the other tracks have a magic of their own, combining pan pipes, traditional instruments and the human voice to take the listener on a journey.
Song 3 is rousing and spirited, song 6 melancholic and pure, but by far the best song is song 8. Sung by the female singer it is achingly plaintive, the sound of a lost soul watching the stars shine over the ocean, the sound of the princess in the tower waiting for her long dead prince to come.
The music is inspiring and lyrical, harmonious and ofentimes touched with a real beauty. I would defy anyone to turn the lights out at night, listen to this album and not feel indescribably moved. An absolute must..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alexander J. Dunn on 17 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Although there are some light-hearted parts on this album, the sound of the music seems to be more sombre than the first Adiemus album. There is much more emphasis on powerful chord changes rather than ethnic beats or pretty melodies. 'Song of the Spirit' is probably my favorite song, due to it's blistering momentum and harmonic invention. 'Song of the Spirit' is also very good, with it's alternation between joyful choral passages and a more melancholic solo voice passage. The chorales always contrast strongly with the songs as they are mostly sung by a solo voice and do not usually exceed 2 minutes.

The structure of this album is clever in that it imitates, as the title suggests, the structure of a classical cantata. Typically these follow the pattern of recitative, aria (song), chorus (or chorale). Usually, in, say, a Bach cantata, this pattern would be repeated twice or three times but, here, Karl Jenkins repeats it many more times and the songs are extended in length. I think this is where the album falls down a bit. The repetitious nature of the material lends itself to brevity and Jenkins just pushes it that little bit too far. The album is well over an hour and one just gets exhausted because of the weight of the compositions.

So, even though most of the songs on this album are better than the songs on the first album, the overall experience is too dense for it to seem a superior album. This is why I give 'Cantata Mundi' four stars as well.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Mar 2000
Format: Audio CD
As with many musical artists, of course, the answer to that question depends on who you ask-though they have been frequently compared to artists such as Enya, Enigma, Dead Can Dance, and Deep Forest. Because of the unique qualities of their sound, however, no direct comparison can ever be completely sufficient. The prominent sounds in the music of Adiemus are the diverse melodical chants and vocal stylings of Miriam Stockley, the harmonies of Mary Carewe and "the Adiemus singers", and the powerful backing of the London Philharmonic. Karl Jenkins himself describes the music as "an extended choral-type work based on the European classical tradition, but where the vocal sound is more akin to 'ethnic' or 'world' music"; in his words, "The sound is universal, as is the language of music [...] this music is somewhere to escape to." This was taken from the amazing Adiemus Unofficial Home Page, one of the best pages on the Internet and by far the best page containing literally everything there is to know about Adiemus!
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