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Fanshawe: African Sanctus

The Ambrosian Singers Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 14.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Composer: David Arthur Fanshawe
  • Audio CD (30 Oct 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000E47L
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,439 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 1. African Sanctus, "Bwala" Dance of UgandaTerry Emery 3:060.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 2. Kyrie "Call to Prayer", CairoThe Ambrosian Singers 2:380.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 3. Gloria, Egyptian WeddingTerry Emery 7:130.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 4. Chant "Deo Gratias" - Credo, Sudanese DancesThe Ambrosian Singers 5:120.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 5. Love Song from East Sudan (Piano Solo)Terry Emery 3:430.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 6. Et in Spiritum SanctumThe Ambrosian Singers 4:320.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 7. CrucifixusTerry Emery 6:110.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 8. African Sanctus, xylophones and the "Bwala" DanceThe Ambrosian Singers 5:160.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 9. The Lord's Prayer (The Offertory)Terry Emery 2:450.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 10. Chant "Qui tuum est regnum"The Ambrosian Singers 3:450.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 11. Agnus Dei - Kyrie, War drums in the desertTerry Emery 6:200.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Fanshawe: African Sanctus - 12. African Sanctus - Gloria, "Bwala" Dance of UgandaThe Ambrosian Singers 3:130.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Fanshawe: Salaams for Cantor, 11 Singers, Piano, Tapes and DrumsRosemary Ashe21:532.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

The 1970s was the decade of "fusion". But when David Fanshawe presented his eclectic mix of tape recordings from travels in Africa and his own compositions, he still caused quite a stir. No one had heard anything like it. Fanshawe's truly original ideas inspired a generation of musicians within all genres. Having conceived the idea for African Sanctus whilst on an inspired camel ride through Egypt, Fanshawe created a new genre: he would not force European rules onto the African material. Fanshawe found a way of dressing the two in each other, creating a sense of real equality, a symbiotic relationship reflecting his political and humanist message. Favourite moments are the "Moslem Call To Prayer" backed by a modern chorale, and a "love duet" between the ever-so-well-tempered grand piano and a Sudanian cattle boy's harp. The "Offertorium", though, is a dreadful 1960s pop ballad; a real clanger. The more abstract Salaams makes high demands on the Western singer's flexibility. A web of human voices (including Fanshawe on megaphone), cluster techniques and "free" harmony, create a melting pot of 20th-century composition techniques paired with the ageless sense of humanity in Fanshawe's source music. Yngvil V.G.

Product Description

The breathtakingly beautiful centerpiece of Fanshawe's repertoire has gained favor with listeners in the years since it's introduction in 1973. The fusing of a Catholic mass with native African and rock is certainly a leftfield concept, especially for the time in which it was conceived. As musical tastes have evolved, so has the perception of this groundbreaking recording.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original recording 3 Aug 2005
Format:Audio CD
First performed in 1972, known then as 'African Revelations', the 'African Sanctus' was first released in recorded form by Philips in 1975 (a revised version appeared in 1994, incorporating the 'Donna Nobis Pacem').
David Fanshawe (b.1942, Devon), is a widely travelled and widely experienced documentary film maker, sound recordist, and composer. He saw in 'African Sanctus' a true fusion of European and African musical traditions and cultures, the work combining the traditional Latin Mass with carefully juxtaposed sounds from the North of Africa.
The opening is wholly unselfconscious - a pounding "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus" which would not be out of place in a horror movie. It thrusts the music before you and insists that you listen. What Fanshawe then delivers is a sonic montage, layering recordings of North West African tribal and urban music over the undercurrent of the Latin Mass. The Sanctus will be followed by a muezzin calling the faithful to prayer in Cairo, by wedding music from Luxor, the mass being echoed by requiem, celebration, love song, lament, even the sounds of rainfall, blending human voices, natural rhythms, and different cultural traditions.
It's a direct marriage of Christian and Islamic tradition, but one which blends in references to religions and spiritual traditions which are far older than either. It's an exciting serving of music which pulsates with life and optimism.
In the revised edition of the work - and the recording I would advocate that you look for - Fanshawe would include the Donna Nobis Pacem ("give us peace") or 'Hymn for World Peace', a sentiment no less vital today.
Frequently performed in concert halls across the world, the live 'African Sanctus' often embodies a further dimension of cultural experience by introducing dance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars African Sanctus is Unique 9 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is unlike any other recording I have heard - and a very good re-creation of the live performance. Even if you don't like religious music, this will still thrill and excite. The mixture of 'traditional' choir with modern instruments and the weird and wonderful recordings from Africa is still innovative, challenging and wonderfully affirmative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning recording - fascinating piece 11 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am reviewing the African Sanctus (must get round to Salaams at some point) having taken part in a performance of the work and having listened to this recording a number of times to enable me to learn how it goes.

The African Sanctus is a work that I have known of for many years but have only recently taken the time to get to know it. I did listen to the setting of the Lord's Prayer abou 20 years ago, which I confess that I found a bit twee. I have always been a bit confused as to where David Fanshawe fits into the tradition of 20th Century English music. The Lord's Prayer itself was itself subject to a ban by the BBC who did not consider it, with its accompaniment of electric guitars and drums and 'poppy' melodic style, to be a classical piece at all.

The work is a strange mixture of conventional (albeit very challenging) English choral writing and recordings of Ethnic African music from Egypt, Uganda and Sudan. Although I found the juxtaposition fascinating and the experience of performing the work immensely exhilerating, I am still unclear as to its artistic significance.

Anyway, if you wish to listen to this work, you could do a lot worse than listen to this recording. The choir on this recording, the professional Ambrosian Singers, is brilliant at singing the choral bits. The accuracy and quality of tone is quite breathtaking. There are two soprano soloists, Valerie Hill, who sings the Lord's Prayer (which I now find rather moving) and Patricia Clarke, who sings some fiendishly difficult operatic solos with amazing musicality and ease. The whole thing is presided over by Owain Arwel Hughes, who was a fellow student with David Fanshawe at the Royal College of Music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Performance 29 Aug 2010
Format:Audio CD
The ingenious blending of amazing and exciting African music from all corners of that continent with a vibrant performance from a European choir and orachestra makes for "sit up and listen" sounds. The working of music into this religious theme is compelling and imaginative.
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