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Officium [Import]

Garbarek/Hilliard Ensemble, Jan Garbarek Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
Price: 30.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Officium + Officium Novum + Mnemosyne
Price For All Three: 61.44

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  • Officium Novum 13.16
  • Mnemosyne 17.29

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Sep 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B0000031YD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,866 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Parce mihi domine
2. Primo tempore
3. Sanctus
4. Regnantem sempiterna
5. O salutaris hostia
6. Procedentem sponsum
7. Pulcherrima rosa
8. Parce mihi domine
9. Beata viscera
10. De spineto nata rosa
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Parce mihi domine
2. Primo tempore
3. Sanctus
4. Regnantem sempiterna
5. O salutaris hostia
6. Procedentem sponsum
7. Pulcherrima rosa
8. Parce mihi domine
9. Beata viscera
10. De spineto nata rosa
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Sounds 21 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
I heard this group several times on the radio and decided I must have the CDs.
I now have two and enjoy the haunting sounds of the pure voices and the saxophone.
Music of that era has a beautiful simplicity and sacredness to it.
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135 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 24 Sep 2002
Format:Audio CD
On paper the idea for this recording would have made an interesting suggestion- Norwegian modern jazz saxophone player meets English vocal quartet, and use medieval to renaissance sacred choral music as the basis of improvisation. Jan Garbarek has made a lot of CD's in his time signed to ECM, and these have, in my opinion, a wide range of success. Some recordings are often quite cliched and cheesy. This CD is possibly the best he has made. Possibly one of the best anyone will ever make.
The mood of the singers is dramatically sombre. There is a distinctly pure tone. There is no vibrato, no fast pieces. In the monastery where this was recorded there is a lot of reverb. This all leads to the transcendental effect of the music, it really feels as if some of the peace of the monastery has been captured and held in the music. A semi-lethargic quality is provided, in that we feel as if the music freezes us in time, or perhaps draws us out of time. The sound quality is perfect, we feel drawn out of life, and even provided with a different perspective of life, though more of a detachment from it. The singing operates in this fantastic manner, at once peaceful and dramatic, at once disturbing, awe-inspiring, and comforting. Added to this is the sax.
In the pieces where the sax provides a melody line it interweaves beautifully, involving itself with the singing, then dancing away, at times sympathising with the singers, at other times mocking them with bizarre super impositions. One minute identifying with the music, the next dancing away carelessly. Where the singing operates on a transcendental level, the sax seems to operate on all other levels, free from the necessary restrain of the singers. Where the music of the singing is too dramatic the sax detaches us carelessly.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jan Garbarek Officium 2 Aug 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is a remarkable Cd. Haunting, beautiful, spiritually stimulating (for those that need it) or tranquilizing (for those that don't.)

Memorable for all the ad men and women who have poached it over the years for evocative interlude music.

Easily one of my top ten CD's. If you have a vivid imagination, a good sound system, and time to wallow, then this is the album you've been searching for all those years to ignite your inner creativity and to flex the left side of your brain.

Enjoy,

Ernest the Goose.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Medieval meets Modern 29 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I bought the CD on the basis of hearing one track (Parce Domine) in the car on the way to work one morning. I found that track absolutely riveting. Most of the rest of collection is equally arresting with one or two exceptions where in my opinion the saxophone is not sympathetic to the choral work, and is quite jarring. On the whole, one to keep coming back to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and spiritual 17 July 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I started listening to this album at the same time as I started reading Dissolution by C J Sansom and was transported to Tudor England and the dissolution of the monasteries. It's something more than the sum of its parts - jazz and chant. It is relaxing and poignant and the tunes remain playing in your mind as a sort of echo. I recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Phine
Format:Audio CD
Officium Novum

This was an excellent CD. I had first heard a track on Classic FM, and having consulted the site for the name of the track, it was good to be able to locate it on Amazon. I have not stopped listening to it. It certainly calms me for my daily hourly commute to work. Very soothing and haunting. A must have for music lovers and especially tenor saxaphone fans (there is a little bit of alto as well).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous soothing music 2 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD
I was stunned to receive this on xmas day as i thought no one had got it for me.
Heard it on the radio a few years ago, loved it, wrote it down and lost the bit of paper then found it again.
Exactly as i remembered. The combination of gregorian chant with sax is sooo goosebumpy.
A bit much for a whole CD as it is a bit 'samey' but but i play it a lot when i don't want mozart or pop music in the background.
The harmonizing is divine.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful sounds. 16 Jan 2007
Format:Audio CD
The first track on this CD takes my breath away every time I hear it. It really is stunningly beautiful.

However, if you are like the poor unfortunate "music fan" above who has become such a purist that you fail to just sit back and listen to beautiful sounds and melodies (this being after all what music is in its most basic form) then please don't buy this. No, saxaphone and choral music at first sounds like a disaster...but this WORKS. Yes, as one reviewer has already mentioned, some tracks work better than others, but music is there to be enjoyed, to be played with, to have fun with and enjoyed. I am betting the reviewer above is also one of the select few who cannot abide Classic FM because it has "commercialised THEIR music". Such a shame. Enjoy this music for what it is and if, like our friend "the above reviewer" you do not like the sound of a beautifully played saxaphone, this is fine, just acknowledge that you don't like sax music, rather than slating a talented musician.

To those who still let their ears and their hearts do the listening, rather than some pompous ideas about "knowing about music", listen to this. You'll love it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very calming album, thoroughly enjoyable.
Published 9 hours ago by Clive Anthony Williamson
3.0 out of 5 stars Music
I mainly bought for one particular track which I love... the rest of music is ok; though not the best purchase I've made.
Published 1 month ago by K M M
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating listening
beautiful music with a haunting quality. The saxaphone and choir work in opposition yet in harmony. Will be looking for more!
Published 2 months ago by valerie
4.0 out of 5 stars Officium
an unusual haunting sound, the sax gives the cd a special sound. Well worth a buy even as a one off.
Published 3 months ago by Mr N Brundrit
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing music I just needed
I heard this version on radio and liked it so much, that I had to get it my self, so I can listen when I want.
Published 4 months ago by Jytte Sondergaard
5.0 out of 5 stars officium
had this as a tape, but no longer have any means of listening to it. This combination of sax and voice is majestic and haunting therefore bought this disc version to enable me to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by px24
3.0 out of 5 stars Officium
Initially okay, but eventually felt that if I heard one more screaming saxophone, I would scream!!! Quite expensive for a CD.
Published 5 months ago by Janet Perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful chants with amazing saxophone
The delivery was fast and I was delighted to find the whole boxed and wrapped.
The music is divine and is wonderfully soothing through my sonos system. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Angela Arney
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed.
Like others I first heard this recording on Classic FM and was completely mesmerised by it. I find now however the sax is too intrusive most of the time and even shrill and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars I bought this item after hearing its title track. ...
I bought this item after hearing its title track. The rest of the CD does not live up to expectations. Hear the other tracks before buying!!
Published 8 months ago by Stuart Revell
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