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On the Torment of Saints, the Casting of Spells and the Evocation of Spirits

John Zorn Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 12.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Nov 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: IMPORT
  • ASIN: B00F0MX8WK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Tempest - Various Performers - Various Performers
2. All Hallows' Eve - Various Performers - Various Performers
3. The Temptations of St. Anthony - Various Performers - Various Performers

Product Description

Product Description

Chris Otto, David Fulmer, Jay Campbell, Claire Chase, Joshua Rubin, Nate Davis, The Fifth House Ensemble. Another installment of spectacular chamber pieces written for some of the greatest new music performers in the US today! Written as a companion piece to Walpurgisnacht (2004), All Hallows' Eve is a tour de force in three movements for string trio satanic counterpoint for the Witches' Sabbath. Written as a gift to the ICE ensemble, Zorn wrote The Tempest as a musical reading of Shakespeare's mystical and enigmatic last play. Finally, the virtuosic Chicago based Fifth House ensemble performs Zorn's mini-piano concerto in the form of a philosophical dialogue between St. Anthony and his tormentors. Three piece of magic and religious mysticism from downtown alchemist John Zorn performed by a new generation of musical masters!

Product Description

Three pieces of magic & religious mysticism performed by a new generation of musical masters!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars As Imposing As Its Title 31 Dec 2013
By Sordel TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Perhaps because his classical works are released on his own label, Tzadik, it is very difficult to know quite where John Zorn stands in contemporary classical circles, but this disc with its three major chamber works suggests that, wherever he stands, he should stand higher.

Any of these three works could be regarded as the headline piece here. The Tempest, first up, is a trio for drummer, flautist and clarinettist: an idiosyncratic group to score for but one that enables Zorn to write gripping lines for the wind instruments while summoning up other genres at will with the percussion. For those who wish that Zorn's classical works would come closer to Jazz, there are generous hints of that here, although they are held in check by such episodes as a Medieval dance half way through. The playfulness of the piece is, indeed, unusual amongst Zorn's works and The Tempest rather lives up to its seriocomic Shakespearean inspiration.

The second work here, All Hallow's Eve, is a work for string trio (violin, viola & cello) and is written in the terser, "horror movie" string style that we have seen more from Zorn as he passed beyond his postmodern phase. This is a more challenging piece for the listener, requiring at least some familiarity with mid-20th century string writing and utilising the full range of string effects as befits a composer with many years' experience writing for these instruments. A strange passage with high harmonics on the violin veers for me towards the annoying, but the weight of the work is undeniable and the scurrying finale brings things to an emphatic close.

The final piece here is The Temptations of St.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great classical release from Zorn 29 Nov 2013
Format:MP3 Download
If you are a fan of John Zorn's classical output then you should love this release. I'm not one to wax lyrical in Amazon reviews.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More masterpieces 8 Jan 2014
By Sunlight - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Here is a CD by a master played by masterful musicians. The first track, The Tempest (flute, clarinets and drums/percussion) is performed by the ICE: virtuosic musicians who know how to animate the piece. Free jazz drumming and classical are two artfully combined genres. There is a lovely, very English/European/court sounding scene which will delight diehard Shakespearean fans. Wonderful tension and excitement from the flute and clarinets playing through each other. It's a dialogue you will listen to repeatedly.

Tracks 2-4 comprise All Hallow's Eve (satanic counterpoint for the witches' sabbath). Those familar with esoterica, rituals and numbers will appreciate its mathematical structure. Musicians Chris Otto, David Fulmer and Jay Campbell will treat you to their intense, masterful performance. Listen closely to all the beautiful details you do not often hear from other composers which is makes Zorn's pieces distinct and fun to listen to. Each detail is important especially in relation to the subject matter. Think you can play this on your own instrument? I love how fast they can play the passages and suddenly move onto very slow tempos as if you're walking through a private ritual that you are spying on up close: trepidation, relaxation, etc.

Track 5 is The Temptations of St. Anthony performed by the Fifth House Ensemble. Imagine a day at the art museum of creations based on St. Anthony. Flute, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, piano, violin, viola, cello, bass. It opens with a warm note, quickly led by a family of instruments persuading you to tour the museum. "Supernatural demons" is even enough to make you follow them while listening to this piece.

Expand your imagination, appreciate the significance of the instruments, technique, structure and more. You should be able to want to research more on your own about everything Zorn writes about in his liner notes. Explore this CD with an open mind.

Design: This is on the elegant Composer Series, so it follows the beautiful format of the Composer Series. Often you will find a lot of his classical pieces here. You're still not going to find most CDs with metallic printing and elegant design. There is no lack of lavishness because the series itself is lavish: I would implore people to please do their homework first before commenting on the packaging without fully understanding this groundbreaking label.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs to grow on me 6 Jan 2014
By Ross Radke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I enjoy modern chamber music, but since I am not a classically trained musician I do not "speak the language". To me, these compositions are aural forests, not trees. My favorite piece on here is "The Tempest", which features flute, clarinet and percussion. As a drummer, the thundering percussion captures and holds my attention, definitely evoking the primordial power of the storm for which the Shakespeare play serving as inspiration here is named. "All Hallow's Eve" is a string trio comparable to any of Zorn's other works in this idiom. Eerie tension builds and erupts into virtuosic violence, ad nauseam. Appropriately named, it's the type of thing I wish I could play at a Halloween party. Finally, "The Temptations of St. Anthony" is a dramatic piece for a larger ensemble, pitting a piano (St. Anthony) against aggressor demons (winds and strings) in the desert. It's fun, but I do get lost in the clutter. I'm giving this three stars, but that's more a reflection of this listener's tastes rather than the quality of the music itself. I relate more to Zorn's rock/jazz work. The album packaging isn't as lavish as some of Zorn's releases, being in a standard jewel case and liner with brief, but interesting comments by Zorn about each piece.
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