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16 Reviews
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding
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...
Published on 29 Aug 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay...
...but not as good as I remember it being. Originally had it on tape, but now I've joined the 20th century and moved in to cds it was on my list. Bought it 'used', so it will sit in the drawer for a while and will try it again but can see it making its way to the charity shop. PS: yes, I have heard of mp-3s but not quite made it to the 21st century yet, still have some...
Published 6 months ago by Snowy457


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding, 29 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi (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
5.0 out of 5 stars ..and you thought the first one was something else!, 1 Mar 2000
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding, 29 Aug 2002
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What does the music of Adiemus sound like?, 29 Mar 2000
By A Customer
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious, weighty and long., 17 April 2010
This review is from: Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic of the series continues..., 26 Mar 2009
By 
R. R. Adams "Raffles" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi (Audio CD)
Some while ago, I purchased Songs of Sanctuary, the first disc in this series. At first, I didn't realise just how good this album was...it took some while for me to appreciate the might of the music and the unique vocal sound...most of the tracks are of an epic nature. It became such a firm favourite of mine that I wound up purchasing Songs of Sanctuary as a gift to my parents and siblings being confident they'd love it too. A couple of months ago I decided to check out the next in the series called Cantata Mundi. Basically it's as good, possibly better, than the first disc - the orchestration accompanying the female leads is more enlivened than ever and the whole thing once again comes together beautifully. Adiemus truly has one hell of a unique uplifting sound. Very highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important music of the millennium, 6 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi (Audio CD)
This is quite simply the most awesome CD that I have ever listened to. A classical-styled collection of pieces with a unique choral/ethnic feel, it's perfect construction and delivery gives it an instantly accessible, contemporary feel. Majestic, powerful and invocative; and yet haunting, sombre and reflective in equal measures. Beautifully melodic arrangements played wonderfully by the London Philharmonic Orchestra interwoven with the stunning vocal talents of Miriam Stockley (impressively multi-tracked), one of the UK's finest singers. Karl Jenkins is surely one of the most talented composers alive today.
If you're a fan of music, buy it immediately.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's scary...., 18 Oct 2000
By A Customer
I bought this CD from my local music store after finding the first one too... catchy. After a few times in the CD player, I was humming along to the tune and later, I was actually *singing* along to the song, even though I don't even know the language! This is a great CD. If you like the first one, you should add this to your collection -- it's great for insomniacs.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay..., 27 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi (Audio CD)
...but not as good as I remember it being. Originally had it on tape, but now I've joined the 20th century and moved in to cds it was on my list. Bought it 'used', so it will sit in the drawer for a while and will try it again but can see it making its way to the charity shop. PS: yes, I have heard of mp-3s but not quite made it to the 21st century yet, still have some vinyl to upgrade - what, it's coming back in!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adiemus ii, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi (Audio CD)
Karl Jenkins has produced another great CD. Easy listening music. I have now purchase Adiemus I, II, III and IV
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Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi
Adiemus II - Cantata Mundi by Karl Jenkins (Audio CD - 1997)
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