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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous sounds, 29 Nov. 2011
By 
Kally (NW England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella (Audio CD)
Stephen Layton and the Trinity College Choir, Cambridge unearth choral works of rare beauty in the radiant acoustic of Trinity College Chapel.

First, a health warning: it is impossible to do anything else but listen once the opening track of this glorious album begins. Don't pop it on your iPod if you're planning on walking anywhere quickly as you're more likely to find yourself staring off into the distance wistfully instead. And it will keep you hypnotised for a blissful 70 minutes, following which you will silently extend your index finger, press play, and start it all over again. Here is music-making of the highest quality.
Voted both CLASSIC FM CD OF THE WEEK and CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE CD OF THE MONTH
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American A Cappella Choral Music, 22 April 2012
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This review is from: Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella (Audio CD)
"Beyond All Mortal Dreams" is a Hyperion CD of (mainly) late twentieth century American "a cappella" music. The list of composers represented reads like a Who's Who of people no-one has ever heard of. I must confess that the only name familiar to me is that of Healey Willan. When, however, we see that the artists on this disc are the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Layton, we are entitled to expect music (as well as performances) of the highest quality, and in that we are not disappointed. Certainly, I was left amazed as to why the output of these composers is not better-known. All the works here are firmly rooted in the long-standing Western choral tradition, and borrow a good deal from Tudor polyphony and, in some cases, medieval plainchant. Some, such as Steven Stucky's "Three New Motets 'in memoriam Thomas Tallis'" and Frank Ferko's "Hildegard Triptych" openly acknowledge this debt of gratitude. Yet these are undoubtedly contemporary works, never descending to the level of mere pastiche. There is a gentle spiritual ambience throughout which fully justifies the title of the disc - a distinct impression that, for the duration of the music, we have been transported into a higher sphere. How appropriate that the final piece, by Ola Gjeilo, is entitled "Phoenix". There is nothing harsh or dissonant about this music. Healey Willan's perfectly-crafted motets, with their beautiful harmonies and cadences, are representative of the tone and quality of all the other pieces here.

The helpful liner notes include brief biographies of the various composers, along with full texts. The recording quality is up to the usual Hyperion standard, and the performances are near-flawless. This disc was a revelation to me, and is to be highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Singing, 18 Nov. 2011
By 
David Yates (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella (Audio CD)
This recording of A Capella singing by the choir of Trinity College Cambridge is a wonderful example of the art. I purchased the CD having heard the choir singing in Cambridge. I was impressed by their perfect tuning, their pure tone and their dynamics. I wondered if the fine college wine had affected my senses. Listened to in the cold light of day they are still just as wonderful!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond All Mortal Dreams, 24 Aug. 2011
By 
H. J. Kendrick "Hilly" (Norfolk,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella (Audio CD)
Beautiful heavenly music that totally engulfs you from head to toe-pure chill out.
Very prompt professional service too-thanks a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great discovery, 12 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella (Audio CD)
I agree with those reviewers who comment that these composers - and this CD - deserve to be better known. I heard the Rene Clausen piece on French radio (France Musiques) while doing something else. I stopped in my tracks to concentrate fully, so perfect I found the piece and the singing. I ordered the CD at once, and like others find it irresistible. I have taken time to study the words while listening, and am regularly moved by the way the music enhances and clarifies the sense of the simple, beautiful poetry chosen by the composers. A great discovery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous sound!, 12 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella (Audio CD)
I didn't know these American composers before and I am bowled over by this CD. The a capella sound of this choir is heavenly. I play it all the time.
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Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella
Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella by Trinity College Choir Cambridge (Audio CD - 2011)
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