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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime spiritual chorals, 5 May 2010
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This review is from: Renaissance - Music for Inner Peace (Audio CD)
The excellence of the Sixteen combined with an exquisite selection of religious chorals apparently by their able conductor Harry Christophers render this compilation a true gem. The title of the disc namely 'Renaissance' is somewhat misleading. The disc comprise sixteen compositions conveniently falling in two clusters:eleven were written in the 16th and 17th centuries that is indeed in Renaissance and the Baroque while five were created in the twentieth century.

The disc commences with the sublime composition 'Miserere' by Allegri which at nearly 12 minutes is the longest of the lot. This serves in addition as an example of prodigal musical memory cited in the liner note but my quotation is from Philip Ball's book 'The Music Instinct' published this year:'At the age of fourteen, Mozart is said to have written down from memory the entire score of the choral 'Miserere' of Gregorio Allegri after hearing it once in the Sistine Chapel (he made some minor corrections after a second hearing two days later). Although the papacy had forbidden any transcription of the 'Miserere', Pope Clement XIV was so impressed by the young lad's genius that he gave him knighthood.'

Harry Christophers whose commentary appears in many pieces in the liner note, writes on the expressive power of the human voice in the compilation:'Here we have the opportunity to explore that expressive range in choral music taking us from the simplicity of the plaisong line to works in 4 to 14 parts which touch the heart of our emotions, whether in prayer, hope or exultant praise. All reflect the architecture of Europe's greatest cathedrals and Chapels, be it the vast nave of Canterbury or Seville, the golden domes of St Mark's Venice or Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.'

Composers in the first cluster include in addition to Allegri, Lotti, Monteverdi and Palestrina and the English composers Byrd and Tallis while in the second cluster the American composer Samuel Barber and the British composer John Tavener.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Sep 2010 10:24:42 BDT
Gives a good idea of what to expect.
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Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

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