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Einhorn: Voices of Light

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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  • Performer: Susan Narucki, Corrie Pronk, Frank Hameleers, Henk van Heijnsbergen
  • Orchestra: Netherlands Radio Choir, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Steven Mercurio
  • Composer: Richard Einhorn
  • Audio CD (1 April 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0000262D3
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,867 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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...when someone jumps up and down, telling me, "Bob, you GOTTA HEAR this!"
Well, truthfully, my initial exposure to Richard Einhorn's "Voices of Light" came about in a more subtle – and pleasurable – way. It was provided to me by a friend who had no way to anticipate my reaction. In a phrase, I was overwhelmed by the initial experience. And I continue to be, despite now having listened to this work several times, both for enjoyment and for finding words to describe it to Amazon readers.
A few preliminaries first, though. This music was written firstly to provide a "live" cinematic score to accompany the screening of Carl Dreyer's classic – and legendary – 1928 silent film, "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (long thought lost until a complete, serviceable print turned up in Norway in 1981), and secondly to be performed on its own. Einhorn, inspired by the rediscovered film, composed "Voices of Light" to provide a fitting piece of music. Since its premiere in this form in 1995, it has had over 100 major "screenings" using at least some of the forces in this recording, with many additional screenings scheduled out into the future. A full-featured DVD of the film, with this music, is available elsewhere at Amazon.com. I can only comment on the music, since (for reasons that escape me), I have managed to totally miss the boat on these 100+ screenings/performances.
And what music it is! Something like this comes along all too seldom. (In the recent past, I can think of only three newly-written works – all of them spiritual in their own ways – which have affected me so: Henryk Gorécki's "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," Arvo Pärt's "Passio," and Morton Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna.
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A post-minimalist masterpiece, expertly blending early Baroque and 1980s Philip Glass (indeed at its best it brings to mind Glass's 'Satyagraha' and 'Akhnaten'). Dark, intense and unforgettable - the only tragedy is the failure of Einhorn or the music labels to release any other works to complement this exceptional piece.
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I can't understand why this work isn't better known. I have never heard any of it on, say Classic FM or Radio 3, and I would like to know why. I discovered it purely by chance in my local library when I was looking for something else with a similar title and thought this looks interesting. I listened to it and bought it immediately. It is very very good. It's about Joan of Arc and ever since I read Thomas Keneally's Blood Red, Sister Rose I have found that the subject of Joan, or Jehanne, is one that never ceases to engage me. Was she schizophrenic or touched by God? Why did one of her most faithful companions, Gilles de Rais, turn into one of the most notorious mass-murderers in history? And why has the church allowed her to be appropriated by right-wing extremists? Richard Einhorn's music doesn't answer any of these questions but it does take one into a spiritual realm, and with the libretto in your hands, you can follow Jehanne's path to the scaffold in latin and old french. The voices are sublime and the music soars. The piece deserves more recognition.
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very little can take the edge off the interminably dull six hours i spend every so often on a train. then some kind soul gave me this to listen to, whereupon the world erupted into beauty around me. miles and minutes flew by together as i was overcome by the musical masterpiece that this recording is. i listened to it three times on that initial train ride and have listened to it on every subsequent trip. oddly enough i reserve it for such times as travelling as it commands such absolute attention.
buy it, listen to it and pass it on. this is one of those experiences you just cant keep a secret, for everyone should hear this and rejoice
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