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Eternal Light

Eternal Light

1 Jan 2007
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2007
  • Release Date: 9 July 2007
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 2007 Universal Classics & Jazz
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:02:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LQ1YDE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,319 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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By Mart TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jan. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Welsh soprano Elin (some pronounce it Aylin) Manahan Thomas has spent most of her career to date gaining experience with many of the big names and ensembles in the classical singing world such as The Sixteen, The Monteverdi Choir and Polyphony. She has performed and toured extensively, and contributed on many recordings over the last few years.

This however is her debut solo album, having signed to UCJ (Universal Classics and Jazz) and is a collection of works from the renaissance and baroque eras which reflects her passion for this style of music, as summed up in her own words 'I'm a Bach, Handel and Purcell girl'. The album title incidentally is taken from a beautiful aria 'Eternal Source of Light Divine' composed by Handel for the birthday celebrations in 1713 of Queen Anne.

Much of the music here will be familiar to both classical music fans and followers of so called crossover artists, and for me its great appeal is in the authentic interpretation of well known works like Vivaldi's 'Nulla in mundo pax sincera' (there is no real peace in the world) and Handel's 'Lascia ch'io pianga' (let me weep). The recent trend is for performing these pieces with additional vocal embellishments and strong backing music, which I agree can enhance the music's drama and broaden its appeal, but it is equally exciting to hear these versions which are performed more in the style they would have been heard during their time.

The whole album follows this theme, from the opening piece 'O eucharius, in leta via', by Hildegard von Bingen (composed some 900 years ago) to the closing Monteverdi duet 'Pur ti miro' from Monteverdi's final opera L'incoronazione di Poppea composed in 1642.
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Format: Audio CD
I ordered this last Monday on the internet and received it last Friday. Since listening to it a couple of times already, I've fallen in love with this sublime album from Miss Elin Manahan Thomas. I first heard her through listening to Classic FM and thought that she had a delightful voice. When I heard she had an album of baroque music coming out I felt I should own a copy. And it's a gem and a sparkling debut album.

There's one track on here that got me interested in this singer since I heard it on Classic FM and that is Eternal Source Of Light Devine, a song written for the birthday of Queen Anne. It is sung so beautifully and with such conviction it almost sounds like it's from the era.

Elin (pronounced Aylin) has a magical and ethereal voice that takes you to another world of calm and heavenly angels flying around you making sure you're relaxed and taking in the beauty. These baroque songs are by the classic composers including Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Thomas Arne and Johannes Sebastian Bach among others. Miss Elin Manahan Thomas sings them with conviction and grace.

Difficult to pick a particular favourite from this amazing collection of songs. She sings them so beautifully. So as far as I'm concerned, I'll pick the whole album. What Elin Manahan Thomas has done with this enchanting album is bring baroque music to a whole new audience and to breathe new and much needed life into an old genre. This Eternal Light is set to shine for a long time yet. Classical music lovers will love this.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Elin Manahan-Thomas completed an MPhil degree at Cambridge University after gaining a prestigious starred first there in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. What a fortunate young woman to combine such a brain with beauty and an exquisite singing voice.

I first saw her singing a short solo section with The Sixteen and was immediately struck by her voice. She says that she likes to hear people say that her voice is "unique". Well, it certainly has an indefinable quality. Others use the word "ethereal" and that perhaps is as close as one can get.

This CD is a fine advertisement for Baroque music and perhaps it will encourage more people to enjoy it. Ms Manahan-Thomas will never be a celebrity such as Katherine Jenkins, partly because she specialises in Baroque music rather than "crossover" music, and partly because she does not have the glamour of Jenkins. Perhaps her appearances on BBC's "Songs of Praise" as both performer and presenter will introduce her to a wider audience.
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Format: Audio CD
Elin Manahan Thomas has an alluring voice, really beautiful tone with fautless intonation, and a touch of light vibrato which she develops on the longer notes to add colour. A lovely record. But all the tracks are well-known Baroque soprano arias. Shame she didn't go for a slightly more adventurous choice of repertoire. And, on this recording, she seemed to be a bit laid back in her delivery. I heard her live in Cardiff a few weeks ago (2011) in a programme of lute songs and she seemed more engaged with a live audience than on this record. But this is a few years after this debut record was made, and I guess she has developed her style in the meantime. Anyway, she is worth following - she is promising to be a great successor to Dame Emma Kirkby.
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