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Of Numbers and Miracles: Selected Cantigas de Santa Maria Original recording remastered

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 26 Feb 2001
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Feb. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Celestial Harmonies
  • ASIN: B000059WL8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of my desert island discs ! I've heard about half a dozen recordings of selections (there are over 400 cantigas) and this is the one that I return to most often. The Australian group whilst recording their magnificent compendium of Sephardic Music (available on a 4 - cd box set) decided to utilise the various skills and techniques and musical sources acquired on that exploration to give their own take on the Cantigas. This has resulted in a more folk orientated singing style with a more prominent Arabic/Jewish input which I find totally intoxicating.

Sleeve notes inform us that the singers instructions were to "forget their classical training" and 'sing like Arabs". Luckily this group possesses 2 of the best female vocalists in "world music" in Mara Kiek (alto) and Mina Kanaridis (soprano) who are quite magnificent and you would think that the songs were written especially for them (even though the language used is the Galician tongue). Kanaridis in particular has a gorgeous voice. The CD has 78 mins of music with instrumentals, solos, duets, trios and choruses and brings this music to life in a way that no other group has managed. Not bad for songs that were written over 700 years ago !

Musicianship is also excellent, being mainly carried by harp, percussion and a type of cittern (hardly any medieval fiddle though, unlike many of their competitors). Vocals are exclusively female apart from counter tenor on 2 tracks. Some people may find the arrangements slightly too modern sounding but overall there is a sense of joy and excitement that simply oozes from this recording. Apart from the opening track (a rather self-indulgent bell instrumental!) this recording is as near perfection as one could hope to hear.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Truly great selected cantigas, with great voices and rythm! The very nice recording enhances the pleasure listening to those masterpieces!!! buy if you find it!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some cantigas were used by Miklos Rozsa for EL CID and I wanted to have an idea of their content.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... years has enabled the Renaissance Players to realize many great CD's of which this is one of their best 30 Nov. 2014
By winmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Winsome Evans is a national treasure IMHO whose leadership over many years has enabled the Renaissance Players to realize many great CD's of which this is one of their best. Music from antiquity played on authentic instruments and often using a strong and varied percussion folia. Simply a delight.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 4 April 2009
By Robert Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When i first heard this, it instantly became one of my favorite albums of the genre. Truly stunning and magical.
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