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Peace: A Choral Album For Our Times

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Avie
  • ASIN: B0001M1JHA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,179 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Barber, Delius, Elgar, Gorecki, Morten Lauridsen, Rachmaninov, Schoenberg, Tavener, Randall Thompson, Victoria / Chœur de la Handel and Haydn Society, dir. Grant Llewellyn

Amazon.co.uk

One very noticeable quality of Peace: A Choral Album for Our Time is the remarkable dynamic range of the choir: performing a cappella throughout, their training and commitment allows them to sing through the entire dynamic spectrum from pianissimo to fortissimo with all the gradations in between, thus giving the music, which is uniformly serene, even greater variety than is inherent in its several nationalities and styles. Victoria's "O magnum mysterium" has just the right spooky piety while the same text, set by the contemporary composer Morton Lauridsen, remains faithful to antiquity while injecting some new colours. Rachmaninov's flavourful "Blazen muzh" reaches a fine intensity; the crescendo and de-crescendo in Randall Thompson's six-minute meditation on the single word "Alleluia" is beautifully handled; Barber's vocal arrangement of his "Adagio for Strings", is, as ever, gorgeous, and Tavener's "Song for Athene" is one of his least annoying works, handsomely sung here. Schoenberg's somewhat thorny "Friede auf Erden" makes one sit up and think twice, while Gorecki's "Totus Tuus" remains a simply ravishing meditation on the Virgin Mary. Works by Elgar and Delius round out the programme. The accompanying notes by conductor Llewellyn announce that he hopes that the singers are "contributing to Peace on Earth" with this CD, and while that's quite a goal, the 65 minutes of music here is intensely calming and floats above and through the listener. --Robert Levine, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The well-disciplined and atmospheric singing of the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus brings out to the fullest extent the spiritual and sometimes rapturous nature of the music presented here. The programme combines such well known items as Victoria's 'O Magnum Mysterium', sung with purity of tone and excellent vocal control, with those which may be less familiar. Of these, perhaps the most ravishing is Morten Lauridsen's serenely beautiful setting of the same text.
A beautiful and thoroughly uplifting recording; most highly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a spectacularly beautiful recording. To be able to have the Victoria and Morten Lauridsen's settings of the Magnum Mysterium in the same recording is just inspired. I feel very sorry for the reviewer who calls himself "music fan". The Schoenberg is not easy first time around but the rest are just gorgeous. Anyone who does not know the Randall Thompson Allelulia should get this recording. It is the most played CD of my 5-600.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm glad I don't live next door to the person who suggested the title "Peace" as this album is very noisey. I would even suggest that the correct word to use about this album is cacophony. With the exception of 2 or 3 pieces I thought the selection of music was dreadful.
It is awful to think that with the huge selection of choral music available that these should be the final selection.
Those concerned may even benefit from listening to the likes of Anuna.
I can only say I was most disappointed!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x955d19c0) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95f9c558) out of 5 stars Stunningly Beautiful 7 Oct. 2004
By Charles Horton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Glorious Indeed! Robert Levine's above review is 'right on'.

Morten Lauridsen's chill-provoking 'O magnum mysterium' brought me to this project after hearing it on public radio at 2AM. Choice of material, quality and sensitivity of performance, and Grant Llewellyn's masterful direction make this a 'must have'.

I rarely buy choral music, but this one I will give at Christmas with a wish for the 'Peace' this music inspires.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Heath66 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Well, I really enjoyed this recording. Sure, the choir was not perfect in a few places but it was good enough for me (I sing in a couple of choirs myself). Lauridsen's Magnum was very good, quite hair raising in a nice way. The final chords so lovely and so hard to be really quiet yet maintain pitch and body.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95b14750) out of 5 stars An excellent album of choral music sung with much emotion 10 May 2014
By Joseph Kline PhD, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Pay no attention to the naysayers to this album. This is exquisite music, beautifully sung, and with impressive ensemble work. Yes, there are some pitch problems, and this is not the first a cappella album that I have listened to that has those occasional problems. If you haven't had experience in such choral work, it is challenging to the best of choristers. I sang baritone in an a cappella group in my 20's and know from experience. And in case you are wondering, yes, it was a great group of professional and nonprofessional singers. I suppose we were good. We were invited to perform at the White House. Now, on to the album.

Peace was a response to 911 and the onset of the war in Afghanistan. These are 32 singers who sing the very old and the very recent on this album. My personal favorite is Morten Lauridsen's O magnum mysterium. Despite a few pitch problems, they sing this difficult piece full of dissonances quite well. Barber's Agnus Dei and Tavener's Song for Athena are also beautiful choral pieces. But what is so impressive in this album is that this group really knows how to make music. They sing with emotion and produce it in the sensitive listener. I, too, wish that intonation had been perfect, but the music easily makes up for it. And the album is superbly recorded with just the right amount of reverberation at the recording location.

Highly recommended.
HASH(0x95f9c990) out of 5 stars We all need more Peace 9 May 2013
By J. M. Lecture - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Following the horrific Marathon bombings, I heard excerpts from this beautiful album being played on WCRB, Boston's classical radio station. The music is reflective and beautiful... some pieces were already known to me but several are new. Being a chorale singer myself, I enjoyed listening to the wonderful sounds and harmonies.
HASH(0x95bb5414) out of 5 stars beautiful 11 Feb. 2013
By Michael L. Raleigh - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The recordings are inspirational and well done.
I play the album often.
I hope I can find other similar recordings.
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