Renaissance - Music for Inner Peace
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Renaissance--Music for Inner Peace is a beautiful collection of music for revival and relaxation from across five centuries. Featured in this selective collection are the sublime "Agnus Dei", by Barber, "Miserere" by Allegri, "If Ye Love Me" by Tallis and many more.
This new release is somewhat mistitled: while most of the pieces are, in fact, from the Renaissance (or early Baroque), there are works here also by Samuel Barber, Poulenc, John Tavener, Bruckne,r and Gorecki. What they all have in common is their beauty and serenity. Perhaps the CDs subtitle, "Music for Inner Peace," also refers to a type of renaissance, i.e., spiritual re-birth: in which case, they're right on the money. The Sixteen, led by Harry Christophers, is one of the greatest proponents of this sort of choral music in the world, and they don't disappoint here: The Allegri "Miserere," with its wickedly beautiful ascent to high C by soprano soloist, is ravishing; Barber's own arrangement of his "Adagio for strings" for chorus (1967) is polyphony at its most "renaissance" without actually being so, and Gorecki's "Totos Tuus" is otherworldly in it mysticism. The selections by Byrd, Tomkins, et al., are, like the others, impeccably performed. Even an early piece by contemporary composer John Tavener, normally the master of excruciatingly pretentiousness, is lovely. This recording is a gem. --Robert Levine
Top customer reviews
the purists insist that a lot of the music is not renaissance and that is true but when it is as beautiful as this who cares ??
This album was the reward for my perseverance and I indeed felt wonderfully peaceful once I finally got there. The voices are beautiful, the music is beautiful and the album cover is beautiful.....what more could one ask for. :)!
It is interesting that the CD contains more modern works such as the Barber and works by Gorecki, Bruckner, Poulenc and Taverner, all beautifully sung by The Sixteen. Firmly recommended!
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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