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Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Composer: René Clausen, Steven Stucky, Ola Gjeilo, Frank Ferko, Edwin Fissinger, et al.
  • Audio CD (27 Jun. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B005145WGM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,373 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Tonight eternity alone
  2. Three New Motets in memoriam Thomas Tallis
  3. Sanctus
  4. Hildegard Triptych
  5. Lux aeterna
  6. Fair in face
  7. I beheld her, beautiful as a dove
  8. Rise up, my love, my fair one
  9. How they so softly rest
  10. The day is done
  11. Pilgrims Hymn
  12. Hymn to the Eternal Flame
  13. Two Motets
  14. Phoenix

Product Description

Product Description

Recently named in Gramophone as the fifth best choir in the world , Stephen Layton and his acclaimed Trinity College Choir perform a stunning disc of American a cappella choral works. The recording is a showcase of little-known American composers unearthed by Layton during his travels. These distinctive and luminous compositions illustrate the context in which better-known composers such as Lauridsen and Whitacre already championed by Layton learnt their craft. The choir is in perfect voice. Their purity of tone, flawless intonation and depth of feeling are truly exceptional. This wonderful disc is a must for all choral fanatics.

Review

First a health warning:it is impossible to do anything else but listen once the opening track of ths glorious album begins...I can say with certainty that this an album that will repay repeated listening for years to come.Go on,indulge yourself. ***** DISC OF THE MONTH --Classic fm Magazine,Aug'11

The singing is beautifully blended,the parts sensitively balanced,the absense of spurious vibrato a constant pleasure.Typically outstanding Hyperion sound caps this warmly recommended issue. Performance **** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine,Sept'11

If this is a representative cross-section of unaccompanied American choral music since the Second world War,it shows a genre in which beauty of sound and an atmospheric of prayerfulness are the chief characteristics. --Gramophone,Oct'11

With this disc,Stephen Layton continues his explorations into contemporary choral music.Many of his Hyperion discs pair him with Polyphony ,the chamber choir he founded in 1986.Here he conducts the larger choir of Trinity College Choir,Cambridge.It doesn't matter which ensemble Layton leads,though;the results are examplary in terms of technical perfection and purity of expression.'Beyong all mortal dreams is cut from the same cloth.The resonant acoustics in the Chapel of Trinity College crown the music's head with a halo but do not cloud its body. --IRR,Sept'11

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Stephen Layton and the Trinity College Choir, Cambridge unearth choral works of rare beauty in the radiant acoustic of Trinity College Chapel.

First, a health warning: it is impossible to do anything else but listen once the opening track of this glorious album begins. Don't pop it on your iPod if you're planning on walking anywhere quickly as you're more likely to find yourself staring off into the distance wistfully instead. And it will keep you hypnotised for a blissful 70 minutes, following which you will silently extend your index finger, press play, and start it all over again. Here is music-making of the highest quality.
Voted both CLASSIC FM CD OF THE WEEK and CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE CD OF THE MONTH
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Beyond All Mortal Dreams" is a Hyperion CD of (mainly) late twentieth century American "a cappella" music. The list of composers represented reads like a Who's Who of people no-one has ever heard of. I must confess that the only name familiar to me is that of Healey Willan. When, however, we see that the artists on this disc are the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Layton, we are entitled to expect music (as well as performances) of the highest quality, and in that we are not disappointed. Certainly, I was left amazed as to why the output of these composers is not better-known. All the works here are firmly rooted in the long-standing Western choral tradition, and borrow a good deal from Tudor polyphony and, in some cases, medieval plainchant. Some, such as Steven Stucky's "Three New Motets 'in memoriam Thomas Tallis'" and Frank Ferko's "Hildegard Triptych" openly acknowledge this debt of gratitude. Yet these are undoubtedly contemporary works, never descending to the level of mere pastiche. There is a gentle spiritual ambience throughout which fully justifies the title of the disc - a distinct impression that, for the duration of the music, we have been transported into a higher sphere. How appropriate that the final piece, by Ola Gjeilo, is entitled "Phoenix". There is nothing harsh or dissonant about this music. Healey Willan's perfectly-crafted motets, with their beautiful harmonies and cadences, are representative of the tone and quality of all the other pieces here.

The helpful liner notes include brief biographies of the various composers, along with full texts. The recording quality is up to the usual Hyperion standard, and the performances are near-flawless. This disc was a revelation to me, and is to be highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording of A Capella singing by the choir of Trinity College Cambridge is a wonderful example of the art. I purchased the CD having heard the choir singing in Cambridge. I was impressed by their perfect tuning, their pure tone and their dynamics. I wondered if the fine college wine had affected my senses. Listened to in the cold light of day they are still just as wonderful!
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