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Eternal Light - A Requiem
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 10 May 2010
Having heard this work performed live at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, involving most of the soloists featured in this recording, I could not wait to get my hands on this CD. I was not disappointed. The work is both beautiful and moving, both in the texts which have been used and in the way these texts have been set to music. I listen to the recording time and time again whilst driving in my car and know that this is a CD which I will never tire of listening to. Highly recommended.
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on 16 November 2014
Well I wanted to like it because I like Howard Goodall, but honestly it seemed to me to be trying too hard. With the exception of The Lord's my Shepherd ( Vicar of Dibley version) which has become so familiar that it has lost that strangeness, the rest just wasn't for me. Much prefer the Lauridsen - Lux Aeterna which I bought at the same time.
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VINE VOICEon 19 October 2008
There is much to like in this modern requiem containing a surfeit of beautiful, nice music that is peaceful, and indeed comforting, in tone. I'm sure that it will be enjoyed by many and that school and church choirs all over the country will soon be singing selections from it - and enjoying them too!

Unsurprisingly, at times the music is a little Lloyd-Weber meets the Vicar of Dibley ('Lead Kindly Light', 'Belief', 'Do not stand at my grave and weep') but it is certainly pleasant enough and occasionally the singing thrills as in the innovative 'Revelations' both mixing a medieval yet modern feel. The 'Recordare' is a beautifully poignant combination of latin text and Phineas Fletcher's early-17th century sacred verse Drop, drop, slow tears and its simply exquisitely sung by Natasha Marsh. It works extremely well and is my favourite piece in the Requiem.

The problem I have with all of this is the composer's stated aim to provide "a modern Requiem... that acknowledges the terrible, unbearable loss and emptiness that accompanies the death of loved ones, a loss that is not easily ameliorated with platitudes about the joy awaiting us in the afterlife." I'm not at all sure that, in the round, he's actually done this, particularly in what I can only describe as a disfunctional "Dies Irae" where the latin text is coupled with "In Flanders Fields". In my opinion this completely fails to do justice to both texts and indeed to the imagined horrors of hell or the real horrors of the modern battlefield. The "Dies Irae" is traditionally the most powerful and terrifying piece in a traditional requiem for a very good reason. It represents the pain and horror of death and judgement precisely because this is a reality in the experience of the bereaved which must be faced and endured before one can work through grief to find peace, solace and salvation.

My overall feeling after listening to "Eternal Light" several times is certainly one of peace but only because I think its dodged the main issue and gone, dare I say it, for musical rather than doctrinal platitudes. Its certainly worth buying as it contains, individually, some very nice pieces, but for a better modern requiem try Preisner's Requiem for My Friend.

I don't like the saccharine-sweet dibleyesque hymns ("Lead Kindly Light", "Love Divine" and "The Lord's My Shepherd") but school choirs will probably like them. The last two are additional 'bonus' tracks to the Requiem as is the final, amazing and extremely moving, setting of "Spared", a poem written by Wendy Cope about the devastating attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 9/11.
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on 1 March 2009
I bought the CD in order to help me prepare for a performance by the Ballet Rambert, I Musici and Britten Pears Chamber Choir (which I sing in) at Snape Maltings in Suffolk on Feb 27th and 28th 2009. This has helped me understand the quality of the recorded performance. I and the rest of the choir thoroughly enjoyed singing the work and working with the orchestra and dancers. I would urge you, if you enjoy the recording, you should not miss the performance.
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on 13 January 2013
I bought this because our choir is performing it this Spring - I don't usually do so unless I like the music and this is gorgeous stuff. One might accuse Goodall of some eclecticism but who doesn't do this - it's a cynics term for 'influenced by' anyway.The soloists are excellent - lovely, clear voices without heavy vibratto spoiling things. I would recommend this to anyone no matter their musical tastes as it is melodic, vibrant and never boring.
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on 22 April 2010
I recently sang this piece with a local choral society. To start with we were apprehensive about the piece. However, on concert day it was fantastic!! The audience were ecstatic!! This is a modern piece which does not follow the traditional liturgy but has liturgical content + hymn + secular song + reference to Flanders. But it is well worth the purchase to listen to a well written and here well sung piece. keep playing it playing it!!
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on 16 April 2010
Whole my fimily loved it! We kept listrening to it day after day, after day...It was also great value for money.
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on 17 August 2010
Lovely modern work. Full of well known British soloists. The "Do not Stand at My Grave and Weep" is fantastic
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on 9 November 2012
Howard Goodall is a very accessible composer, writing original music for real world listeners. Recommended for anyone who thought they would never like choral music in traditional settings. Goodall has taken a classic format and brought it up to date for performers and listeners alike. Wonderful floating soprano lines, compelling harmonies. Enjoying it!
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on 30 June 2009
Others have written long and detailed reviews, so here's a brief one. A beautiful and remarkable bend of ancient and contemporary, sacred and secular. If you buy one classical CD this year, buy this one. And if you read music, buy the vocal score too - it only adds to the experience. If the idea of a requiem puts you off (it did me) buy it anyway.
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