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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 27 November 2008
I heard this piece as part of a performance of the ballet by the Rambert ballet company, and was immensely moved by it. It truly lifts the listener to an existence beyond the material world. Buy it! You will never tire of listening to it.
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on 21 October 2008
With breathtaking music played by London Musici and angelic vocals from the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Goodall's "Eternal Light" is able to evoke the listeners' deepest emotions, successfully showing both the deep sadness and loss associated with death and the splendours of the afterlife.

Goodall's refreshing, original and intelligent take on the Requiem, manages to create a certain relevance to today's society without destroying the foundations of a Requiem. By combining the Latin sequence of a requiem with words to some of the finest poetry, Goodall creates a beautiful array of emotions, and makes the requiem more accessible and meaningful to the listeners.

Eternal Light is a joy to listen to over and over again. Its superbly constructed movements with harmonies that will undoubtedly stick with and move you, Goodall's requiem is a truly magnificent piece of music. Anyone who appreciates either music or poetry will see how Goodall's choice of poems compliment the Latin meaning of each movement, and emphasises the powerful, confusing range of the strongest emotions one feels after losing someone.

Beautiful, inspiring, emotional and stunning, Eternal Light must be one of the best pieces of music I've ever heard. I simply cannot do it justice in this review, nor can I recommend it highly enough.
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on 10 December 2011
Howard Goodall says in his notes that "this was to be a Requiem for the living, a Requiem focussing on interrupted lives .... in particular the catastrophic grief that follows the loss of young people". In the piece,Howard Goodall skilfully uses English poetry with fragments of Latin, either sung together or antiphonally. There is much to admire in this work and each listener will have their own favourite movements. Howard Goodall displays a great gift for melody as well as providing contrasts in mood. The over-riding feel of the work is one of peace, which is after all what those who are bereaved are seeking. The CD is completed with three other short choral works: Love Divine, The Lord is my Shepherd and Spared. Natasha Marsh, Alfie Boe, Christopher Maltman, London Musici and the Choir Of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford give a very satisfying performance, which is well worth investigation.
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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 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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on 19 July 2015
Howard Goodall is probably best known for his TV work, including the Vicar of Dibley and Red Dwarf. But he can do serious too, as proved by this requiem. It's a little bit sentimental, but isn't that what you want in a requiem? The Lacrymosa is a beautiful piece, with moving words matched perfectly with moving music.
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Well if you like dirges then this is for you, cos this is all that this is, was going to be a Christmas present, but have decided to give it to a charity shop, maybe they can sell it off to someone who likes dirges..
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on 10 March 2013
I have enjoyed many of Howard Goodall's compositions and this is no exception.
Indeed, it is one of the most satisfying collections I have heard. Like all of his work, it is profoundly moving and is expressed in an understated style that is unmistakably English.
I enjoy a lot of sacred music- Bach , Mozart and Haydn for their richness and splendour; Howard Goodall's music is neither derivative nor imitative- it has a simplicity and tenderness that is immediately appealing..
In this Collection, my favourites are the settings of the Hymn Lead Kindly Light, the evocative Lachrymosa and the heart rending "Spared"- which uses the agony of September 11, to demonstrate that "love is all there is"
Sublimely conceived and beautifully performed, a wonderful addition to my collection
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on 12 February 2015
Kirkcudbright Choral Society are performing this in April. Still at an early-ish stage in learning it so don't get the proper sense of it yet. This recording shows just what an amazing piece it is. So sensitive and words and music a perfect match. Could listen to it over and over again - and will.
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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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