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Ikon - Music For The Spirit & Soul

June 13, 2006

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: April 26, 2006
  • Release Date: April 26, 2006
  • Label: Decca
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:03:05
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0015S3HD8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,884 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By PhiloX on March 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most awe inspiring CD's that I have collected in years. Most, if not all of the tracks are from the 20th century expressing, may I be so bold to write, the rebirth of Orthodoxy after the horrors of 2 world wars & the Soviet communist takeover of the Russian church. The Sixteen, a choral group from England, are at top form with conductor Harry Christophers, singing in pure well balance tonality creating goose bump tragedy & joy in a single breath. As with most music I seem to judge the original recording or what I first heard as the axiom. Here the standards from Rachmaninov, Kalinnokov, & Stravinsky sound better due to the fine production which reveals layers of sound from the Sixteen. The only songs that don't match the original par-excellence are the songs from Arvo Part, then again I have listen to "De Profundis" so many times from the ECM series recording by the Hilliard Ensemble, that its climb from hell to heaven doesn't effect me any more. The Hilliard Ensemble sung with more robust bass singers & the organ sounded more intense then this present Sixteen expression.

Other highlights are John Traveler's "Song for Athena" which at the 5 minute mark, the soprano's come in perfectly & with any good stereo will radiate the glory of God across the room. I have a few CD's from James MacMillian which were rather modern for my taste but are fine examples of his skill at musical writing. In this CD the song "A Child's Prayer" is written about,& I quote: "The horrific slaughter of primary-school children at Dunblane Scotland on 13 March 1996..." as compared to as taking their first communion. When the word "Joy" comes in the 3rd line, it is layered & builds to a climax that will bring tears to your eyes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By chefdevergue VINE VOICE on January 19, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a change of pace for Harry Christophers & The Sixteen! Best known for their recordings English music (from the Tudor era up to Benjamin Britten), The Sixteen go east with this remarkable collection of works which a based primarily in the Orthodox tradition (with the exception of MacMillan & Holst). Orthodox, but not ancient: these compositions, while based in the traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy, are 20th century works.

The result is simply stunning. There is not a selection on this album that will fail to move the listener profoundly. What pleases me the most is the much-needed exposure of the almost-unknown (at least in the West) Pavel Chesnokov, possibly the greatest of Russian choral composers. Because of his close assocation with the Russian Orthodox church, Chesnokov's compositions vanished from the musical radar with the advent of the Soviet Union, and are only now just beginning to see, once again, the light of day. One can only hope that the efforts of the Sixteen will prompt curious listeners to seek out some of Chesnokov's other works, as well as works like Rachmaninov's Vespers & Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (light years removed from his better-known secular works).

This is an album which cannot fail to satisfy & uplift. I heartily recommend it to anyone who appreciates good choral writing & performance.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
IKON is yet another release from The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers, an amazingly gifted group that here presents music throughout the ages meant to elevate the soul from the cleavage of the earth to peaks of serenity that only music of this manner can provide. Along with soloists Julie Cooper, Elin Manahan Thomas and Grace Davidson, sopranos, Mark Dobell, tenor, Charles Fullbrook, percussion, and Huw Williams, organ the Sixteen Choir performs otherworldly, perfectly pitched and toned performances of works by composers both known and unknown.

Included on this 'ensemble category' Grammy nomination CD are works by Pavel Chesnokov (Bless the Lord, O My Soul (Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Ghospoda and We Hymn Thee (Tebe Poem), Gustav Holst (Nunc Dimittis), Viktor Kalinnikov (Lord, Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant from his Vespers), James MacMillan (Child's Prayer. A New Song), Arvo Pärt (O Weisheit, The Woman with the Alabaster Box, De Profundis), Sergei Rachmaninov (Rejoice, O Virgin (Bogoroditse Devo), We Praise Thee (Tebe Poem), The Cherubic Hymn (Izhe heruvímï), Igor Stravinsky (Ave Maria and Pater Noster) and John Tavener (Exhortation and Kohima, Song for Athene).

The performances are stunningly beautiful and authentic and the recorded sound is some of the best on CD. Highly recommended for those who appreciate fine choral works. Grady Harp, December 06
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