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Legends of St. Nicholas: Medieval Chant and Polyphony [Import]

Anonymous 4 , Gregorian Chant , St. Godrich , John Taverner , Codex Las Huelgas Anonymous Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 24 Songs, 2005 $8.99  
Audio CD, Import, 1999 --  
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Presenting Anonymous 4's 2014 Release: Marie et Marion




Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition to create their magical sound. Celebrating their 25th anniversary during the 2011-12 season, the ensemble has ... Read more in Amazon's Anonymous 4 Store

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Product Details

  • Composer: Gregorian Chant, St. Godrich, John Taverner, Codex Las Huelgas Anonymous
  • Audio CD (September 7, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B00001NTHV
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,943 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Intonent hodie
2. Exultemus et letemur
3. Gaudens in domino
4. Seint Nicholas was borne in the citee of Patras
5. Confessor dei nicholaus
6. Cantu mirro, summa laude
7. Sainte nicholaes
8. Whanne the bisshop of the citee of Patras
9. Nicholai presulis
10. Cum quidam fluctuantia
11. Novus presul prodiit
12. Sainte nicholaes
13. All the province of Seint Nicholas suffered...
14. Plaudat letitia
15. Salve cleri speculum/Salve iubar presulum
16. Sainte nicholaes
17. A worschipfull man hadde thre doughtres virgines
18. Fulget nicolaus
19. Ex eius tumba / Sospitati dedit egros
20. Gaudens in domino
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

If you're feeling jaded at the prospect of the usual holiday fare, Anonymous 4 has a truly sublime musical treat in store with their latest release. The contemporary world has turned Santa Claus into an icon of consumerist mania, but the historical figure from whom he ultimately derives was a uniquely inspiring religious figure to medieval Europeans. Anonymous 4 has culled together music from the liturgy of the hours and other sources originally produced to celebrate the legends associated with the fourth-century St. Nicholas, who was considered the patron of sailors, unmarried women, Russia, and--ironically--merchants. As with their earlier Christmas celebration, On Yoolis Night, the quartet ethereally blends their seamless, unaccompanied vocals in this collection of chants, hymns, and readings recounting the saint's life and miracles on behalf of those in need. In addition to Latin settings, the program includes one of the oldest known English-language hymns ("Sainte nicholaes," by a contemporary of Hildegard) and a number of verse-refrain pieces thought to inspire dancing in church. Most of the musical material involves simple unilinear trails of chant, which the ensemble spins out with their trademark unanimous purity of tone. Elsewhere, as in the spiraling eddies of "Novus presul prodiit," their suave harmonies glint like a sudden shaft of light through stained glass. And it is all captured in a warm, ambient church acoustic that is balm for modern ears. --Thomas May

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Superb Album April 6, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Yet another achingly beautiful cd from these four wonderful ladies. I got it as a Christmas present, and it was one of my favorites. I've been a fan of theirs since English Ladymass, the first one, and they just keep getting better! If you love beautiful music, want to get a sense of what medieval people got to listen to, or just want to hear something that transports you far away from your everyday stress, buy this! Or any one of their other cds! I think they've got 3 Christmas cds out now, and they are a welcome change of pace at the holidays.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anonymous 4 did for music what Jones did for legend September 19, 2000
Format:Audio CD
There is a wonderful (technical and dense) book entitled Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bari, and Manhattan: Biography of a Legend by Charles W. Jones which traces the history of the legend of St. Nicholas. Anonymous 4 has put together a splendid cd which illustrates in song parts of the legend; the notes include several pictures illustrating the legends.
The best known of these is Bishop Nicholas providing the dowries for the three daughters of a righteous man unable to paid the dowries - on the cd a reading "A worshipfull man hadde thre doughtres virgin". Lesser known are the birth stories - already fasting on Wednesday's and Friday's at birth; Intonent hodie on the cd.
As usual the Anonymous 4 provide a splendid performance of the chant and polyphony. The cd is well considered in providing variety - the interspersing of readings it particularly effective in this collection.
Highly recommended as an antidote to Santa-Clausitis, the dread overdose of the Christmas season.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dream becomes flesh when i hear them. May 2, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I often make collections of early music that combine vocal and instrumental peaces that gives the ultimate pleasure for my ears. like time has stoped for a second... i feel like im diving into a world of total beauty when i hear those 4 angels "chanting" if there is heaven then "anonymous 4" are there for the soundtrack my wish is that someone will convis them to make an album with some instruments added like harp and other autenthic tools(hi hi). in short buy this disk its a treasure!!!(and its one of their best ones too.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Alternative to 'Good Saint Nick'. November 9, 2005
Format:Audio CD
'Legends of St. Nicholas' and 'A Star in the East' are both collections of medieval Christmas music. Both are based heavily on Latin chants. The first has some old English lyrics and the second is based on both original Hungarian material and material imported into Hungary from Greece and other centers of Eastern Christianity.

If you are considering one or the other, I find the 'Legends of St. Nicholas' to be the more diverse of the two, as it has chant, polyphony, and even some solo voices. The Hungarian selection seems just a bit too much like all the other material done by Anonymous 4.

To be sure, both are done with a typically exceptional high quality voice and recording technique, so you will not go wrong with either recording.

Both are highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legends of St. Nicholas / Anonymous 4 February 8, 2000
Format:Audio CD
this rich compilation of rhythmic chant is performed by the purist sounding female quartet ensemble I have ever heard. Both exhilirating and extremely educational with in-depth descriptions of the saint, time period, complete with multiple languages, this CD is exellent! These women have incredible talent. It will put you in a peaceful calm that will energize you for days.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Ladies soar... December 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
...This quartet has no equal. Ethereal vocalizations and harmonies. Performed with this much talent, skill, precision, and heart, ancient music can break through arbitrary categorization into modern realms of brightness and meaning.
Merry Christmas to one and all, indeed. May you keep on singing, Anonymous4!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay Santa Klaus! October 1, 2007
Format:Audio CD
If you ever get a little tired of the continuous Christmas carols that are played day in and day out during the advent season and you need to just relax and get away from the screaming kids who have terrorised you with their antics the whole day, then turn off the light, and enjoy this CD. The music is sublime, varied and just eats up your stress......and it does bring a spiritual zing to the christmas atmosphere. My advise is that along with this music, you'll need a nice cozy arm chair, a warm fire place and a big cup of cocoa.....ENJOY!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I loved the theme and bought it for the Christmas season on the day of St. Nicolas 12/6. The selection of songs is quite intriguing and the execution simply beautiful. Read more
Published 20 months ago by rmp
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the Christmas season
If you're tired of listening to "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "Feliz Navidad" on the radio (not that I have anything against those songs), and want something... Read more
Published on December 6, 2007 by Jay Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical heaven
I had never heard about Anonymous 4 until i read a review in the Dallas News.

Excellent! Grab a book, a cup of coffee and this CD and you will be in

heaven. Read more
Published on January 5, 2007 by Darrell G. Benton
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
a previous reviewer made the comment that this must be what angels sound like. a more true statement has not been made. this is a wonderful cd. the music is amazing. Read more
Published on December 12, 2005 by tessie
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Exquisite, Extraordinary
Just what we've learned to expect from Anonymous 4! The selections are wonderful and performed with the exacting technique and flawless interpretation for which this group is... Read more
Published on October 24, 1999 by Judy Judd
5.0 out of 5 stars An intresting CD to have in your colection...
I love chant. This is a little suprising see That they are women, however, the change is refreshing! A perfect CD to have playing in the background when a friend comes over. Read more
Published on October 12, 1999
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