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Colors of Love, Teldec's 1999 release featuring contemporary works performed by the popular male vocal ensemble Chanticleer, won a Grammy for Best Recording by a Small Ensemble. With Magnificat, the group returns to earlier centuries with a host of tributes to Maria. Eighth-century chant is following by Renaissance and Baroque works of masters from Italy, Spain, England, France, and Russia. Chanticleer's famous blend is displayed to maximum advantage on this disc, recorded in optimum conditions at George Lucas's ultramodern Skywalker Ranch in California.
In the wake of its previous, Grammy-winning disc of contemporary madrigals (Colors of Love), the all-male a cappella ensemble that calls itself Chanticleer--in homage to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales --comes home to roost in this theme album of early music. After all, this is the territory that Chanticleer first staked out when the group banded together in 1978, and the return is most welcome. Magnificat offers manifold rewards, from the sensitive, imaginative culling of its program to the warmth and lithe interweaving of vocal layers in its execution (vividly recorded in splendid 20/24-bit process at the Skywalker Ranch)--not to mention the capsule music history that it traces. Like depictions of the Annunciation in medieval and Renaissance paintings, musical settings of texts that are centered on Mary abound during this period. Chanticleer's anthology includes familiar gems (the hymn "Ave Maris Stella"), but the group is delightfully unpredictable in many of its choices: examples of the polychoral sacred music of Russian Vasily Titov, contrafactum reworkings of two Monteverdi madrigals to Marian texts, and a full Magnificat setting by Tudor master John Taverner. The latter gives a microcosm of Chanticleer's vocal versatility, presenting stern, unadorned plainsong side-by-side with melodies that blossom like tendrils. Or listen to the ensemble's dynamic control, from the exultant climaxes of the Titov choral concerto to the achingly beautiful, held diminuendo on the second Monteverdi piece. Most impressive of all is that Chanticleer manages to avoid the bane of a cappella groups--a bland, homogenized sameness of sound--through its subtle variations in color and thoughtful musicality. A real treasure. --Thomas May
The feel of the ancient music is here, worth owning. THey really did a nice job with this one.Published 13 months ago by Bill
This is a wonderful and mystical devotional music. I love it.
The voices and the harmony played here is very deep and spiritual. Read more
If you enjoy a beautiful chorus sound, this is it. Chanticleer rarely misses with their music and If you have never seen them in person, you'll be amazed at this all-male chorus's... Read morePublished 20 months ago by David LeBleu
I enjoy Chanticleer. And although this is not my most favorite recording, it is very enjoyable, especially when I want to relax. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by Movie Buff
I am listening to the CD for relaxation during the day and also at night going to sleep. It is just wonderful and I really enjoy the music!Published on January 8, 2012 by Christine E Clary
A friend sent me Magnificat, and from there I became a lover of Chanticleer. This cd got me through many a night when white noise (or is it pink) would have been maddening. Read morePublished on December 15, 2010 by KM
"Magnificat" is Chanticleer at their best. The selections are all pre-classical and written for all male voices. Listening to this album is a spiritual experience. Read morePublished on April 20, 2010 by W. J. Yoder
I got what I wanted ---some absolutely beautiful compositions with exquiste voices.
Should be a grammy nominee
This is one of my first two DVD-audio discs. Some tracks are recorded from the audience perspective, with the choir across the front and cathedral ambience all around, and those... Read morePublished on January 3, 2003 by Amazon Customer