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O Magnum Mysterium

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Audio CD, August 22, 2000
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Tallis: If Ye Love MeRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 2:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Tallis: A New CommandmentRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Victoria: O vos omnesRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 5:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Victoria: O magnum mysteriumRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Lauridsen: O Magnum MysteriumRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Chamber Singers 6:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Poulenc: Four Motets for Christmas: I. O magnum mysteriumRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Rachmaninoff: Vespers: Khvalite Imya Gospodne - Praise the Name of the LordRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Schubert: - of Spring, Love, Youth, and Nature's Gifts: Der EntferntenRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Chamber Singers 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Wondrous LoveRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Amazing GraceRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Sometimes I Feel Like a Moanin' DoveRobert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers 4:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Gorecki: Totus Tuus, Op. 60Robert Shaw & Robert Shaw Festival Singers11:20$0.99  Buy MP3 

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O Magnum Mysterium + Choral Masterpieces + Agnus Dei: Music of Inner Harmony
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Product Details

  • Performer: Robert Shaw Festival Singers, Robert Shaw Chamber Singers
  • Conductor: Robert Shaw
  • Composer: Thomas Tallis, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Franz Schubert, Henryk Gorecki, Francis Poulenc, et al.
  • Audio CD (August 22, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B00004WFLW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,385 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The trademark qualities of a Robert Shaw-trained chorus included perfect tonal blend and balance, expressive phrasing, and superb tuning. As an interpreter, Shaw hewed to the middle road, steering clear of eccentricities and honoring the composer's intentions. On this tribute disc, we hear these virtues coalesce in works such as Poulenc's austere Christmas hymn "O magnum mysterium," one of three settings of the text here. Shaw was at his best in works whose fervent spirituality he shared, and the selection from Rachmaninov's Vespers, with its repeated alleluias, is a highlight, both radiant and passionate. But then, virtually everything here is a highlight: the Schubert part song done to a turn with soft singing projected in rounded tones; the curve of "Wondrous Love"'s melody perfectly traced; and "Amazing Grace" in Shaw's arrangement all the more moving for its calm dignity. The longest piece, Górecki's Marian hymn "Totus tuus," is otherworldly in an enthralled reading that never loses focus. Like all of Shaw's Telarc recordings, the sonics are first-class. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
Beautiful music beautifully sung.
Sefi Knoble
This is just a personal opinion, and if you like it a lot than enjoy it.
music lover
This CD is a must for all lovers of choral music.
M. Ramos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Shana L. Snyder on April 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
My association with the text of O Magnum Mysterium began three years ago when I performed Morten Lauridsen's version in a school choir concert. I was in awe of the stark evocative beauty of the text, describing the birth and adoration of Jesus. I find that this work is one of my all-time favorite Christmas pieces, as it concentrates on the religious and symbolic aspect rather than on more secular imagery.
Included on this beautifully performed recording are three versions of this text, the first set by Victoria during the Counter-Reformation in the 16th century, the second set by Lauridsen in the twentieth, and the final set by Poulenc in the late twentieth century. All of these versions vibrate with an indescribable beauty that has the power to leave the listener in tears at its transcendent, soaring melodies, and evocative imagery.
Also included are other religious chorale pieces, such as several traditional American hymns, some lovely Russian pieces, and other brief Tallis pieces, encompassing a variety of nationality, style, and time period. If you are fascinated by contrasting religious pieces or if you, like me, love the Robert Shaw Singers, this CD will not disappoint.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Brian M. Hinman on September 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
For collectors of Shaw recordings there are only four new tracks on this release. Anyone familiar with choral literature from the Renaissance period will recognize the first four tracks as frequently performed masterpieces. Finally, however, they are released by the master of choral music himself, the late Maestro Shaw. As with the rest of the collection, the tracks by Tallis and Victoria are flawless. And despite the numerous times you may or may not have heard these performed, they are renewed with a vibrancy and beauty that only Shaw could achieve. As for the rest of the release, we are graced with a collection of some of the best tracks from six previously released CDs. The eight previously released tracks might be the only drawback for the Shaw collector, but for anyone looking for a relatively comprehensive recording of Shaw's work with the Festival Singers/Chamber Singers this comes highly recommended. The collection represents Robert Shaw at his pinnacle with some of the most beautiful a capella pieces ever composed. For the lover of a capella choral music, you cannot find anything better than Robert Shaw. Whether you are looking for an introduction to fine choral music or adding to the collection you have...this recording is a "must have." And as always, Telarc's release is crystal clear, capturing the brilliance of Shaw's work. This recording is magnificent. What are you waiting for?
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By M. Ramos on September 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a real tribute to the art of the late Robert Shaw. The first four tracks, Renaissance works by Thomas Tallis (If ye Love Me, A New Commandment) and Tomás Luis de Victoria (O vos omnes, O Magnum Mysterium) are released here for the first time. They are a real delight showing the skill of Shaw to achieve both a perfect balance between the voices, tonal beauty and artistic expression. These Renaissance jewels are accompanied by previously released material perfomed by Shaw with both his Festival and Chamber Singers. The whole CD is a great presentation on sacred choral music from different periods. Following the luminous, almost mystic O Magnum Mysterium there are two other settings of the same text (a personal favorite of Robert Shaw). The one by the contemporary composer Morten Lauridsen is truly stunning, as well as the one by Poulenc. The rest of the repertoire, from Rachmaninoff to Górecki, is done in a superb way. This CD is a must for all lovers of choral music.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Scott Carpenter on March 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Listening to this recording is like sitting through evensong in a small gothic church in the South of France. In fact, it was recorded primarily in the church at Quercy where Robert Shaw held his choral institute and festival. This timeless music stunned me when I first heard it and and cannot stop listening to it. The 12 works collected here span from the 16th century to the 20th century, but the performances, interpretations and acoustics make all of the music sound immediate and contemporary. The title text, translated as "O Great Mystery," is featured in three separate compositions by Victoria, Lauridsen and Poulenc. The mystery ostensibly deals with the the incarnation, but these fresh but timeless, sensitive but vital, performances seem to lovingly embrace both heaven and earth. The words are specifically Christian, but the music delicately exults in the universal dichotomies of temporal and eternal, real and ideal. One is almost surprised to find such intelligent and sincere sacred music being made on the verge of the 21st century. The paradigm of choral music itself seems medieval, especially when performed in stone churches, but with the baton of Robert Shaw these mysteries sound like compelling good news. My hope is that this recording becomes widely heard and deeply appreciated, and given the success of the more narrowly appealing CHANT, there is still hope. One could only imagine what miracles might happen if everyone would spend even a few minutes caught up in "O Magnum Mysterium."
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