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Songs From Liquid Days: Crouch End Festival Chorus

Philip Glass , David Temple , Crouch End Festival Chorus , David Roach , National Sinfonia Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Philip Glass, David Temple, Crouch End Festival Chorus, David Roach, National Sinfonia
  • Audio CD (October 24, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Silva America
  • ASIN: B00004Y6LN
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,546 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Three Songs: There Are Some Men - Crouch End Festival Chorus
2. Three Songs: Quand Les Hommes Vivront - Crouch End Festival Chorus
3. Three Songs: Piere De Soleil - Crouch End Festival Chorus
4. Koyaanisqatsi: Vessels - The National Sinfonia
5. Songs From Liquid Days: Changing Opinion - Willis Morgan
6. Songs From Liquid Days: Lighting - The National Sinfonia
7. Songs From Liquid Days: In Liquid Days - The National Sinfonia
8. Songs From Liquid Days: Open The Kingdom - Willis Morgan
9. Songs From Liquid Days: Freezing - Najima Akhtar
10. Songs From Liquid Days: Forgetting - Najima Akhtar

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing attempt - not quite up to par, but close February 3, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This album is pretty good, and any Glass-lovers will enjoy it immensely. It could, however, also act as a smooth introduction to Glass to those who are lovers of choral music since the Crouch End Chorus perform most of the pieces extremely well and the vocal arrangements are, on the whole, rather good.
The disc is split into three parts. The first three tracks are 'Three Songs', songs written in 1984 to celebrate Québec's 450 years (1534-1984) as a province. These pieces are entirely choral, no orchestration in sight. They're good, but not typical catchy Glass fare.
The second part is simply the fourth track, a rendition of 'Vessels' from Koyaanisqatsi. It's actually a fine performance, since Vessels was always well suited for a chorus. The minimal orchestration is a little slack at times, and a lot of the lower registers are missing, but this track isn't bad.
The third part is the 'main performance' as it were, and is comprised of six tracks from Glass's 'Songs From Liquid Days', an 80's collaboration with artists such as Paul Simon and Suzanne Vega.
Some of these pieces are extremely operatic, especially track 6, 'Changing Opinion', expertly sung by Wills Morgan. The orchestration on that track being especially good. 'Open The Kingdom' is also done well, and although not quite up to par with the original, is a fun performance none-the-less.
The only weak track on this album is 'Lightning,' the track Glass wrote with Suzanne Vega. While this is one of my favourite Glass pieces of all time, this performance does it no justice. For some odd reason the arranger chose for most of the song to be sung by the soprano section, and as such, suffers from being too high and 'screeching'. The orchestration is also a little unprofessional on this piece. However, even with these criticisms, the whole CD is extremely enjoyable, and this Glass fan loves it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpieces to Love or Hate January 5, 2013
By Dr. J
Format:Audio CD
There will be a great division of opinion from listeners to these tracks. While this is "accessible" Glass, the repetition with sudden changes will drive away unwanted house-guests. Choral ba-ba sounds remind some of sheep and some including this reviewer of angels. Starts quietly enough, a Capella, and gains momentum with orchestral accompanied choral fireworks until, at the end, climaxing of BOLERO added to 1812 OVERTURE with you-know-what with a very final explosion. Silva America has smoothed out rough edges and done its best to make listenable, although the words remain obscure at times. Will probably drive your car stereo speakers out of their flimsy retainers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing album of choral newness April 20, 2012
Format:Audio CD
The album starts off with an homage to a deceased friend, a powerful memorial song, full of Glass-esque repetition of melody, but somewhat different because the choir is singing a real, and moving, set of lyrics. Song two feels more like a normal Glass experience, with the chorus often engaging in non-lyrical repetitive support for those singers who do have words in this one. With track 3, we have entered full-on Glass mode; the repetitive non-lyrical chorus is often more in the foreground than the singers with words.

This version of Vessels feels very much like the original, and while an excellent production from a technical standpoint, just didn't have the impact-of-unexpected like the first three songs.

I don't like "Changing Opinion", and generally skip it, but the next track, "Lightning", has an energy that gets me right back into the album every time. A fast driving piano and simple triangle provide foundation to the chorus, a constant sorta-beat that keeps the pace, while the vocalists come and go.

"In Liquid Days" starts out as kind of a disappointment, after the energy of the previous track, with the most traditional sounding arrangement of the album, but by the midway point is building towards a redemption.

"Open the Kingdom" is another piece that leans towards the standard choral work at first, but gets more Glass-y as it goes on.

"Freezing", a middle of the road between Glass and traditional choral work, it's not bad, but it's nothing special to me.

"Forgetting" starts slow, and to be honest, I've generally moved on, unless it comes up in random rotation. That said, like many of the songs on this album, the intensity and energy builds, till it ends up in a place that I realize I do like it too.
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrid December 4, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Please, Mr. Glass. Stick to composing music, but don't write any more songs.
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