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The Prayer Cycle

Prayer Cycle-Music for the Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

Price: $8.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1999 $8.91  
Audio CD, 1999 $8.78  
Audio Cassette, 1999 --  

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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. Movement I - Mercy (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Prayer Cycle - A Choral Symphony in 9 Movements: Movement II - Strength (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 5:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Prayer Cycle - A Choral Symphony in 9 Movements: Movement III - Hope (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 6:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Prayer Cycle - A Choral Symphony in 9 Movements: Movement IV - Compassion (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 6:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Prayer Cycle - A Choral Symphony in 9 Movements: Movement V - Grace (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Movement VI - Innocence (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 5:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Prayer Cycle - A Choral Symphony in 9 Movements: Movement VII - Forgiveness (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 7:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Prayer Cycle - A Choral Symphony In 9 Movements: Movement VIII - Benediction (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 8:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Prayer Cycle - A Choral Symphony in 9 Movements: Movement IX - Faith (Voice)Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan;Alanis Morissette 1:00$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

The Prayer Cycle + Prayer Cycle: Path to Zero + In the Garden of Souls
Price for all three: $39.04

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000ICMK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,657 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

It is with primitive urgency and lustrous clarity rising like flickering embers from a fire that Jonathan Elias's ambitious Prayer Cycle is given voice. Woven together like knotty wool, silk, and fine strands of silvery water, the disparate yet complementary voices of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Alanis Morissette, Yungchen Lhamo, Ofra Haza, the American Boychoir, Salif Keita, and others intertwine in multiple languages with the superb English Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. Prayers of supplication, gratitude, and longing build in layers, one on top of and 'twixt and 'tween the other, as movements titled "Mercy," "Grace," "Innocence," "Compassion," and the like. Remarkably, Elias's Prayer Cycle eloquently captures the ecstasy, pain, grief, and sublime beauty of humanity--as he simply and poignantly writes in his liner notes, "The world we live in is both joyous and cruel." --Paige La Grone

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first heard this as part of a radio program on the local NPR station, and was shamed into silence. The diversity of collaborators in this work (including US folk-rocker James Taylor, Yemenite singer Ofra Haza, Canadian rocker Alanis Morissette, the late Musrat Fateh Ali Khan [one of his last performances], the American Boychoir w/Devin Provenzano, the English Chamber Orch. & Chorus) shows the great number of fields that composer Jonathan Elias was drawing from.
The song "Hope" will lift your spirit, while James Taylor's melancholy vocals on "Grace" will move you to tears (At first, I thought he would be horribly out of place, but his voice fits the work perfectly!). The lyrics run all over the map in language. There are lyrics in Urdu, Mali, Latin, English, French, Italian, Hungarian, Dwala, Tibetan, German, Spanish and Hebrew, but they are listed in English in the CD booklet. I gather this is Elias' way of uniting the world. The lyrics are prayers, laments and pleas for forgiveness. The themes are loneliness, war and regret.
The style of music is definately classical, but does not limit itself to European roots. There are distinct influences from Africa, the Orient, and even various tribal nuances. For someone who was raised on European Classical music, it may be a shock to the system, but it works, and it is wonderful!
I forsee this recording to be one of the hand-picked few that future generations will draw upon for inspiration. As we as a people on this planet become closer, our world seems to become smaller. Our hopes, dreams, and cultures begin to overlap. This recording is proof that, when skillfully co-ordinated they can create incredible harmony.
Highly, highly reccomended.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What to turn to when the only thing left is hope. June 27, 2000
Format:Audio CD
There is music you hear, music you listen to, and music that truly fills and feeds your soul. If you are not moved in the first 60 seconds of Elias' powerful tribute to prayer and artistry, you need this recording more than you think. This CD contains much of what there is to love about choral backgrounds filled with suspensions that compliment the beautiful,primitive and raw voices of Morissette and Musrat Fateh Ali Kahn which are filled with pure emotion... classical guitar that accompanies the gifted and melancholy James Taylor...sweeping lines of gorgeous, soulful, skillfully constructed music. Elias says that prayer is what we turn to when all we have left is hope. I turn to his music, and pray that he has more still to come.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing and unforgettable January 9, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This CD defies any specific description of its content. It is most often listed as an "Alanis Morissette album" simply because she sings several songs. But, it is a mixture of styles, cultures, music and religious beliefs that is hard to explain but not easy to forget. Jonathan Elias has written a series of choral pieces on faith, no matter what religion you adhere to. Alanis sings in French on one song and in Hungarian on another. Such diverse talents as James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and the late international superstars, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Ofra Haza lend their voices. Reading the lyrics in English adds to the understanding of what is being conveyed, but the melodies and voices joining in hope and faith are just as touching. This album is about faith in God or goddesses or nature, whatever beliefs you may have. It mixes beliefs and musical styles in a way I've never heard before. The music is moving, touching, breath-taking, and unforgettable.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Grace does Jeremiah? January 11, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I don't claim to know much about what makes music 'great.' There is a part of me that is sure that whatever it is, this CD probably doesn't have it... but then, if this isn't 'great,' who cares? The massive blending of a variety of cultural traditions may or may not work in terms of musical theory-- but it sure does work on an emotional level. I STILL get shivers on Track Three, "Hope." There is something essential about this CD that will haunt any listener for the rest of his or her life. Here, lyrics that echo the ancient prophets Jeremiah and Ezekial blend with an "Amazing Grace" of sorts, drawn from virtually all cultural traditions, and do for life at the turn of the millenium what no other recording has managed to do-- capture the core of our collective spirit.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Known Treasure May 24, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I have been a fan of Jonathan Elias' "Requiem for the America's" (now out of print) since 1991. After that, I heard nothing further from or about him. I was surfing for CDs from Alanis Morisette and "The Prayer Cycle" came up. Being curious and noting that it was a Jonathan Elias project, I played a few of the samples. Unbelievable!!! Much like Adiemus' "Songs of Sanctuary" much of the singing is wordless. Instead, it is vocal interpretations of the poems written by Elias and performed to his musical compositions. No artist is on this album by chance. Clearly he had a vision and knew who to invite. What occurs then, is a wave of vocal emotion that is unarguably beautiful.
And here is what I found to be the ultimate hidden treasure in this CD ... the poems themselves.
I remembered these words from Requiem, " ... In our innocence, the world is young and strong / Beating at the center of perfection is the heart of man ... " and in reading the poems he wrote for "The Prayer Cycle" came to realize that his view of the world had changed a great deal. For track 6: INNOCENCE he writes, " ... Under a sky of innocence, we are now all dying, in a slow black rain. Was it failure of Man and Angels? Was it a failure of love? ... "
If you're looking for beautiful music and depths of meaning, then I highly recommend this for your collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving Music for Meditation
As I try to clear a space in my mind after a busy and thought-filled day, I have come to enjoy music for quiet reflection. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Susan Adams Donnell
5.0 out of 5 stars just give it a listen
purchased this to replace a missing copy. required listening, in my book, or just buy it for early Alainis, like I did time before
Published 6 months ago by alwayslearning
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Pieces Be With You!
I have had the joyous opportunity to listen to this amazing composition about ten years ago and it is on something of a continuous loop in my head, forever, gleefully. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jeff Stensrud
5.0 out of 5 stars Like brand-new
Plays like new. Glad to find an old CD available. I love the prayer cycle and would recommend it to anyone.
Published 9 months ago by Cindy Follmer
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest
This is the very finest composition and recording of recent history, and an extraordinary achievement by Jonathan Elias. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dr. Andrew J. Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is magical -
I've bought about 20 of these CDs. I give it to everyone I know eventually. I first heard it on TX Public Radio. I love it and listen to it every time I'm on the road. Read more
Published 17 months ago by melissa weiner
5.0 out of 5 stars most beautiful music
for me, it is the most beautiful music I have ever heard! Like a meditation or prayer floating on a cloud.
Published 18 months ago by Pam B Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
RIP. - hauntingly beautiful prayers song with emotion. How fortunate for me when a group of such talented artists collaborate on such a noble composition.
Published 18 months ago by The Country Club Kats
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible piece of music
Important musical contribution to mankind. This piece will live on in music history. I hope people will appreciate the significance of this piece.
Published 18 months ago by Stephen Gasche
5.0 out of 5 stars Etherial
Absolutely the BEST I have heard from this coposer. The emotion of the singers are expressed in the nine movements. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Into the Past
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