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Cantigas De Santa Maria CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, July 18, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Format: Music CD, Naxos Records. Hard to find Classical Music CD.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 18, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00000144Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By R. Rockwell on December 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Spanish King, Alfonso X, compiled the Cantigas of Santa Maria which were published into exquisitely decorated manuscripts. The songs celebrate different aspects of the virgin Mary's life and are meant as prayers and meditations.
This CD contains only a few of the over 300 songs that were complied and offers a wide variety of musical styles which are exuberantly played by the Ensemble Unicorn---which has recorded many Early Music CDs for Naxos.
As usual the Naxos program notes are excellent and offer a novice listener a better understanding of the music and the time it was composed.
In the CDs which were compiled earlier in their history, Naxos does not include the words to vocal pieces. It would be better if the words were included, but I think the performance itself deserves a top rating,
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Format: Audio CD
A friend of mine commented that a male soprano is an acquired taste. The countertenor on this disc sings with a lot of conviction, and the alternation with the rich baritone make it very listenable. The instrumental improvisations get a little wild -- typical for this ensemble -- but they never sound completely improbable. These versions of Cantigas 18 and 295 in particular are possibly the best out there, and definitely the most fun.
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Format: Audio CD
I remeber the first time I played this CD it captivated me from the very first note and gripped my attention all the way to the very end. The wildness of the Spanish mysticism expressed in this Marian music from 13th century Iberian peninsula recorded here exerts a hypnotic magnetism that is thoroughly engrossing.The music reflects the influence of troubadours but given the Eastern Orthodox origins of the cult of the Virgin Mary, Orthodox chant influences likely exists as perhaps do Sephardic and Muslim influences given that this region was a great cultural melting pot in its day. As usual, Ensemble Unicorn brings tremendous performing energy into the musical 're-enactment' so to speak, with an approach as far removed from the staid and academic you could possibly ask for.

As usual with Ensemble Unicorn recordings the sound quality puts that of many a major recording to utter shame. To be able to buy an audiophile grade recording at this represents a rediculous bargain indeed. That said, it is for the music you should buy this highly recommendable CD and one of the gems of the Naxos catalogue.
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