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Images of Christ

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Performer: Sir Edward Cuthbert Bairstow, John Rutter, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Jacobus Handl (Gallus), Heinrich Schutz, et al.
  • Audio CD (February 29, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collegium Records
  • ASIN: B0000031I4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,836 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This collection of music from the last thousand years is masterful from start to finish. From well-known mainstays of choral repertoire such as Lotti's "Crucifixus" and Casals' "O Vos Omnes" to the more seldom heard pieces, such as Rachmaninov's setting of the Beatitudes, the listener is treated to musically sympathetic and disciplined performances. Even if, like me, you're not of a religious persuasion, you'll love every minute of it.
There are so many highlights to this album it becomes cruel to say any piece was not among them. The Barber Adagio/Agnus Dei is a masterwork, and the Cambridge Singers' discipline and pathos make the arrangement come alive in ways the strings simply can't.. The Lotti "Crucifixus" (an enduring classic), Casals "O Vos Omnes" (a beautiful and moving work, conveying the suffering of the Passion without garishness) and Byrd's enchanting "Viri Gallilei" are fantastic and provide more than enough reason to buy the album. The Messaien "O Sacrum Convivium," with its subtly sensuous harmonies and the Bairstow "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" with its haunting melody and varied textures will silence any who say that church music has become a lost art in the 20th Century. Palestrina's phrases soar as though on the wings of angels (particularly in "Hodie Christus Natus Est.") And Bruckner, as always in his good moments, is as sexy as the Church would let him be.
While the inclusion of some Stanford or Tallis would have been fantastic, this album stands as one that should be in the library of anyone who loves choral music, along with "Hail Gladdening Light" and "Faire is the Heaven."
In short, BUY THIS ALBUM. You'll love it.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
This disc concentrates on images of Christ in a capella music over the centuries. According to Rutter, 'Around the figure of Christ there has grown up over the centuries a body of choral literature that can only be described as among the most remarkable in western civilisation.'

--Music--

Selections on this disc come from all over the Western world. They range from as early as eleventh-century France to twentieth-century Russia, a millennium in song and composition. Rutter has selected five major themes - the Coming of Christ (Advent and Christmas), the Words of Christ (lesson texts and prayers, such as the Lord's Prayer, by Stravinsky), the Passion of Christ (Holy Week and Good Friday), the Resurrection and Ascension (Easter), and Christ in the Eucharist (worship and ongoing presence).

Here is a mixture of sacred compositions ranging from standard Gregorian chant and Sarum chant to medieval compositions from Palestrina, de Victoria and Byrd, up to more modern composers such as Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Bruckner, Barber, and Messiaen. This being said, Rutter states, 'The aim [of this disc] is not a liturgical reconstruction, nor an historical survey, but rather a journey of the imagination.'

--Liner Notes--

The notes for this recording include the titles and words of each anthem or hymn, both in original language and English translation text. The notes for each piece also includes brief biographical information of the composer, and unique information about each work, when particular composers are represented more than once. One thing conspicuously missing is much biographical information about John Rutter, or any descriptive information about the Cambridge Singers. Happily, this disc does have a list of the singers.
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By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The selections are gorgeously sung and spiritually moving beyond anything I can think of, right up there with Verdi's Requiem. My teen, who thinks rock music is the only music, was so moved by Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei, that she asked for her own copy of the CD. If you are already a believer, this music will remind you why you are. If not, it might just take you there.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a marvelous collection of choral music, notably Lotti's Crucifixus (in eight parts), and a stunning rendition of Barber's Agnus Dei (his choral arrangement of the Adagio for Strings, which was itself his arrangement for string orchestra of the Adagio from his String Quartet). Highly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
surprisingly effective; a marvelous blend
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