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Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna

4.8 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 19, 1998
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna
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  • Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen
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  • Lauridsen: Nocturnes / Mid-Winter Songs / Les Chansons des Roses
Total price: $48.23
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Editorial Reviews

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Modern choral music for amateur singers may be America's biggest musical underground. That's the only explanation of why Grammy-nominated composer Morten Lauridsen can claim that his works are some of the most often-performed new pieces in years, although few among the East Coast intelligentsia have ever heard of him. Like the similarly popular John Rutter, Lauridsen inhabits an extremely conservative style directed simply and single-mindedly at showing off the beauty of choral singing while it illustrates inspiring texts. Unlike many of his fellow neo-Romantic conservatives, Lauridsen displays a brand of conservatism that is completely convincing and sincere. His music also has range, from the spellbindingly rapturous Lux aeterna to his playful settings of Rilke's poems about the beauty and thorniness of roses in Les chansons des roses. There is, moreover, a Coplandesque streak heard in his Mid-Winter Songs, which are settings of poems by Robert Graves. Though the Los Angeles Master Chorale has a suitably red-blooded sound, the music would be better served with more precise diction. --David Patrick Stearns

Review

Beautiful...a gorgeous fabric of choral sound that creates a unique sound-world...pushes you to tears. Simply stunning. -- Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer, June, 2000

Lauridsen enjoys respect of music directors throughout America. Beauty, potency...grand/intimate works. Perpetual light shines on all the settings. -- New York Times, January 30, 2000

Masterly works, both esoteric and accessible, simultaneously popular and deep, sung with passionate intensity. Give it to your best friend. -- Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1998

Radiant, heart-felt, absolutely gorgeous music delivered con amore. Powerfully uplifting, intense spiritual beauty. On my Year's Best List. -- American Record Guide, September, 1998

Rich, complex, intensely moving...Rose Songs may be the finest Rilke settings by an American composer. Hypnotically beautiful, ravishing music. -- Insider's Guide to Classical Recordings, Jim Svejda, 1999
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Product Details

  • Performer: LA Master Chorale
  • Composer: Morten Lauridsen
  • Audio CD (May 19, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rubedo Canis Musica
  • ASIN: B000006OF1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This anthology of choral works by Morten Lauridsen, an American composer bearing more than a superficial similarity to such Baltic composers as Arvo Pärt, Henryk Górecki and Einojuhani Rautavaara (and why should he not, with the name Lauridsen so suggestive of Baltic roots?), as well as Johannes Brahms, is a comforting spiritual journey into the magical world of choral music. As far as I know, with one notable exception, all of these works receive their recording premieres on this well-filled album. The sole exception is Lauridsen's "O Magnum Mysterium" (Oh, Great Mystery), which is also included on Robert Shaw's final, posthumous, release by the same name on the Telarc label.

This release might well have gone unnoticed by me had it not been brought to my attention by a cyberfriend at the New York Times Classical Music Forum, who, knowing my affection for Shaw and his work, thought that I would like it. How right he was!

It is more than fitting that the names Lauridsen and Shaw be juxtaposed with respect to this album. The performers are the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the successor to the Roger Wagner Chorale, the one and only choral group which, over its lifetime, was able to serve any notice that Shaw had competition in this field (although Shaw continued to remain paramount, regardless). And the music Lauridsen has provided for this release, of course including "O Magnum Mysterium," is of the type and of a quality that Shaw very much made his own in his late-career work with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and Chamber Singers.

But the credit should go, not to Shaw, but clearly to Lauridsen and to Paul Salamunovich, the current music director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, for this selection and outstanding performance of Lauridsen's works.
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By A Customer on January 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Being a choral singer myself, and having heard Paul Salamunovich's choirs in person, I was certainly anxious to hear this recording. Having now owned it for nearly a year, I don't think I've EVER played a CD more times than this one--a one-of-a-kind disc and an absolute must-have for all choral music aficionados.
Under Paul's direction, the Chorale's spirited ensemble singing transforms Lauridsen's compositions into sound paintings of transcendent beauty--truly a match made in heaven!
With this recording, the Los Angeles Master Chorale has unquestionably arrived at the pinnacle of contemporary choral performance. Thank you, Morten, Paul and LAMC--we anticipate an encore!
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I am a mere ordinary listener. I have no special skills nor training with which to judge this musical offering. I only know that once I was blind, but now I see. Lauridsen's music was performed so beautifully and sensitively on this CD that it took my breath away. What a masterpiece of compostion! It made me think of the painter Turner painting, well, light. My favorite composition on this recording is Lux Aeterna, the title piece. It is transportingly beautiful, and does with music what the poet Dante did with words: takes one to the sublime realms of light, to the habitation of--dare I say it--God. A profoundly moving experience. I owe all my good words to Mr Lauridsen for composing such a work and to Mr Salamunovich and the Los Angeles Master Chorale for their glorious singing of it! Bravo and Hallelujah!
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So much of what we read, hear, tune in, pass by seems to be sighing an elegy for that perfect place of mind that for lack of better term we call MYSTERY. Well, search no further, fellow frayed souls. This work "Lux Aeterna" may be deemed simplistic, minimalistist fluff by some cold hearted critics, but I would urge those listeners yearning to seek contemplation to put this little treasure of a disc on your machine and release to a spiritual flight. This is a beautifully performed and recorded choral masterwork of the 20th Century. If it is popular (as is Gorecki's Symphony No. 3) then I think the hope for the future is more positive than the outside signals would indicate.
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Format: Audio CD
When I heard this on KUSC I nearly drove off the 405 trying to write the title in dust on the dashboard. In one sense a fatal crash wouldn't have mattered; music in heaven will sound just like this.
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Format: Audio CD
The Lux Eterna CD transports you into another world. The music is touching, healing and gives a sense of hope. It breaks you down first, and then reconstructs you. It is like the German Requiem, a master piece from Brahms. Those who have heard the German Requiem will agree that Lauridsen is our modern Brahms.
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Format: Audio CD
Although a professional singer who has sung an immense amount of the choral literature, I have not sung any Morten Lauridsen. My loss! Lux Aeterna is a tremendous addition to the literature. In a wonderful use of instrumental and vocal color, Lauridsen speaks in a harmonic language which is lyrical, yet not trite and worn. He is superb at setting text sensitively. His harmonic language is of our time, yet seems modal and ancient. The L.A. Master Chorale has a full, warm sound which can handle the softest phrases and yet soars in the big sections. I understood the text because of their excellent diction. Terrific playing by the orchestra, and wonderful balance of instruments and voices.
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