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Magnificat Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 30, 2000
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Product Description

Colors of Love, Teldec's 1999 release featuring contemporary works performed by the popular male vocal ensemble Chanticleer, won a Grammy for Best Recording by a Small Ensemble. With Magnificat, the group returns to earlier centuries with a host of tributes to Maria. Eighth-century chant is following by Renaissance and Baroque works of masters from Italy, Spain, England, France, and Russia. Chanticleer's famous blend is displayed to maximum advantage on this disc, recorded in optimum conditions at George Lucas's ultramodern Skywalker Ranch in California.

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In the wake of its previous, Grammy-winning disc of contemporary madrigals (Colors of Love), the all-male a cappella ensemble that calls itself Chanticleer--in homage to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales --comes home to roost in this theme album of early music. After all, this is the territory that Chanticleer first staked out when the group banded together in 1978, and the return is most welcome. Magnificat offers manifold rewards, from the sensitive, imaginative culling of its program to the warmth and lithe interweaving of vocal layers in its execution (vividly recorded in splendid 20/24-bit process at the Skywalker Ranch)--not to mention the capsule music history that it traces. Like depictions of the Annunciation in medieval and Renaissance paintings, musical settings of texts that are centered on Mary abound during this period. Chanticleer's anthology includes familiar gems (the hymn "Ave Maris Stella"), but the group is delightfully unpredictable in many of its choices: examples of the polychoral sacred music of Russian Vasily Titov, contrafactum reworkings of two Monteverdi madrigals to Marian texts, and a full Magnificat setting by Tudor master John Taverner. The latter gives a microcosm of Chanticleer's vocal versatility, presenting stern, unadorned plainsong side-by-side with melodies that blossom like tendrils. Or listen to the ensemble's dynamic control, from the exultant climaxes of the Titov choral concerto to the achingly beautiful, held diminuendo on the second Monteverdi piece. Most impressive of all is that Chanticleer manages to avoid the bane of a cappella groups--a bland, homogenized sameness of sound--through its subtle variations in color and thoughtful musicality. A real treasure. --Thomas May
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Product Details

  • Composer: William Cornysh, John Taverner, Claudio Monteverdi, Vasily Titov, Tomas Luis de Victoria, et al.
  • Audio CD (June 30, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Teldec Classics
  • ASIN: B00004SDN3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,630 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This is a nice anthology of Renaissance music encompassing key composers of both the Prima and Seconda Prattica, including one or two less known names. The uniting theme is that of they are all in praise of the Virgin Mary. Most of these works are old war horses such as the Josquin Ave Maria which is beautifully performed. Their tempo for the Josquin is similar to that of the spacious approach of the Hilliard Ensemble, and unless you like this music performed at breakneck speed you will likely find this performance perfectly satisfying. If you are interested in an anthology of Renaissance music then this is a great choice, however for those of us with a strong interest in music of this period what really makes this essential listening is the two extraordinary pieces by Vasily Titov.

Titov composed at the time of Tsar Peter the Great's modernisation drive in Russia. He brought in composers from the West and Titov's music represents a marriage of the Italian compositional styles of the Seconda Prattica with the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church. Like the grand architecture of St Petersburgs, and the Hermitage this is an fascinating mixture of Western influences with distinctly Russian ones. The twelve part polychoral writings have some of the dark solemnity of Russian Orthodox music while clearly being heavily influenced by the likes of Monteverdi, Gabrielli, Lassus and Palestrina. Perhaps a more authentically Russian approach to this music would have given far more prominence to the basses, but this still has trumendous impact.
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Format: Audio CD
Chanticleer is a male choir that you can safely assume that any recording will be good to excellent; one may also assume that there will be one or two astounding cuts - in this case they are to two pieces by Titov, a Russian composer of the late 17th century.
Outside the Titov and Coppini, the pieces on this album are Marian standards - well done; on this recording, the high tenor deserves especial mention.
A thoroughly enjoyable CD.
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Format: DVD Audio
I hesitated to buy this disc until a friend told me he knew one of the members of Chanticleer; then again I also had nothing like it in my collection. The sound is rich and resonant. You should know it is recorded realistically, in a variety of soundfields, i.e. sometimes there is a processional from front to rear, sometimes choruses on upper left/right, or from all around you, depending on the material. If that sounds disconcerting be assured it isn't. This is a beautiful and soothing disc with a nice variety to it, and the sound is wonderful.
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By A Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a glorious compendium of music celebrating Mother Mary, with stellar voices. The clarity and richness of sound is wondrous! The blending of the voices is superb and the ethereal essence delightful.
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By A Customer on September 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Magnificat/Chanticleer, I Am The True Vine: Arvo Part, and John McArthur's, HIDDEN are the three best albums I have purchased in the last year. This one is stillness in audible tones. Listen, love it, enjoy it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
THIS WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR CHANTICLEER! (2000)

If one follows this American all-male singing ensemble from its beginning in the mid 80's through the 90's (and still performing) it is interesting to take note of the varied personnel and the musical results produced. I hasten to add that the quality remains high and for the most part quite excellent. However, there are some recordings where the combination of singers just seems special both sound-wise and interpretation-wise. This recording to me presents one of the highest levels of performance both in the ensemble skills of blend, neatness of individual entrances and exits, feeling for the phrases with lovely tapering at the end of a phrase AND the vocal sound, that is the tone quality of the treble voices. Interestingly, when I listened to 10 of their recordings without checking the persons singing, the most enjoyable sounds came from the solo soprano that appeared on the discs I preferred, as well on this recording: Christopher Fritzche. The top voice in this type of ensemble needs to blend well and possess a rich and full sound as opposed to the piercing quality that accompanies many male sopranos. This group of 13 singers is par-excellent and a pleasure to hear in every way. They are: sopranos=M. Alber, C. Fritzsche, J.White; altos=J. Keim, P. Wilder; tenors=M Lichtenauer,M. Oltman; baritone & Bass=E.Alatore, T. Bold, J. Diffendaffer, T.Krol.

In the Middle Ages, the Virgin Mary's role as the Mother of God, placed her in stark contrast to the stern and wrathful image of God. At no time was her popularity greater than in the Renaissance when countless compositions were written in her honor. THIS DISC IS CHANTICLEER'S TRIBUTE TO THE MANY EARLY COMPOSITIONS DEDICATED TO MARY, MOTHER OF GOD.
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This is a wonderful and mystical devotional music. I love it.
The voices and the harmony played here is very deep and spiritual.
Music leads to devotion with a sense of Peace, making us to rest in God.
Thank you for such a heavenly album. I wonder that it may be true, playing this album the presence of the
Lord is felt very close
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