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Magnificat

Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 30, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

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: 4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,721 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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