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Vocalise: Adiemus/Karl Jenkins
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Adiemus V - Vocalise
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On Vocalise, the fifth installment in his Adiemus series, composer Karl Jenkins presents his first discernable lyrics (an invocation sung in English on "The Protector") and his first arrangements, quite eclectic, of classical repertoire (imagine a movement of Beethoven's 7th symphony recast as a tango). We also experience brief encounters with jazz guitar (from Martin Taylor), improvisational saxophone (Nigel Hitchcock), Middle East incantations, even backwater harmonica. It is indeed a jumble, and at times Vocalise (i.e., "wordless song") evokes impressions of intermingled jigsaw puzzles where an abundance of pieces never quite coalesce into a whole. Jenkins' most distinctive audio element, his exuberant Munchkins-from-Africa choir singing in a nonliteral phonetic language, is again on display and is best appreciated in small doses (vocalist Miriam Stockley, a centerpiece of early Adiemus works, does not take part). Jenkins' most affecting pieces on this CD are among its quietest: the slow-building "Bendigedig" ("blessed" in Welsh, Jenkins' native tongue) and the title track, a reverent reworking of a Rachmaninov composition of the same name. Even with all its stylistic side trips, at 68 minutes fans should be able to cherry-pick enough highlights (such as the breezy frolic of "Schubert's Dance") to find contentment with this disc. --Terry Wood
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 5.25 x 4.75 x 0.25 inches; 3.36 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Om Town/Higher Octave
- Date First Available : January 27, 2004
- Label : Om Town/Higher Octave
- ASIN : B000168ACS
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #380,344 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The only song I truly like on the album is "Bendigedig," which sounds like it could have come from "Songs Of Sanctuary" or "Cantata Mundi" with its singing and soaring orchestral sound. Oddly, I also kind of like "Boogie Woogie Llanoogie" (nobody hurt me), but it's definitely not what one would expect from Adiemus. The two pieces for "Schwanda" are cute but strangely, do not feature bagpipes--and are very short. The rest of the music is, unfortunately, forgettable. I do NOT like the coherent lyrics because a big part of the enjoyment of Adiemus is being able to make up your own meaning for the songs--and a lot of the music on this album seemed to have an oddly Christian or religious-sounding bent. When I put this CD in, rather than listening through all or almost all of the songs like I do for Adiemus 1, 2, and 3, I just listen to one track, and that's it.
It's nice how Adiemus changes their style every so often to try to keep things fresh--but would a return to the old style hurt so much by now? I truly miss the great orchestral sound and lyricism of albums 1 and 2 and, to a slightly lesser extent, 3. Those three albums are what keep me coming back for more, even though albums 4 and 5 have rather been letdowns. Yes, Adiemus without Miriam Stockley is sad, but I think they could do just as well without her...if they went back to their old musical style at least once more! "Bendigedig" proves that. If only more of the songs on this album did.
Here's hoping that Adiemus 6, whenever and whatever it should be, is better...
Don't get me wrong; I own and love Sarah Brightman's versions of these same themes. I was just hoping for something new.
Top reviews from other countries
Eine Warnung sei trotzdem an diejenigen ausgesprochen, die sich von Vocalise das "übliche" von Adiemus erwarten - die Enttäuschung über zu viel Ungewohntes wird groß sein. Jenkins hat zwar alles gut arrangiert, sich jedoch ausgiebig an klassischen Kompositionen bedient. Mir persönlich gefällt die neue CD jedoch ausgezeichnet, weil sie eine Weiterentwicklung bringt, man auch bei öfterem Hören noch immer Neues entdeckt, weil ich die Jazz-Elemente sehr mag und nicht zuletzt, weil man trotzdem noch immer hinter jedem Stück Adiemus erkennt.
Wer sich auf etwas Neues einlassen möchte, ohne das Alte ganz zu vergessen, dem sei Vocalise ans Herz gelegt.