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Ecce Cor Meum [Import]

Paul (Cmp) Mccartney Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.13 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. I Spiritus
2. II Gratia
3. Interlude (Lament)
4. III Musica
5. IV Ecce

Product Description

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Paul McCartney's new "classical" oratorio is called Ecce Cor Meum, which translates as "Behold My Heart." The idealistic texts, also by McCartney, are meditations on goodness, spirituality, peace, and love, and are well served by the pretty, Romantic melodies; the long choral and orchestral sections flow one into the next. The Interlude (composed after the death of his wife, Linda), with its lovely oboe solo, is simple and moving. The music builds throughout to an emotional climax and the entrance of the organ later in the work--beautifully played and handsomely recorded--is quite remarkable. This is a far more advanced work than 1991's Liverpool Oratorio: better orchestrated, more through-composed. No, it's not the last word in compositional sophistication, but it has many beautiful moments, and McCartney's legions of fans will need to own it. --Robert Levine

Product Description

Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart) is the fourth classical based work created by Paul McCartney for EMI Classics. This compelling new work is an Oratorio scored for choir, soprano and orchestra in four movements, each beginning with unaccompanied voices with text combining both English and Latin. The music is full of color and drama and, of course, a wealth of glorious melody for which Paul McCartney is so well known.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE Nov. 10 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An epic of classical/choral music, flowing through your head with emotional ups and down takes you through battles between war and peace, love, sadness and hope...listen to it loud with headphones..close your eyes and you feel inside an epic in the middle of these emotions..every note is perfect, instruments perfect for the sound of the music, lyrics very true...only Paul can write such a masterpiece in modern times..cannot wait to go home and listen to it again...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ecce cor meum Feb. 24 2011
Format:Audio CD
If you're a fan of McCartney or choral music, you will enjoy this work. As one might expect, McCartney's facility with melody is quite apparent here. The work is more a series of interconnected pieces rather than a continuous work on one theme. Nevertheless, the overall effect is both soothing and inspirational. No doubt Andrew Davis, who assisted McCartney in transcribing and arranging this work, deserves a lot of credit for the final product. If you enjoy chamber music, choral music with more than a hint of C of E, this CD is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds expectations Nov. 26 2006
Format:Audio CD
I wasn't sure what to expect, not having listened to McCartney's previous orchestral works. He is also my least favorite songwriter among the Beatle trio of Harrison, McCartney and Lennon. Despite that, I was blown away. This is a sweeping, melodious, lyrical and beautiful piece of work. Just a few minutes ago, my wife (not a big Beatles fan) walked by and asked "what is this, it's really lovely". Ignore the NY Times review. I believe this work will delight even the non-classical music listener. My opinion of McCartney has vaulted sky high!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Multitalented Paul McCartney's Celestial CD Sept. 29 2006
By Brien Comerford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This choral and classical instrumental gem is profoundly spiritual and captivating. The lyrics yearn with idealism, the choirs are celestial and the orchestra is equally uplifting and replete with pathos. The Interlude track is a melancholic marvel relating to the sad death of Linda McCartney. I was shocked to hear how much more advanced Paul McCartney has become in the realm of classical music. Ecce Cor Meum is vastly superior to Liverpool Oratorio and it surpasses the respectable Standing Stone. I am a rock music fan but I listened to Ecce Cor Meum four consectutive times last night. After the third play I was convinced that this CD's grandeur, pathos and spirituality combined to make it a masterpiece. The lyrics are sanctifying as they accentuate that our innate nature is laden with a universal love that we need to rediscover. McCartney's spirituality is profound. Paul is a Sir, a Beatle, a great vocalist, a dynamic bass player, a painter, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist and now he is a bona fide Classical composer.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Music From a Class Act Oct. 7 2006
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
After years traveling down his Long & Winding Road that led to this collection, it was well worth the wait. Paul McCartney has turned his travails into triumph; his challenges into championships.

Paul has proved to be a musical peer among many, including Tony Bennett with whom he does an excellent duet; those well established in choral work such as Walton, Bax and others of their caliber.

Never able to dodge that Beatle influence which has long become part of so many other songs and forms of music, Paul appears to embrace it. He plays Beatle songs at all of his concerts and even this vastly different collection retains just a hint of that old Beatle magic that made Paul a household name.

By that I mean that Paul remains true to his musical muse; his songs are identified by his warm, ballad-like style and soft sentimentality that softens the cynical edges of an otherwise jaded world. He breathes fresh life and animus into this music; it is this coupled with his own style that pull it off effectively.

One thing that struck me about this poignant collection is the strong spiritual aspect. Paul McCartney maintains an optimistic outlook while beseeching people to look to their goodness within.

This is a very serious collection. This is, I believe, Paul McCartney's core values and beliefs. It is this seeking, finding and reinforcing the goodness in ourselves and others that makes this so unique.

This is a collection that you will want to have. It is very soothing and some of the songs make me think of the Christmas Mass.

Paul McCartney is like his own 1967 classic - getting better all the time. This work is proof positive of that.
43 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars vapid and uneventful Nov. 21 2006
By D. Jack Elliot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Those who have kept up with Saturday Night Live over the years will recall any number of comedic skits that worked very well as two- or three-minute shorts on the show, but when expanded into full-length feature films were tedious and ineffective.

That's a good comparison for McCartney's oratorio here. There are passages that are quite effective, and nicely done; here and there, for thirty seconds or so at a time, you think hey, this isn't bad. The problem is that this piece lasts a full hour, and like those SNL skits it just doesn't hold up when expanded to these proportions. There's no formal or structural integrity, no large-scale dramatic rise and fall, or ebb and flow. Rather, we have the simple song forms with which McCartney is familiar (AABA, etc.) expanded ad absurdum (AAAAAAABBBBAAAAAA, etc.).

One of my convictions about lengthy musical works is that they must justify their own duration. There has to be a really good and self-evident reason for piece of music to last twenty, forty, or sixty minutes, for it is entirely possible to present a thoroughly satisfying musical experience (to present multiple musical ideas, develop them, bring a sense of resolution towards the end, and close things out) inside of three or four minutes. This can be seen in the best popular songwriting, in a great deal of jazz improvisation, in classical miniatures such as the Chopin etudes and nocturnes for piano, etc. Ecce Cor Meum wholly fails on this count, then: there is simply no good reason for it to last so long, no skillful development of ideas or meaningful build and then release of dramatic tension.

Furthermore, while there are indeed some effective passages here, a great deal of the writing is also flat and artless. McCartney does not and cannot write counterpoint, which is the essence of choral music; instead, Ecce Cor Meum utilizes a sort of a lead singer/backup singers construction, like what you'd expect to find in a pop song. Occasionally there's a little call and response, a few instances of two- or three-part voice leading, but otherwise the choral and orchestral textures are simplistic and empty. It's such a wasted opportunity to gather a choir of hundreds of voices, as McCartney does here, only to have them all singing pretty much the same thing at the same time.

I really don't mean to be too harsh. There's nothing WRONG with this music. It isn't unpleasant. But in tackling a form like the oratorio, McCartney is placing himself in direct comparison to history's master composers and great musical geniuses, and unfortunately he falls far, far short of them. For all its pleasant moments this is vapid, uneventful music.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this album! Sept. 30 2006
By neptune - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is an incredible album...one of love, love lost, and spirituality.

It's incredibly beautiful in composition and production.

Paul continues to outdo himself, and shows what a truly masterful sonfwriter he is. Movement II (Gratia) is my favorite. I play it continually, and it never fails to hit a spiritual nerve in my body.

This is an excellent album by the world's foremost songwriter.

Long live Sir Paul!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Ecce" Misses the Mark June 11 2007
By Robert M. Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My old harmony teacher once remarked, "You can't throw away the rules unless you know which rules you're throwing away. Not surprisingliy, this is the case with "Ecce Cor Meum." When tunesmithing, most writing is done intuitively. In other words, the "how" of it comes from exposure to countless examples of popular/rock music. It's done by osmosis and most (but by no means all) pop tunes are tweaked into existence.

In the case of "serious" music, though, it is like any work of art. It is done by understanding the medium and understanding the progress of the art itself.

McCartney's attempt at a serious work falls short in most every respect. It is dull and colorless with occasional tender moments. An extended passage involving the oboe was particularly poignant. Otherwise the repetitiveness of the work makes for rather difficult sustained listening.

In his program notes, the composer seemed to think that lack of formal training in music, even with notation, was an asset rather than a liability. We beg to differ. The understanding of the dynamics of harmony, rhythm and melody in the course of a large work is as important to the composer as color and its use is to a painter.

Having to write 40-45 minutes of orchestral and choral music is a whole lot different than 32 bars of, say, "Michelle" or "Will You Still Love Me When I'm 64?" (Which of course we always will, Paul!)

Even a master composer like George Gershwin was limited, albeit much more successful, in his attempts at larger works. That said, there is hope of McCartney. I'd like to see more from his pen.
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