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Evocation O/T Spirit/Totus Tuu Import
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Gorecki: Totus Tuus|
|3. I. Kyrie|
|4. II. Gloria|
|5. III. Credo|
|6. IV. Sanctus|
|7. V. Agnus Dei|
|8. Agnus Dei|
|9. Friede Auf Erden|
Top Customer Reviews
Particularly in his final years when he would hold his Summer Festivals in Southern France (attracting a huge flock of choral directors), the recorded product (released on a series of Telarc recordings) has been consistently mushy and lugubrious - this one in particular! The usually fine Telarc engineers should be ashamed (as well as their marketers who where obviously trying to ride the Shaw band wagon as far as they could)!
The Barber Agnus Dei (for which I've yet to find a satisfying recording) sounds like the singers are submerged in molasses! The tempo is unbelievably slow and there is a total lack of clarity in the inner parts. I recently was driving through Colorado during the NPR fund-raising week and heard a pair of well-meaning NPR announcers slavering over this recording - I thought I was going to puke!
Much better recordings exist of the Gorecki, Pärt and Martin. With due deference to the master, I wouldn't touch this recording with a ten-foot pole. If you simply must purchase Shaw recordings, stick with the larger choral repertoire - you're guaranteed to get good choral singing and excellent soloists (but usually coupled with a less-than-electric performance).
This was not a state of affairs destined to go on open-ended. I knew that a major part of breaking this "blockage" would somehow involve the recorded work of Robert Shaw, whose recorded performances have in the past led me out of such "wildernesses." And so it was that his recording of the Bach B-Minor Mass (reviewed elsewhere at Amazon.com by me) provided the "lion's share" of healing-through-music. One need only listen to Shaw's performance of the closing "Dona nobis pacem" of this Mass to be instantly uplifted.
But his performance of Barber's Agnus Dei, a choral arrangement by Barber of his Adagio for Strings (which in turn is a string orchestra arrangement of the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11), provided me with a healing of an entirely different nature: A searing work guaranteed to cauterize and thereby provide emotional catharsis and release.
One cannot fathom what was going through a very youthful Sam Barber's mind when he wrote this Op. 11 second movement. But we should be thankful that Arturo Toscanini, in 1936, encouraged Barber to arrange it for string orchestra, and that much later (in 1967) Barber chose to arrange it yet again for chorus. And that Maestro Shaw saw fit to include it on this Evocation of the Spirit choral compilation.Read more ›
"Totus, Tuus" a motet by Henryk Gorecki leads off the disc. It is stunningly simple. It is also subtly insistent. It is an excellent vehicle by which to be drawn into the rest of the disc.
Arvo Part's "Magnificat" has an earthier sound dwelling underneath the gently whispering soprano. The liner notes dub the style as being the result of the composer's use of "primitive" materials in the composition of the work. I don't know much about that, but I certainly like the sound of the finished product.
The Mass for double chorus a cappella by Frank Martin is the centerpiece of this disc; a worthily so. Martin probably was, until recently, the least known of these composers. This disc and a few others have been rectifying that situation. Sometimes likened to the work of Palestrina (a favorite of mine) Martin's mass is truly dynamic. This mass has a charged yet timeless feeling to it. The haunting Gloria alone is worth the price of this disc.
Speaking of the price of this disc...Whatever you feel about the other music contained on this recording, I urge you to get a copy just to listen to The Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber. It is based on his mournful Adagio for Strings. To hear this is to hear sheer beauty.
Rounding out the songs on this disc is Friede auf Erden by Arnold Schoenberg. It is probably the least accessible of the pieces; but is also a thing of beauty.
This disc is wonderful. It is great music for using in times of contemplation. It is also great just to listen to for the sheer beauty. I recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
I have to agree with Randolph Wagner. This CD gets 5 stars for the choral pieces minus 3 stars for the recording quality. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2003 by T. A. Effler
This is a magnificent recording. Even though, a capella CD's can sometimes be hard to stomach, I find myself listening to this disc again and again. Read morePublished on April 25 2002 by D. Seymour
This CD was an introduction of 20th century music for me. There is not a SINGLE TRACK on this CD that is not exceptional. The Martin Mass is wonderful and the Barber is Orgasmic! Read morePublished on June 19 2001 by Michael J. Parker
I bought this CD for Barber's Agnus Dei, and unfortunately, that's the only track I really like! All the others are too weird and "out there" for me. Read morePublished on May 31 2001
This exposed me to the works of Part, Gorecki and Martin. As a result, I like the direction contemporary choral music is heading.
Most of this work is easily accessible. Read more
This disc is wonderful from start to finish. I think the most special piece is the Schoenberg at the end, and the least successful the Barber arrangement of the adagio, which... Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2001 by A. G. Plumb
This is by far my favorite recording of Robert Shaw. If you are in search of choral perfection, look no further than Shaw. Read morePublished on March 24 2000
This is my favorite recording of Shaw, and the Festival Singers. The music, though from different composers, all fits together on this album as if it were designed as a concept. Read morePublished on April 30 1999
The late Robert Shaw shines with his Festival Singers in this most luminescent recording. Shaw has done much to bring twentieth century music to the forefront of the choral... Read morePublished on March 5 1999