Lauridsen: Lux Æterna Import
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Introitus - Lux Aeterna|
|2. In Te, Domine, Speravi - Lux Aeterna|
|3. O Nata Lux - Lux Aeterna|
|4. Veni, Sancte Spiritus - Lux Aeterna|
|5. Agnus Dei - Lus Aeterna - Lux Aeterna|
|6. En Une Seule Fleur - Les Chansons Des Roses|
|7. Contre Qui, Rose - Les Chansons Des Roses|
|8. De Ton Reve Trop Plein - Les Chansons Des Roses|
|9. La Rose Complete - Les Chansons Des Roses|
|10. Dirait - On - Les Chansons Des Roses|
|11. Ave Maria - Ave Maria|
|12. MID WINTER SONGS: Lament For Pasiphae - M. LAURIDSEN|
|13. MID WINTER SONGS: Like Snow - M. LAURIDSEN|
|14. MID WINTER SONGS: She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep - M. LAURIDSEN|
|15. MID WINTER SONGS: Mid-Winter Waking - M. LAURIDSEN|
|16. MID WINTER SONGS: Intercession In Late October - M. LAURIDSEN|
|17. O Magnum Mysterium - O Magnum Mysterium|
Modern choral music for amateur singers may be America's biggest musical underground. That's the only explanation of why Grammy-nominated composer Morten Lauridsen can claim that his works are some of the most often-performed new pieces in years, although few among the East Coast intelligentsia have ever heard of him. Like the similarly popular John Rutter, Lauridsen inhabits an extremely conservative style directed simply and single-mindedly at showing off the beauty of choral singing while it illustrates inspiring texts. Unlike many of his fellow neo-Romantic conservatives, Lauridsen displays a brand of conservatism that is completely convincing and sincere. His music also has range, from the spellbindingly rapturous Lux aeterna to his playful settings of Rilke's poems about the beauty and thorniness of roses in Les chansons des roses. There is, moreover, a Coplandesque streak heard in his Mid-Winter Songs, which are settings of poems by Robert Graves. Though the Los Angeles Master Chorale has a suitably red-blooded sound, the music would be better served with more precise diction. --David Patrick Stearns
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Top Customer Reviews
The "Lux Aeterna" opens mystically, leading the listener to truly believe in the eternal rest and eternal light sung about. The "Les Chansons des Roses" are so poignant and soft, representing the greatest of a cappella choral music. "Dirait-on" has been named the most beautiful piece of music ever written, and I begin to believe it with this smooth, touching rendition. The balance between choir and piano is just right. The wrenching harmonies in the "Mid-Winter Songs" completely complement Robert Graves' poetry as they unleash terror and anger, then excitement, then sleep, and finally, calm love. Although the original version with piano accompaniment sings, the colorful orchestration brings out new motifs, new themes, evoking winter. The finale of the CD is the absolutely beautiful "O Magnum Mysterium" - perfectly sung, perfectly felt. So reverent a text has never found so reverent a score. I give this album my highest recommendation. Everyone I lend it to has a difficult time returning it (including my choir director). This is my absolute favorite CD.
It took me awhile to find the beauty of Lux Aeterna, as its rhythmic patterns and harmonies seem to repeat and drone on incessantly, but after awhile I came to appreciate some of the harmonines (especially in the first and last movement)are incredibly rich. I love the canonical chant portions of the aforementioned movements and how all the voices come together in one glorious chord, musically portraying light coming in through all angles. The "Veni, Sanctus Spiritus" is an uplifting, joyous canticle that will lighten your spirits (couldn't resist). The comparisons in the harmonies to Brahms' "Ein Deustche Requiem" throughout the work are noteworthy.
Everybody goes for the "Dirait-on" movement of the Les Chansons des Roses, but for myself, it is the third movement, "De ton reve trop plein" that grabs my attention. The musical variety and text painting, as well as the rhythms and harmonies, send chills down my spine every time. This delightful little work is much more difficult to sing (especially from memory) than it sounds, but when a choir pulls it off just right, like this one does, the sound is just heavenly.
I can't say much about the Ave Maria as I have not performed it except to say that it is a most gorgeous piece; I am listening to it right now.Read more ›
And yet my soul just cries and cries and cries every time I hear this CD. Having just lost my lover a year ago after four years, I was sent this CD by a friend, who knows I am a choral-music lover, and, like a gift from heaven, this CD carried me through the anniversary of his death. The Lux Aeterna -- and the Dirait-on -- rank with the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Words are trly insufficient to describe the enveloping, soul-touching elegance, emotion and elation that this music conveys. It just wraps you up and, like on clouds and in the air, you are bathed in ethereal beauty. Listening to this music is like eating the most wonderful meal or having the most wonderful, ecstatic sex -- you know, when you get depressed because you don't want it to end! It is pure soulfood -- I am not religious, but that does not matter -- this is a true example of the how art can touch and move.
Of course, much of this is thanks to the technical prowess of the LAMC: incredible pitch and blend -- they are not quite Eric Ericsson's Swedish Radio Choir -- a few diction problems (consonants, not vowels, which are perfectly formed to ensure the glorious harmonics are clearly heard) -- but again, the words don't really matter. Oh, and how wonderfully Lauridsen writes for the tenors. Glorious.
Get this CD to uplift you, to help you along, to relax you, to reflect, to share. You will not be disappointed.
This RCM recording is unfocused, however. The soundstage gives no indication of where the singers or the orchestra are located. Additionally, the dynamics of the recording are unreal, getting way too loud to sound like a live LAMC at the DCP in the loudest passages. I chalk this up to RCM using the very inefficient and incoherent ATC SCM50 studio monitors (or perhaps a tin ear?) in the mastering process. Extreme care has to be applied to ensure that all of the depth of the soundstage is preserved for a recording of this nature. Unfortuantely I hear little such care.
It's also interesting to note that RCM touts the use of 20 bit recording, but doesn't provide this disk with HDCD encoding to preserve the 20 bits for those with HDCD decoders. It has been my experience that HDCD encoded disks do a better job of preserving a soundstage, with or without an HDCD decoder. And, the bit reduction activity (from a recorded 20 bits to a playback 16 bits) may help explain the overly dynamic nature of this recording.
John Rutter's Requiem (Reference Recording's HDCD-encoded RR-57) shows us what care in preserving a soundstage can sound like. While Requiem isn't necessarily better music than Lux Aeterna, it does provide an incomparably better listening experience.
Still, if you want fabulous background music and aren't picky about the presentation (indeed I find that I prefer to listen to the disk on my computer speakers, which aren't especially coherent, anyway, and, because of their low efficiency, do a good job of compressing this over-dynamic presentation) Lux Aeterna is a great buy.
Mr. Lauridsen and LAMC my heartfelt thanks. RCM what happened?
Most recent customer reviews
Lux Aeterna is the kind of music that comes right through me: it's just so beautiful that I get tears in my eyes when I listen to it. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Pierre
A wonderful musical experience from a master composer, Morten Lauridsen, along with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. They make a great musical team. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2012 by Victor Lethbridge
All music by Lauridsen, good orchestra, nice choral blend in the choir, heavy handing singing, choral phrasing is not determined by the text, had greater potential with influence... Read morePublished on March 17 2004 by Singerinkitchen (Noelle K.)
There is that time in the cosmos when a composer, conductor or performer (or performers) are so perfectly suited for each other, that the music transcends all meaning. Read morePublished on May 23 2003 by John Prothero
One listen will evoke images of the first snow fall of winter or a breeze gently stirring the needles of a pine tree. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2003 by Luke Jones
I know there are a lot of reviews, but I must add mine to the list. I have heard all of these songs live, and that makes it hard to go from a live performance to a recording. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2003
This is truly a fantastic CD...Salumnovich's baton is like a brush painting some of the most beautifully lucid music imaginable. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2002 by Joseph P. Easterly
This was just breathtaking. my heart ached after listening. i was reminded why i love to sing. Mr. Salamunovich is a genius. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2002 by ashley