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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on June 21, 2004
These are a cappella renditions of songs from a variety of sources; Chanticleer's style gives almost all of them a distinctly medieval feel. Beautiful arrangements, but don't expect to understand all the lyrics, even when you speak the featured language. The faked accents (as on "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem," where I guess they were trying for Ozark mountain hillbilly and wound up with my home dialect) can be moderately annoying.
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on October 23, 2003
This CD is quite excellent, but I've knocked off one star for a simple reason: Dawn Upshaw. It's not that her voice isn't beautiful, but gee whiz, I wanted to hear Chanticleer! I felt that in the songs she sang, she completely dominated them, so my favorite songs on the CD are the ones which Chanticleer sings without her.
I think my favorite on this CD was "The Huron Carol." I liked it because it is something different from the usual holiday fare (I'm getting awfully bored with most of what choirs usually sing for Christmas) and it expresses a completely different understanding of the miracle of Christ's birth. If you're looking for something new for a jaded Christmas music palate, this is certainly the CD to do it!
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on May 10, 2003
Chanticleer did it again. What a wonderful collaboration. Perfect tone, clear vertical structure, and fantastic interpretation of favorite and not-so-well-known pieces. Buy this.
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on December 21, 2002
Technicaly this is an excellent performance, however the choice of selections is doleful and does not bring much Christmas cheer to the listener. The earlier CD releases by Chanticlier were wonderful but this one misses the mark.
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on December 2, 2002
The absolute highlight here is Distler's setting of "Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming", a fantasia based on the familiar tune. Dawn Upshaw's solo on the third verse is especially appealing.
Also especially notable is Healey Wilan's "The Three Kings" with its hushed, reverent opening building to an ecstatic climax.
And also especially appealing is the "Mary and the Baby Medley" which includes "What Child Is This" along with a traditional German carol and two African-American spirituals.
This medley then leads into a beautiful rendition of "Stille Nacht". Definitely recommended for those who love the more classical Christmas music.
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on November 26, 2002
Though my wife is an opera singer, my knowledge of what constitutes "good" music is reduced to simply what sounds "good" to me! So while I can't tell you why this CD is good, I can tell you that it clearly is.
From the opening song--a crisp, pure tone from Dawn Upshaw--you will realize that this is not typical holiday music fare. It's not the brassy, celebratory music we're accustomed to hearing during the holidays. Instead, it has an "old" feel to it, capturing the tone of early music.
The variety present on this CD is incredible. From a Spanish song of joy to African American spirituals.
We've had this CD for only 2 days, but it has received continuous play.
Give it a try and be amazed by what this CD has to offer.
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on November 16, 2002
This disc is filled with the flawless, pristine singing Chanticleer's admirers have come to expect. Upshaw's ravishing soprano adds to the beauty of this inspiring and festive collection. Highly recommended.
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on October 15, 2002
All's I can say is that the entire CD sounded more like a barber shop quartet-type compilation!
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on January 20, 2002
Chanticleer is one of the finest examples of the sublime love of music, created musical perfectionists. A men's choral group, Chanticleer is a top ticket for excellence, either in concert or on disc. They have made more than ten, and their repertoire will open your ears. From Christmas music to Mexican polyphony, "Satin Doll, and soulful spirituals,Chanticleer caresses each work as a beautiful treasure, or crackling jewel. Soprano Dawn Upshaw, who has been touring with orchestras, adds a shimmering touch to the unusual variety of seasonal music on this CD. Her crystal clear tones fit beautifully with Chanticleer. It's a wonderful Christmas CD for your collection, especially if you need a touch of silver for contrast with your full-packed seasonal collection...Madge Bruner Hazen
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on January 18, 2002
I saw and met Chanticleer in person this past Christmas, while they were touring with the music from this CD, and it may be hard for those who do not know of Chanticleer and have not heard them, but they actually sound BETTER live. Of course, I prefer all vocal ensembles live, but the palette they have put together in this album is awe-inspiring. What a great ministry to Gospel through music of Christ's birth! This recording is so amazing that I guarantee that you will NOT want to stop listening to it.
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