In The Presence

In The Presence

5.0 2
by Daniel Rodriguez
     
 
Even though Daniel Rodriguez's first two CDs focused on patriotic music (Spirit of America) and romance (From My Heart), there's always been a strong spiritual component to his singing, and this comes to the fore on In the Presence. Rodriguez has a real gift for communicating

Overview

Even though Daniel Rodriguez's first two CDs focused on patriotic music (Spirit of America) and romance (From My Heart), there's always been a strong spiritual component to his singing, and this comes to the fore on In the Presence. Rodriguez has a real gift for communicating through song; his voice has the sort of "Everyman" flavor that is easy to identify with, but it's gilded with just the right amount of operatic technique to produce a glorious sound at the climaxes. The stirring orchestral arrangements add to the splendor, especially those by the late Johnnie Carl, longtime music director of the Crystal Cathedral. Rodriguez is as convincing in contemporary religious numbers like "An American Hymn" and "On Eagle's Wings" as he is in the classical selections. (To give credit where credit is due, neither "Joyful, Joyful" nor "Ave Maria" is a "traditional" tune, as they are labeled here; the former is the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with new words, and the latter is by Schubert.) Broadway star Lea Salonga is a perfect match for Rodriguez in two of the album's loveliest selections, including the sublime "Pie Jesu" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem. But best of all are traditional hymns such as "Amazing Grace," where Rodriguez achieves a simple purity that perfectly conveys the deep faith that animates his singing.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Daniel Rodriguez, a former NYPD policeman, became "America's Beloved Tenor" when his public renditions of the National Anthem and "God Bless America" offered comfort to millions in the wake of 9/11 -- and he goes even further towards fulfilling his inspirational destiny on his beautifully emotional Blix Street Records debut with In the Presence, his third album. While his first two albums, Spirit of America and From My Heart took patriotic and romantic directions, here he draws on his faith to create -- with the powerful, sweeping help of the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra -- a collection that, while often Christian-themed, truly crosses all religious lines. While more expected choices like "Amazing Grace," "Ave Maria," and "How Great Thou Art" are rendered passionately, it's Rodriguez's other choices that truly make the collection "holy," (i.e. set apart from the genre's norm). Most notably, his duets with Lea Salonga on Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu" and the traditional "Panis Angelicus" offer a stunning balance of the theatrical and the sacred. {"Joyful Joyful" features lyrics set to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," pushing the album into classical crossover territory as well. The singer's gentle take on the more modern "American Hymn" is a centerpiece that inspires the kind of patriotism that we found in the days when Rodriguez first came into the pop culture consciousness. It's terribly ironic to think that such a talent might have remained obscure had it not been for 9/11, but there's no denying that he is more than a one-note novelty. This collection is every bit as compelling as Michael Crawford's On Eagle's Wings (which Rodriguez also covers, naturally). ~ Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2005
Label:
Blix Street
UPC:
0739341008320
catalogNumber:
410083
Rank:
244597

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Daniel Rodriguez   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jack Everly   Conductor
John Lissauer   Conductor
Lea Salonga   Vocals

Technical Credits

Tim Heintz   Instrumentation
Allyn Ferguson   Orchestral Arrangements
Robert H. Schuller   Author
Jimmy MacCarthy   Composer
Johnnie Carl   Orchestral Arrangements
Lee Holdridge   Orchestral Arrangements
John Lissauer   Orchestral Arrangements
Sammy Nestico   Orchestral Arrangements
David Rideau   Producer
Jack Frisch   Art Direction,Session Photographer
Michael Joncas   Composer
Pablo Munguia   Vocal Producer
Traditional   Composer
Pavel Prantl   Orchestra Director
Lee Elwood Holdridge   Composer
Gary Chester   Engineer

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In The Presence 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have all of Daniel's music and I knew we were in store for something special but this exceeds even my imagination. WOW!!!!! This is an outstanding selection of songs that are absolutely magnificent and breathtaking! You will want to get this album and share it with everyone you know. Daniel has given us music with special meaning for him, but that meaning is universal. It will touch you deeply! He has written a beautiful tribute on the enclosure. He moves us with not only his warm and passionate voice, but with his inspirational words. The goodness, faith and courage of this wonderful man comes through as he takes us on a journey with each song of faith and hope. This is absolutely a masterpiece!! Five GOLD stars and a standing ovation for this one!! BRAVO DANIEL!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
On both of Daniel Rodriguez's previous CD's, he has included a song of faith such as "The Lord's Prayer" or "I'll Walk With God." This time around, he devotes his entire "In the Presence" CD to the spiritual side of life. While God might be the central theme, Rodriguez uses a variety of styles and techniques to show his faith, and there are many standouts. "Joyful Joyful" (aka "Ode to Joy") is an all-out wind sprint from first note to the last. To make it all the way through without gasping for breath at this tempo is athletic indeed. Plus he manages to finish on a very strong note as well. At first thought Irish pop tune "Bright Blue Rose" seems a bit out of a place on an inspirational CD, but Rodriguez's soothing higher register gives it a very earthy feel. Although it's from the movie "East of Eden," " An American Hymn" has not been overdone to death like many songs. Rodriguez's mentor Placido Domingo recorded it on his 1981 "Perhaps Love" album. While beautiful, Domingo's diction made the lyrics hard to understand. Rodriguez's rendition makes the lyrics of American beauty and faith ring like a champagne glass. "Amazing Grace" has a most unusual arrangement, one of the late Johnnie Carl's last works. Beginning acapella (as Rodriguez sang it at the Republican National Convention last summer) the music eventually slides into "Bolero." But he absolutely saved the best for last, with another Carl arrangement, "How Great Thou Art." Like "Joyful, Joyful" this is pure power from beginning to end. Originally sung at the Crystal Cathedral a few years back, certainly the rafters are still shaking. If you enjoyed either of the first two CD's, or spiritual music in general, you'll enjoy this one