Morten Lauridsen: O magnum Mysterium; O nata lux; Madrigali; Mid-Winter Songs

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Based on a handful of skillfully crafted, warmly accessible choral works, Morten Lauridsen has achieved a degree of fame and attracted a devoted following rare for a contemporary American composer. His published output is small, consisting of less than two dozen complete works although the number grows somewhat when individual movements of larger works are counted, and various arrangements of the same piece. He is best-known for "Dirait-on," from his choral cycle, "Les Chansons des Roses," settings of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke. Lauridsen's French text setting is execrably unidiomatic, but it hardly matters because the music is so ravishingly lyrical and memorably ...
See more details below
CD
$9.49
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$9.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (3) from $5.19   
  • New (3) from $5.19   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Based on a handful of skillfully crafted, warmly accessible choral works, Morten Lauridsen has achieved a degree of fame and attracted a devoted following rare for a contemporary American composer. His published output is small, consisting of less than two dozen complete works although the number grows somewhat when individual movements of larger works are counted, and various arrangements of the same piece. He is best-known for "Dirait-on," from his choral cycle, "Les Chansons des Roses," settings of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke. Lauridsen's French text setting is execrably unidiomatic, but it hardly matters because the music is so ravishingly lyrical and memorably melodic that it has nearly acquired the kind of iconic timelessness of a piece like Barber's "Adagio." Even on first hearing, it sounds familiar, as if it had always existed, and it lodges itself so firmly in the ear and mind that for many listeners, it's difficult to imagine a point at which it was not a part of their consciousness. The a cappella motet "O magnum mysterium" may not be as hummable, but for many in the community of choral enthusiasts, it has almost the same status. While he doesn't repeat himself, Lauridsen has a distinctive sound, and his music is recognizable because of his idiosyncratic use of certain characteristic intervals and melodic figures, and his adroit manipulation of unresolved dissonances. This disc, by the Ontario-based Elora Festival Singers, led by Noel Edison, includes three of Lauridsen's cycles, "Madrigali," "Les Chansons des Roses," and "Mid-Winter Songs," as well as "O magnum mysterium" and "O nata lux," from "Lux aeterna." The performances are solid, with secure intonation, tight ensemble, and a warm sound. They don't have the touch of transcendence, though, that the very best performers, such as Stephen Layton leading Polyphony, bring to this repertoire -- a tonal luminosity and fluidity, with a drive toward the ecstatic -- that can give it an overwhelming impact. The singers always sound a little too safe, for instance, in the opening of "Mid-Winter Songs," where the music calls for a punch that's almost surprising in its vehemence. Naxos' sound is clean and warm, but earthbound where it needs to be soaringly expansive.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/27/2009
  • Label: Naxos American
  • UPC: 636943930427
  • Catalog Number: 8559304
  • Sales rank: 17,635

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lux Aeterna, for chorus & orchestra: O Nata Lux - Morten Lauridsen & Keith Anderson (5:05)
  2. 2–7 Madrigali, 6 Firesongs on Italian Renaissance poems for chorus - Morten Lauridsen & Keith Anderson (21:40)
  3. 8–11 Les Chansons des Roses, 5 songs for chorus - Morten Lauridsen & Keith Anderson (17:03)
  4. 12–16 Mid-Winter Songs, for chorus & piano - Morten Lauridsen & Keith Anderson (19:05)
  5. 13 O Magnum Mysterium, for chorus - Morten Lauridsen & Keith Anderson (5:52)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Noel Edison Primary Artist
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    O Morten Lauridsen!

    It's a nice touch that the first selection is "O nata lux" and the finale is the ubiquitous "O magnum mysterium." Bookended by these two sacred pieces are two song cycles for chorus and piano, and a set of madrigals reminiscent of Gesualdo in their more dissonant passages. The Elora Festival Singers, led by Noel Edison, deliver some wonderful sounds, particularly the sopranos, bringing a relatively straight tone to the upper register. Although they premiered many of Lauridsen's pieces, the L.A. Master Chorale disc is put out of the running for me by an acoustic which smudges the voices together. On this disc, the sound seems excellently clear in terms of blend and detail. (The Hyperion collection is also good, but costly.) I only wish the composer's terrific setting of Agee's "Sure on this shining night" were here!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Morten Lauridsen/Elora Festival Singers

    Morten Lauridsen is one of the foremost choral composers alive today. His works are performed throughout the world on a regular basis. This recording of some of his best known choral pieces performed by the Elora Festival Singers and recorded on the Naxos label is a delight for your ears. The disc includes solid performances of O Nata Lux and O Magnum Mysterium.

    The Elora Festival Singers are led by Noel Edison. Their performance is crisp and clean. There is a wonderful vocal symmetry between all vocal parts so that you are really able to hear all of the complex harmonies written by Lauridsen. I highly recommend this cd.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews