Paul McCartney's Ecce Cor Meum [Limited Edition]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Paul McCartney's dedication to writing classical concert music is hardly news. More time has elapsed since his classical "debut" -- the 1991 Liverpool Oratorio -- than the total number of years the Beatles were together. But it's still surprising to find this master of the pop song thinking so big. Like his other large-scale concert works, Ecce Cor Meum is a monumental opus for chorus and orchestra. If it's the least indebted to pop music of these pieces, it's also the most successful on classical terms: nearly an hour of music that unfolds effortlessly, builds to a rich conclusion, and satisfies thoroughly as a whole. The Latin title -- translated as "Behold My Heart" ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Paul McCartney's dedication to writing classical concert music is hardly news. More time has elapsed since his classical "debut" -- the 1991 Liverpool Oratorio -- than the total number of years the Beatles were together. But it's still surprising to find this master of the pop song thinking so big. Like his other large-scale concert works, Ecce Cor Meum is a monumental opus for chorus and orchestra. If it's the least indebted to pop music of these pieces, it's also the most successful on classical terms: nearly an hour of music that unfolds effortlessly, builds to a rich conclusion, and satisfies thoroughly as a whole. The Latin title -- translated as "Behold My Heart" -- signals the spiritual quality of the music, which echoes everything from austere Gregorian chant to the gentle Requiem of Gabriel Fauré to the more recent minimalist mysticism of Sir John Tavener. But don't let the angelic boys' choir and resonant organ fool you, for Ecce Cor Meum is no narrowly religious work. The text, also by McCartney, speaks in more universal terms of love, grace, peace, joy, and finally of the composer's own art: "Here in my music I show you my heart." McCartney is at his most confessional in the hauntingly elegiac oboe melody of the central "Interlude Lament," written upon the death of his wife, Linda. After this emotional climax, the work's turn toward optimism is deeply inspiring, especially in a performance as brimming with enthusiasm as this one. Not just for Beatles nostalgists, Ecce Cor Meum has enough beauty and sincerity to become a classic in its own right.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Ecce Cor Meum "Behold My Heart" in Latin is Paul McCartney's fourth album of classical music and his second oratorio, following Liverpool Oratorio of 1991. Like that piece, it was commissioned, in this case by Anthony Smith, then president of Magdalen College at Oxford University, who was looking for a work to christen a new concert hall. As so often happens with commissions, the composition took much longer than intended, eight years, in fact, with work interrupted for other projects and by McCartney's tumultuous personal life, which included the death of his first wife, Linda McCartney, and his meeting, marrying, and separating from his second. According to producer John Fraser, as quoted by annotator Peter Quantrill, it was the earlier event that most affected the work: "The loss of Linda is suffused throughout the piece." If so, that would explain some of the more melancholy passages, notably the brief "Interlude Lament" that comes in the middle of the work. Death also is apparent in the final section, "Ecce Cor Meum" itself, which contains lyrics commenting on separation. But McCartney's sunnier nature is also apparent throughout. The hourlong choral work sounds appropriate to its commission; it would fit in well in either a concert hall or church, sung by an adult and boys' choir. Most of McCartney's lyrics are generalized expressions of love and, as the opening section puts it, "Spiritus," rather than God specifically. There are moments that pop fans will recognize, certain familiar melodic motifs and instrumental sounds. For example, McCartney's affection for the piccolo trumpet, first revealed on "Penny Lane," is explored further. Ecce Cor Meum is not a great new choral work. It is unlikely, as Smith hoped, to be "sung by young people the world over in the same way that Handel's "Messiah" is." But on its own terms, it is a successful minor piece of classical music.
New York Times - Allan Kozinn
It’s hard to find a composer in any style with Sir Paul’s gift for melody.... The choral writing and an interlude for solo oboe couldn’t be lovelier.

It’s hard to find a composer in any style with Sir Paul’s gift for melody.... The choral writing and an interlude for solo oboe couldn’t be lovelier.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2006
  • Label: Emi Classics
  • UPC: 094637042328
  • Catalog Number: 70423

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I. Spiritus (12:00)
  2. 2 II. Gratia (10:50)
  3. 3 Interlude (Lament) (3:56)
  4. 4 III. Musica (15:14)
  5. 5 IV. Ecce Cor Meum (14:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul McCartney Primary Artist, Indexed Contributor
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Performing Ensemble, Ensemble
Ben Parry Choir Master
David Theodore Oboe
London Voices Choir, Chorus, Ensemble
Gavin Greenaway Conductor
Boys of King's College Choir, Cambridge Choir, Chorus, Ensemble
Colm Carey Organ
Kate Royal Soprano (Vocal)
Mark Law Piccolo Trumpet
Boys of Magdalen College Choir, Oxford Choir, Chorus, Ensemble
Terry Edwards Choir Director
Mark Law Piccolo Trumpet
Technical Credits
Paul McCartney Composer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer, Text
Arne Akselberg Engineer
Stephen Cleobury Music Direction
Bill Ives Music Direction
John Fraser Producer
Craig West Concert Manager
Simon Kiln Mastering
Peter Quantrill Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

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