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The Prayer Cycle

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
Composer Jonathan Elias confronts the death and devastation of wartime with a stunning nine-part choral symphony. Bolstered by a truly awesome lineup of singers -- from the late Qawwal singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Salif Keita to Linda Ronstadt -- and lyrics that appeal for mercy and strength, hope and compassion, and faith and forgiveness, THE PRAYER CYCLE is a moving achievement. The English Chamber Orchestra and Choir provides a solid pastoral setting for the stunning soloists. The most surprising contributor here is rocker Alanis Morissette, who belts out Hungarian and French and more than matches the power and passion of Ali Khan and Keita. Other estimable ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
Composer Jonathan Elias confronts the death and devastation of wartime with a stunning nine-part choral symphony. Bolstered by a truly awesome lineup of singers -- from the late Qawwal singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Salif Keita to Linda Ronstadt -- and lyrics that appeal for mercy and strength, hope and compassion, and faith and forgiveness, THE PRAYER CYCLE is a moving achievement. The English Chamber Orchestra and Choir provides a solid pastoral setting for the stunning soloists. The most surprising contributor here is rocker Alanis Morissette, who belts out Hungarian and French and more than matches the power and passion of Ali Khan and Keita. Other estimable soloists include James Taylor whose plaintive "Grace" offers the only lyrics in English, Linda Ronstadt Spanish, Yungchen Lhamo Tibetan, Martin Tillman cello, and John Williams guitar. The chorus and the American Boychoir expand the worldview by singing in German, Latin, Italian, and French. Unfortunately, given the world's continuing conflicts, this music will remain too timely for too long -- but it offers a sublime way to search for faith amid the suffering.
All Music Guide - Steve Huey
The Prayer Cycle is a surprisingly spiritual and moving album masterminded by composer Jonathan Elias, featuring an all-star cast culled from the pop, rock, and world music arenas including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Alanis Morissette, Perry Farrell, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Ofra Haza, Salif Keita, and more. The album is structured as a nine-movement suite, with each movement dedicated to a different spiritual quality. Elias' material elicits passionate, committed performances from the assembled artists, making it a deeply felt statement on bridging cross-cultural differences.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/1999
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646056929
  • Catalog Number: 60569
  • Sales rank: 41,071

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 1. Mercy (3:44)
  2. 2 2. Strength (5:41)
  3. 3 3. Hope (6:38)
  4. 4 4. Compassion (6:57)
  5. 5 5. Grace (5:54)
  6. 6 6. Innocence (5:58)
  7. 7 7. Forgiveness (7:40)
  8. 8 8. Benediction (7:59)
  9. 9 9. Faith (1:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jonathan Elias Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Ofra Haza Vocals
Salif Keita Vocals
Linda Ronstadt Vocals
James Taylor Vocals
The American Boychoir Children's Chorus
John Williams [guitar] Guitar
Liz Constantine Chant
English Chamber Choir Choir, Chorus
English Chamber Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Perry Farrell Chant
Ethan James Hurdy-Gurdy
Martin Tillman Cello
Alanis Morissette Vocals
Yungchen Lhamo Vocals
Devin Provenzano Vocals
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Vocals
Richard Bona Vocals
Mah Damba Vocals
John Williams & the Tick Tocks Guitar
Lawrence Schwartz Conductor
Technical Credits
Josh Abbey Engineer
Larry Alexander Engineer
Jim Brady Engineer
Jonathan Elias Producer, Liner Notes, Text
John Richards Engineer
Mark Rogers Engineer
Mike Ross-Trevor Engineer
Gustavo Santaolalla Text Translation
John Luard Timperley Engineer
David Tobocman Engineer
Alanis Morissette Text Translation
Michael Sherwood Composer
Giulio Turturro Art Direction
Matt Mahurin Illustrations
Genevieve Haines Liner Note Translation
Mark Fergesen Engineer
Les Cooper & the Soul Rockers Engineer
Bill Airey Smith Engineer
David Gold Engineer
Jonathan Allen Engineer
Walt Vincent Producer, Engineer
Tim Sund Liner Note Translation
Walt Vincent Producer, Engineer
Bill Kannengiser Guitar Arrangements
Kenneth Shiffrin Executive Producer
Les Cooper Engineer
Clay Williams Cover Development
Bill Smith Engineer
Chuck Bennett Cover Development
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Something Old, Something New

    Every now and then, along comes a piece of music that truly moves me. Even more seldom, along comes a piece of music that makes the musician in me sit up and take notice. Jonathan Elias' "The Prayer Cycle" has done both. "Prayer Cycle" is a choral symphony in nine movements, but it is also a piece of world music. The English Chamber Orchestra and Chorus is joined by a stellar array of vocal solo talents. Distinctive western voices such as Alanis Morissette, James Taylor, and Linda Ronstadt are joined by equally distinctive eastern vocalists like Israeli Ofra Haza, Tibetan Yungchen Lhamo, Pakistani Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Salif Keita of Mali. Sadly, Ali Khan and Haza (one of my favorite vocal talents) passed away shortly after the production of this recording, leaving this performance as one of their last collaborations. It is a fitting memorial to two great voices. Elias' music itself is a wonder. It is both ethereal and earthly, filled with slow ostinato and vibrant treble tones, and it fulfills its title by quietly guiding the ear and mind to a place of introspection, meditation, and revelation. The mix of languages lets us concentrate on the timbre of each voice, from Ronstadt's lyrical soprano to Morisette's anguished and near-tribal clarity, from Ali Khan's woody tenor to Yungchen's flute-like descant. The music is not thematic, but atmospheric, providing no melodies to hum after hearing the piece. Rather, each movement provides a distinct sphere of serenity in which we can slow down, listen, and enjoy the tug and play of the music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Second Purchase!

    I bought this when it first came out. Fell in love with the music and the artists offerings! Lost my job and the CD is misplaced. After 2 years, I am still longing to hear it again. Forgot title, remembered only the composer's first name. Entered first name on Google, and all the composers with the first name Jonathan came up. Remembered 'Elias' as soon as I saw it. Am ordering it again today! Even tho' it is classical - some of the tracks remind me of the wailing sound of the Moody Blues. I love the wailing. It goes deep into my soul. I'm so happy I found it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Accidental Purchase

    I found this CD while browsing through a used CD bin at a local music shop. For some reason I paused when I saw the cover, and I picked it up for a closer look. After seeing the artist grouping, I purchased it without hesitation. Probably the best 8 bucks I ever spent-- the music is absolutely lush and the lyrics powerful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing Grace - Revisited

    This is truly music for the soul. I originally heard a track on Alanis Morissette's website, and had to hear the rest of it. The whole CD is amazing, and touches one in a manner sorely lacking from most music these days regardless of artist. This ranks with Enya, Clannad and other musicians/groups/compilations as something both soulful and heartfelt. Especially with the events of the past few months in NY, PA and DC, one cannot help but feel for ths loss, and for those who will continue to die for man's pride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    universal

    it was stunning. just listening to it for the first time left me shaking inside in total awe. brought me down to my knees and praying along. lovely -- no matter what religion you have

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews