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This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it is a beautiful piece of music, and much more interesting if you are learning it in your choral society! A wonderful, clear recording. This piece was written for the choir on this CD. Read Lauridsen's biography. It's fascinating.
Lux Aeterna is the kind of music that comes right through me: it's just so beautiful that I get tears in my eyes when I listen to it. This is the music that accompanies you when you're grieving after the passing of a person dear to your heart. A wonderful choral blend of classical music with more modern tones. I'd love to find a choir to sing that piece with. The rest of the CD is also beautifully sung.
A wonderful musical experience from a master composer, Morten Lauridsen, along with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. They make a great musical team. Choral music is the new underground music. More people should expose themselves to this musical form at least once and this would be the ideal album to listen too to have a good spiritual, musical experience.
Light shines through every note. Thank you. I’m listening to it almost every day in these quarantine days to quiet my heart and encourage my soul. Update : when this posted a few minutes ago it said “ bite” instead of “ note.” Autocorrect at its best. Apparently the people who approve posts thought it was ok. Sound bite maybe? Anyway, it’s beautiful. Though beloved by many, it was unfamiliar to me until the Wheaton College choirs ( Wheaton Il) sang it in February and the composer came to spend time with the choirs while they worked on final preparations. Because if that, I ordered this CD. What a privilege to hear this music again and again.
For me at least, Morten Lauridsen is our greatest living American choral composer, perhaps of all time (even though he looks strangely like the Unabomber). I first became familiar with his music when I heard his magnificent O Magnum Mysterium on the album Peace by another group. I even chose it to play before my wedding five years ago. On the present disc we have Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna, Les Chansons des Roses, Ave Maria, Mid-Winter Songs, and O Magnum Mysterium performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia Orchestra directed by Paul Salamunovich. The recording was made in 1997 and 1998.
Lux Aeterna begins with a stunning Introitus. The Veni, Sancte Spiritus is almost as beautiful. The Agnus Dei and especially Lux Aeterna are astonishingly sublime. Lauridsen's ability to harmonize parts, shape melodic lines. blend voices with instruments, and understand the drama unique to choral music guarantees that he will never write a disappointing work. His are the most beautiful dissonances I have ever heard in over six decades of listening to classical music. Even more, his ability to draw emotional responses is the finest of any American composer ever.
Les Chansons des Roses is a secular work of sublime beauty. It is characterized by more lyrics than you can imagine in several of the movements. The word sounds (it's in French) seem to play off of each other and become an element in the work greater than their meanings alone. The final movement, Dirait-on, is one of the most beautifully innocent melodies ever composed. And I am not exaggerating. Lauridsen accompanies the Chorale. The Ave Maria is almost spellbinding. The music itself seems to be reaching to and talking with God. It is an emotionally-intense sacred piece that ends with traces of the harmony common in O Magnum Mysterium.
Mid-Winter Songs have an altogether different character than the previous works, beginning abrasively. This is a troubled, stormy beginning and the mood persists unti the Intercession in Late October appears. Mid-Winter Songs is an excellent composition but of cold winter beauty. O Magnum Mysterium, in contrast, in one of the most sublime choral piece I have ever heard. The album is worth any purchase price for this and Dirait-On from Les Chansons des Roses. That an entire choral piece could have been written with so many dissonances and be so sublime has always staggered my imagination. You must hear this piece. For that matter, you need to hear the entire album. With its 20-bit recording techniques, it is one of the four most precious choral albums I own. I give it MY ABSOLUTELY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!!!!