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O Magnum Mysterium / Robert Shaw Festival & Chamber Singers


Release Date: 08/22/2000 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80531   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Thomas TallisTomás Luis de VictoriaMorten LauridsenFrancis Poulenc,   ... 
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival SingersRobert Shaw Chamber Singers
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here is an interesting compilation from the Robert Shaw section of Telarc's treasured and illustrious master tape archives. Most of the performances are by Shaw's famed Festival Singers--an ensemble made up of participants in the conductor's summer festivals in the early to mid-1990s. Four of the tracks, recorded in France in 1989, have never been released before. Of these, Thomas Tallis' If ye love me gets a bit grander treatment--huge choral sound, lots of resonance, drawn-out tempo--than this simple little anthem requires. Make no mistake, it's very beautiful--no one could fault Shaw on his love of and ability to engender gorgeous choral sound--but it's just a little overwrought in this context. Likewise for the other Tallis anthem, A Read more New Commandment. Indeed, Shaw seems to be performing these pieces not for the music alone but to revel in the sheer beauty of his voices, this conductor's dream of an ensemble--and we can take some sheer pleasure of our own in this as we listen. After all, for once isn't it nice to just wallow in Victoria's hair-raisingly lovely lines and tear-inducing harmonies (if you've sung these things you know what I mean) and let style take care of itself? Heaven knows these singers can sing a line that lasts until tomorrow without a breath, so why not ask them to do it? Nevertheless, we wouldn't want to hear a whole concert of this--everything the same tempo, every line the same legato, the same rise and fall, even the alleluia section of Victoria's O magnum mysterium. But it's fun for a while.


The rest of the program consists of previously released material, including outstanding performances of Morton Lauridsen's own setting of O magnum mysterium, another of the same text by Poulenc, a track from Shaw's deservedly acclaimed Rachmaninov Vespers recording (get it if you don't have it), a Schubert song for male chorus, three Shaw/Parker hymn arrangements, and Górecki's Totus "totally-in-love-with-lush-harmonies" Tuus. Some listeners may not be in love with the resonant acoustic that tends to obscure the inner workings of this predominantly full-textured music, but it's that rich, all-around-the-room choral sound that Shaw fans love. And they'll get plenty of it here. [7/30/2000]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
If ye love me by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
A new commandment by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Tenebrae Responsories - O vos omnes by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
O magnum mysterium by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5.
O magnum mysterium by Morten Lauridsen
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chamber Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Woodruff Center, Atlanta 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6.
Motets (4) pour le temps de Noël: no 1, O magnum mysterium by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951-1952; France 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1989 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7.
Vespers, Op. 37: no 8, Praise the name of the Lord by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915; Russia 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
8.
Der Entfernten, D 331 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chamber Singers
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1992 
Venue:  Spivey Hall, Clayton College, Georgia 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Wondrous love by Traditional
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Date of Recording: 08/1992 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Amazing Grace by Traditional
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Date of Recording: 08/1992 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Sometimes I feel like a moanin' dove by Traditional
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Date of Recording: 08/1992 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
12.
Totus tuus, Op. 60 by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Conductor:  Robert Shaw
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; Poland 
Date of Recording: 07/1994 
Venue:  St. Peter's Church, Gramat, France 
Length: 11 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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