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Irresistible beauty

Anonymous 4,
with BASIL RAMSEY


harmonia mundi    HMU 907224

1000: A MASS FOR THE END OF TIME (c) 2000 harmonia mundi usa

 

The praise showered on the quality of singing heard from the Anonymous 4 over ten or so CDs [listen - The Legends of St Nicholas, track 24, 1:20-1:50] renders the critic virtually speechless from a chronic shortage of superlatives for the latest recording.

Here we have music for the feast of the Ascension, all scrupulously edited with additions carefully formed from an understanding of the practices of the time. It has been recorded in a monastic chapel in California to lend resonance to the singing and to soak up the atmosphere [listen - track 9, 0:00-1:00].

Such popularity as these records have clearly indicates the refreshing quality found in the 'purity' of plainsong, the clarity and sweetness of the voices, and the halo of reverberation that imparts warmth to the ensemble. One is uncomfortably aware that all this 'stage management' fundamentally serves a financial purpose, but we as listeners are entranced by a genuine and irresistible beauty.

 

 

Copyright © 8 November 2000 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907224

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BASIL RAMSEY'S REVIEW OF 'LEGENDS OF ST NICHOLAS'

 

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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews