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VA - Sacred Music (30CD, box set) - 2009, 320 kbps

12-11-2015, 16:34
Music | Classical Music | Discography

Title: Sacred Music (30CD, box set)
Year Of Release: 2009
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Genre: Classical, Renaissance, Baroque, Religious
Quality: MP3
Total Time: 34:59:53
Total Size: 4,76Gb

VA - Sacred Music (30CD, box set) - 2009, 320 kbps

re-up 2014-01-20

A quintessential selection of the best western sacred music through the ages and continents that will please one and all, from an inquisitive novice to the discerning connoisseur. 90 complete works of essential repertoire [on 30 CDs]. Harmonia Mundi offers you the finest selection of 111 cornerstone works of western sacred music. From the earliest Christian chants to Bernstein's mass, from the gems of the Baroque to beloved Lutheran hymns, this vital collection has been created by today's finest artists at the peak of their talents. Harmonia Mundi is offering it in this extremely Limited Box Edition.
Harmonia mundi has decided to offer a generous selection of its considerable archives of sacred music. I can think of no other company as qualified to do so, as they have consistently been at the forefront of the sacred music field for many years now, and their catalog contains some of the finest examples of the genre across hundreds of years spanning many different types of music. If you are a novice to this field you will find no better starter set than this one, and it should find a home on the shelves of many music schools and conservatories worldwide. If you are like me and already quite “into” this music you will probably have a lot of these releases already. Even so, there is much here to make up for even a generous amount of duplication. It is not a perfectly conceived set, and I will speak about a few things, but overall it is quite simply a superb collection, many of the recordings at the top of their respective fields.
The first discs start with chant of all sorts, and the usual suspects are performing them, which means as good as it gets. The Hilliards, Anonymous 4, Ensemble Organum, even a surprisingly apt and well-presented group from Alfred Deller and his consort sounds acceptable to more up-to-date ears. I would, however, have appreciated some Byzantine chant, especially as the chants given - like the Ambrosian and Old Roman - have nearly undisputed Byzantine connections. Also, the token disc given to Orthodox chant gives us only fairly modern Russian Orthodox music. I know for a fact that the HM vaults are full of Byzantine music, and a more comprehensive listing would have been more useful. Also, we are given only the “vespers” portion of the Rachmaninoff Vigil service, and this particular performance happens to be one of the best available with the Estonian choir and Paul Hillier giving a reading for the ages. To get a little less than half of this performance is unconscionable. This all seems like an afterthought, and not worthy of HM’s usually considered approach.
The progression of early polyphony up through the standard masterpieces of the Renaissance is all presented in wondrously effective readings that are as good as any on the market. The generous selection of Lamentations as found in the Tenebrae services is particularly gratifying, even though in several instances we get only one section. This was felt most severely in the Lamentations of Krenek, a work I did not known until now, but found especially haunting and affecting, despite its rather severe harmonic language.
Herreweghe’s Monteverdi Vespers is a clean and rather scrubbed performance, certainly not as energetic and exulting Gardiner or Parrott, but cleanly and clearly done, as almost everything by this conductor is. Cain, an oratorio by Alessandro Scarlatti, makes a welcome appearance in Rene Jacob’s demonstrative reading. Handel’s Messiah used to be one of my favorites, but has since lost ground; after Parrott’s recent release on Coro all others have a lot of climbing to do. But Herreweghe’s Paulus is an excellent traversal of this popular and populist score. Rene Jacobs gives a terrific reading of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, though his vision (and singing) of the Pergolesi Stabat Mater leaves me somewhat tepid in spirit. Marcus Creed enjoys great support in his Rossini Stabat Mater, while again Herreweghe gives top notch and spirited performances of the Mozart and Faure Requiems, the Brahms German Requiem and the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, maybe the best period instrument performance of this seminal work. I do think I need to question the inclusion of Bernstein’s Mass—while I dearly love the piece, it is not technically a real mass nor is it specifically a piece of religious music, but rather a theatrical commentary on aspects of religion and belief. Nagano’s version, originally on SACD, is given straight here, and though the singing and orchestral playing are top drawer—much better than the composer has—the spirit and enthusiasm is lacking, Nagano’s understanding of the piece is somewhat incomplete, and the late Jerry Hadley’s celebrant extraordinarily wimpy. But if you don’t know the work it certainly might lead you to the composer’s own recording, or to the new reading by Alsop on Naxos.There are so many good things here it is almost impossible to cover them, and if I leave some pieces out you may assume that is because they are easily fit into the plus category. A survey box to be sure, but many, many others will enjoy this for its extraordinary consistency across genres and ensembles, the uniformly terrific sound, and the breadth of the coverage.
-- Steven Ritter

CD 01. Chant Of The Early Christians (70:25)
CD 02. A Millennium Of Gregorian Chant (76:56)
CD 03. The Birth Of Polyphony (67:19)
CD 04. The Polyphonic Motet From Ars Antiqua To The Renaissance (65:59)
CD 05. Polyphonic Mass From The Middle Ages To The Renaissance (1) (69:38)
CD 06. Polyphonic Mass From The Middle Ages To The Renaissance (2) (70:00)
CD 07. The French "Petit Motet" And "Grand Motet" (79:22)
CD 08. Lamentations & Tenebrae (77:31)
CD 09. Baroque Vespers (1) (71:02)
CD 10. Baroque Vespers (2) (73:56)
CD 11. Great Oratorios (1) (65:58)
CD 12. Great Oratorios (2) (72:26)
CD 13. Great Oratorios (3) (77:00)
CD 14. Great Oratorios (4) (65:40)
CD 15. Great Oratorios (5) (71:51)
CD 16. Great Oratorios (6) (57:04)
CD 17. Music For The Reformed Church (1) (79:46)
CD 18. Music For The Reformed Church (2) (77:41)
CD 19. Music For The Reformed Church (3) (74:42)
CD 20. Stabat Mater (1) (79:44)
CD 21. Stabat Mater (2) (76:01)
CD 22. Requiem (1) (53:57)
CD 23. Requiem (2) (66:13)
CD 24. Requiem (3) (73:12)
CD 25. 19th And 20th Centuries - Les Temps Modernes (1) (77:23)
CD 26. 19th And 20th Centuries - Les Temps Modernes (2) (78:23)
CD 27. 19th And 20th Centuries - Les Temps Modernes (3) (71:30)
CD 28. 19th And 20th Centuries - Les Temps Modernes (4) (79:42)
CD 29. Orthodox Church Music (79:54)
CD 30. PDF Sung Texts


VA - Sacred Music (30CD, box set) - 2009, 320 kbps

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VA - Sacred Music (30CD, box set) - 2009, 320 kbps

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errefh   User offline   27 January 2014 17:23

Great post, thank you, but track 1 cd 10 is corrupted. Bye

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Cineplanet   User offline   18 March 2015 06:18

6th part of rapidgator not found 8 Fix it and re-upload please!

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