Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Evgeni KOSTITSYN (contemporary)
American Requiem I
Islam is Peace
Islam is Peace

Large Symphony Orchestra/unidentified conductor(not shown on sleeve – could it be the composer?).
recorded (no details on sleeve about location or dates).
CDK 015

This is one of the least interesting recordings it has been my misfortune to review. On the surface, the idea seems first class – an attempt to write a Requiem, which attempts to bring together Christianity, Islam and parochial America. The titles of the various sections of the disc are as follows:

1. Requiem (Vision by President Lincoln).

2. Sanctus (Islam is Peace) – excerpts from the Arab Committee.

3. Benedictus (Osama, Merry Ramadam)

4. Dies Irae (When Liberty Goes Out of a Place and Minute of Silence)

5. Numbers (Chapter Six).

We then have three further tracks, presumably in case you did not hear them first time around, excerpts from Requiem 1 – Osama, Islam is Peace and Sanctus.

On the face of it, not a bad idea to attempt to bring together these disparate parts into a unified whole especially as the vocal performances are so good. What for me totally negates the exercise is the utter banality of some of the musical material. It is all very well making it populist, so that it can be easily assimilated, but this is just utterly banal, and the record company should have applied the judgement that this just isn’t good enough for general release.

Within this work there are smatterings of Orthodox flavoured chants (not too bad, except it degenerates into high pitched shouting), followed by poor trumpet playing with poor jazz band accompaniment very closely miked so it becomes oppressive … need I go on?

This is a great shame as the various soloists acquit themselves well, with strong, not unpleasant voices, with minimal obtrusive vibrato. The orchestra (nameless as is the conductor) also don’t do a bad job either). This only adds to the disappointment I had in reviewing this issue.

I shall not be listening to this again – twice was more than enough!

John Phillips

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