Search - Jonathan Elias, Lawrence Schwartz, English Chamber Orchestra :: The Prayer Cycle

The Prayer Cycle
Jonathan Elias, Lawrence Schwartz, English Chamber Orchestra
The Prayer Cycle
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classical, Christian
 
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

It is with primitive urgency and lustrous clarity rising like flickering embers from a fire that Jonathan Elias's ambitious Prayer Cycle is given voice. Woven together like knotty wool, silk, and fine strands of silvery wa...  more »

      

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It is with primitive urgency and lustrous clarity rising like flickering embers from a fire that Jonathan Elias's ambitious Prayer Cycle is given voice. Woven together like knotty wool, silk, and fine strands of silvery water, the disparate yet complementary voices of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Alanis Morissette, Yungchen Lhamo, Ofra Haza, the American Boychoir, Salif Keita, and others intertwine in multiple languages with the superb English Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. Prayers of supplication, gratitude, and longing build in layers, one on top of and 'twixt and 'tween the other, as movements titled "Mercy," "Grace," "Innocence," "Compassion," and the like. Remarkably, Elias's Prayer Cycle eloquently captures the ecstasy, pain, grief, and sublime beauty of humanity--as he simply and poignantly writes in his liner notes, "The world we live in is both joyous and cruel." --Paige La Grone

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Member CD Reviews

Belinda M. (thomsbebe) from MANSFIELD, OH
Reviewed on 6/20/2012...
This Cd was Awesome!!!
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
LeeAnn T. (makaua) from PORTLAND, OR
Reviewed on 2/15/2010...
Excellent compilation including well recognized names in the music circle.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

If this does not move you, then you have no soul.
STEVEN F. SCHARFF | Henderson, NV United States | 05/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first heard this as part of a radio program on the local NPR station, and was shamed into silence. The diversity of collaborators in this work (including US folk-rocker James Taylor, Yemenite singer Ofra Haza, Canadian rocker Alanis Morissette, the late Musrat Fateh Ali Khan [one of his last performances], the American Boychoir w/Devin Provenzano, the English Chamber Orch. & Chorus) shows the great number of fields that composer Jonathan Elias was drawing from.The song "Hope" will lift your spirit, while James Taylor's melancholy vocals on "Grace" will move you to tears (At first, I thought he would be horribly out of place, but his voice fits the work perfectly!). The lyrics run all over the map in language. There are lyrics in Urdu, Mali, Latin, English, French, Italian, Hungarian, Dwala, Tibetan, German, Spanish and Hebrew, but they are listed in English in the CD booklet. I gather this is Elias' way of uniting the world. The lyrics are prayers, laments and pleas for forgiveness. The themes are loneliness, war and regret.The style of music is definately classical, but does not limit itself to European roots. There are distinct influences from Africa, the Orient, and even various tribal nuances. For someone who was raised on European Classical music, it may be a shock to the system, but it works, and it is wonderful!I forsee this recording to be one of the hand-picked few that future generations will draw upon for inspiration. As we as a people on this planet become closer, our world seems to become smaller. Our hopes, dreams, and cultures begin to overlap. This recording is proof that, when skillfully co-ordinated they can create incredible harmony. Highly, highly reccomended."
Little Known Treasure
LizGraphix | Los Angeles, CA | 05/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been a fan of Jonathan Elias' "Requiem for the America's" (now out of print) since 1991. After that, I heard nothing further from or about him. I was surfing for CDs from Alanis Morisette and "The Prayer Cycle" came up. Being curious and noting that it was a Jonathan Elias project, I played a few of the samples. Unbelievable!!! Much like Adiemus' "Songs of Sanctuary" much of the singing is wordless. Instead, it is vocal interpretations of the poems written by Elias and performed to his musical compositions. No artist is on this album by chance. Clearly he had a vision and knew who to invite. What occurs then, is a wave of vocal emotion that is unarguably beautiful.And here is what I found to be the ultimate hidden treasure in this CD ... the poems themselves.I remembered these words from Requiem, " ... In our innocence, the world is young and strong / Beating at the center of perfection is the heart of man ... " and in reading the poems he wrote for "The Prayer Cycle" came to realize that his view of the world had changed a great deal. For track 6: INNOCENCE he writes, " ... Under a sky of innocence, we are now all dying, in a slow black rain. Was it failure of Man and Angels? Was it a failure of love? ... "If you're looking for beautiful music and depths of meaning, then I highly recommend this for your collection."