Search - Anonymous 4, Gregorian Chant, St. Godrich :: Legends of St. Nicholas

Legends of St. Nicholas
Anonymous 4, Gregorian Chant, St. Godrich
Legends of St. Nicholas
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1

If you're feeling jaded at the prospect of the usual holiday fare, Anonymous 4 has a truly sublime musical treat in store with their latest release. The contemporary world has turned Santa Claus into an icon of consumeris...  more »

     
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Amazon.com
If you're feeling jaded at the prospect of the usual holiday fare, Anonymous 4 has a truly sublime musical treat in store with their latest release. The contemporary world has turned Santa Claus into an icon of consumerist mania, but the historical figure from whom he ultimately derives was a uniquely inspiring religious figure to medieval Europeans. Anonymous 4 has culled together music from the liturgy of the hours and other sources originally produced to celebrate the legends associated with the fourth-century St. Nicholas, who was considered the patron of sailors, unmarried women, Russia, and--ironically--merchants. As with their earlier Christmas celebration, On Yoolis Night, the quartet ethereally blends their seamless, unaccompanied vocals in this collection of chants, hymns, and readings recounting the saint's life and miracles on behalf of those in need. In addition to Latin settings, the program includes one of the oldest known English-language hymns ("Sainte nicholaes," by a contemporary of Hildegard) and a number of verse-refrain pieces thought to inspire dancing in church. Most of the musical material involves simple unilinear trails of chant, which the ensemble spins out with their trademark unanimous purity of tone. Elsewhere, as in the spiraling eddies of "Novus presul prodiit," their suave harmonies glint like a sudden shaft of light through stained glass. And it is all captured in a warm, ambient church acoustic that is balm for modern ears. --Thomas May

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CD Reviews

Anonymous 4 did for music what Jones did for legend
M. J. Smith | Seattle, WA USA | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is a wonderful (technical and dense) book entitled Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bari, and Manhattan: Biography of a Legend by Charles W. Jones which traces the history of the legend of St. Nicholas. Anonymous 4 has put together a splendid cd which illustrates in song parts of the legend; the notes include several pictures illustrating the legends.The best known of these is Bishop Nicholas providing the dowries for the three daughters of a righteous man unable to paid the dowries - on the cd a reading "A worshipfull man hadde thre doughtres virgin". Lesser known are the birth stories - already fasting on Wednesday's and Friday's at birth; Intonent hodie on the cd.As usual the Anonymous 4 provide a splendid performance of the chant and polyphony. The cd is well considered in providing variety - the interspersing of readings it particularly effective in this collection.Highly recommended as an antidote to Santa-Clausitis, the dread overdose of the Christmas season."
Dream becomes flesh when i hear them.
abraham aziz lorensozo | Israel | 05/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I often make collections of early music that combine vocal and instrumental peaces that gives the ultimate pleasure for my ears. like time has stoped for a second... i feel like im diving into a world of total beauty when i hear those 4 angels "chanting" if there is heaven then "anonymous 4" are there for the soundtrack my wish is that someone will convis them to make an album with some instruments added like harp and other autenthic tools(hi hi). in short buy this disk its a treasure!!!(and its one of their best ones too.)"
Another Superb Album
E. A.B Phelps | Tallahassee, Florida | 04/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yet another achingly beautiful cd from these four wonderful ladies. I got it as a Christmas present, and it was one of my favorites. I've been a fan of theirs since English Ladymass, the first one, and they just keep getting better! If you love beautiful music, want to get a sense of what medieval people got to listen to, or just want to hear something that transports you far away from your everyday stress, buy this! Or any one of their other cds! I think they've got 3 Christmas cds out now, and they are a welcome change of pace at the holidays."