Sacred Classics

Various Artists

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Sacred Classics Review

by Blair Sanderson

Sacred Classics is a two-disc compilation of favorite religious arias and choruses selected from EMI's extensive catalog of fine performances. Covering a wide range of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic works, this collection provides representative excerpts from major oratorios, cantatas, and masses, though the arrangement of pieces is somewhat arbitrary. The casual listener may be puzzled by this set's inconsistency of mood. The triumph of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus and Vivaldi's In excelsis Deo is contrasted with the serenity of Fauré's Pie Jesu and Bach's Jesu bleibet meine Freude, and such alternation of tone may be acceptable. However, the stark difference between the subdued Bach/Gounod Ave Maria and the boldness of Handel's Zadok the Priest is rather jarring, and similar mismatches occur elsewhere to startle the unsuspecting. Other listeners may take exception to the program, which relies too heavily on Bach and excludes other great composers of sacred music. Surely, room could have been provided for Monteverdi, Beethoven, Bruckner, and Rachmaninov. Even so, this collection is best viewed as an introductory sampler and is recommended for novices. The performances date from 1957 to 1984, and the sound quality of these ADD tracks is a little variable but not enough to pose a difficulty on most sound systems.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56
1 04:00 SpotifyAmazon
2 06:42 SpotifyAmazon
Requiem, for 2 solo voices, chorus, organ & orchestra, Op. 48
3 03:23 SpotifyAmazon
Gloria, for 3 solo voices, chorus, trumpet, oboe, violin (ad lib), 2 violas, 2 cellos, strings & continuo in D major, RV 589
4 02:28 SpotifyAmazon
Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174)
5 03:36 SpotifyAmazon
6 03:16 SpotifyAmazon
7 06:12 SpotifyAmazon
Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45
8 05:48 SpotifyAmazon
The Dream of Gerontius, oratorio for soloists, chorus & orchestra, Op. 38
9 05:41 SpotifyAmazon
Mass in B minor, for soloists, chorus & orchestra, BWV 232 (BC E1)
10 06:37 SpotifyAmazon
Stabat mater for 2 sopranos, tenor, bass, chorus & orchestra
11 07:01 SpotifyAmazon
Requiem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, K. 626
12 03:26 SpotifyAmazon
13 06:45 SpotifyAmazon
Requiem Mass, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (Manzoni Requiem)
14 09:31 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 04:43 SpotifyAmazon
Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7)
2 02:13 SpotifyAmazon
L' Enfance du Christ, oratorio for soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, 3 basses, chorus & orchetsra ("trilogie sacrée") H. 130 (Op. 25)
3 09:21 SpotifyAmazon
Requiem, for 2 solo voices, chorus, organ & orchestra, Op. 48
4 05:25 SpotifyAmazon
5 03:30 SpotifyAmazon
Die Schöpfung (The Creation), oratorio, H. 21/2
6 04:26 SpotifyAmazon
Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons), oratorio, H. 21/3
7 03:52 SpotifyAmazon
Elijah (Elias), oratorio, Op. 70
8 03:48 SpotifyAmazon
9 03:22 SpotifyAmazon
10 12:59 SpotifyAmazon
St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b)
11 07:33 SpotifyAmazon
12 02:31 SpotifyAmazon
St. John Passion (Johannespassion), BWV 245 (BC D2)
13 04:01 SpotifyAmazon
14 02:15 SpotifyAmazon
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