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Adiemus IV: Eternal Knot

An album by Adiemus and Karl Jenkins

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New Age with an eclectic blend of styles from across the musical map!

  • Apr 5, 2011
Some earlier reviewers would suggest that this isn't up to the standards that Karl Jenkins achieved in some of his earlier output. I couldn't respond to that because this is the first Adiemus recording I've ever heard and, frankly, I loved every second of it. I'm thrilled that other listeners think the earlier recordings are better because I've now got something to really look forward to.

For me this recording evinced a blend of emotional responses - quiet contemplation, relaxation, toe-tapping, a satisfied smile, that whole body moving response to a driving rhythm and a joyful sense of participation in an all-encompassing musical experience. The recording is an eclectic blend of styles that cover an enormous range - Celtic rhythms and fiddling tunes in the style of River Dance; hard rock and steady beats that took a page out of Enigma's play book; a beautifully blended chorus of female voices that might well have included Enya, Diane Arkenstone and Loreena McKennitt; orchestral backgrounds that ranged from lush full orchestral accompaniment to pizzicato violin arpeggios that would have done Tchaikovsky proud in The Nutcracker; simple but effective, pleasing blues style acoustic guitar; full-bodied high speed choral sections that might have been penned by Karl Orff as part of the unforgettable Carmina Burana; and, a very effective seven beat piece that reminded me of the rhythms of Dave Brubeck's Unsquare Square Dance or Moe Kaufman's Swingin' Shepherd Blues!

Well, to each their own I suppose. It's certainly possible that this CD suffered by comparison to the quality of his other works but as a first time listener, I've got nothing but praise for it!

Paul Weiss

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April 05, 2011
Neither have I heard it, thanks for the tip!
April 05, 2011
All 4 of Karl Jenkins' efforts were great. I'm sure you'd enjoy them if you like new age music.
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Paul Weiss ()
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   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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When British composer Karl Jenkins launched Adiemus with theSongs of Sanctuaryalbum in 1995, it was a fresh and exhilarating take on global music. Jenkins used choral vocals similar toEnya's, but spiked with a language of the imagination (merging African and Latin phonemes) and stoked by Jenkins's pastoral arrangements. Never wholly original--Lisa Gerrardand Elizabeth Fraser had already worked out fantasy vocal designs and the 1960s African mass "Missa Luba" effected a similar choral/African/Latin sound--Adiemus nevertheless found a new take on English composers' penchant for choirs. However, after six years and four albums mining this vein, Jenkins's sound rings more hollow with each recording.

The Eternal Knot is drawn from Jenkins's soundtrack to a BBC documentary called The Celts. You might recall that Enya also evolved her sound in the late 1980s doing a soundtrack for another documentary called The Celts. Taking his titles from the Celtic legends that populate the documentary, Jenkins orchestrates cinematic landscapes full of swelling crescendos and dynamic cadences. Less oppressive than the heavily orchestrated Adiemus II, The Eternal Knot still wears thin. He casts Miriam Stockley's voice into a boys-choir register, turning her staccato phonemes into incessant prattle. But when she's in her warmer middle range, her layered voice is enveloping. Despite the theme of the album, Celtic music is only used as an occasional touchstone, with uilleann piper Davy Spillane, a ...

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Label: Higher Octave
Release Date: January 23, 2001

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