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Divine Rites

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Album Review

Bulgarian-born, Munich-based composer Vladimir Ivanoff is a composer employing electronic instruments to create a mostly neutral or subtly enhancing background to the sounds of antique tradition. On Divine Rites, Ivanoff turns to 11th and 12th century chants of the Jewish and Muslim religions from the Middle East. The focus is on the seeds of medieval Christian women's chants. Liturgical words dating back to the 4th and 5th century A.D. were adapted to fit the growing needs of a rising church. Ivanoff's contributions are often overwhelmed (as may indeed have been his desire) by the often multi-tracked beauty of Fadia El-Hage's voice as if this were a magnificent a cappella work later ornamented by Ivanoff. This Lebanese woman, a classically trained Arabic vocalist, is an immensely gifted and expressive contralto. Her deep, powerful voice is also imbued with a transcendent spirituality when intoning these potent works. Atmospheric tone coloring is the backdrop to Fadia's verses, while near harshly strummed electric guitars fill in the space left by the absence of her voice. Sampling, synthesizers, and electric guitars are the instrumentation employed here on a recording of ancient beauty that comes through best on the most spare and unadulterated exhibitions of the active vibrato of opera-trained Fadia El-Hage.

Customer Reviews


Her voice, the music, very relaxing, if you want to relax, and just let go of the day, I would buy this as well as her other music. Simply lovely

Catholicism/Eastern Christianity at it's best

Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, and Hebrew are the lost liturgical languages of Catholicism/Eastern Christianity. This album gives an homage to (at least) one of them (Arabic) and exhibits the true diversity and cultural fusion of religion with society expressed by Catholicism and Orthodoxy in the East.

Divine Rites, Vox
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Customer Ratings