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John Zorn


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John Zorn Sacred Visions album cover
1.95 | 2 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Holy Visions (23:25)
2. the Remedy of Fortune (15:32)

Total Time 38:57

Line-up / Musicians

on The Holy Visions:
- Jane Sheldon / voice
- Sarah Brailey / voice
- Eliza Bagg / voice
- Rachel Calloway / voice
- Kirsten Solleck / voice

on The Remedy of Fortune:
- Chris Otto / violin
- Ari Streisfeld / violin
- John Pickford Richards / viola
- Kevin McFarland / cello

Releases information

The Holy Visions recorded and mixed Sept. 30, 2015
The Remedy of Fortune recorded and mixed Jan. 26, 2016

All music composed by John Zorn
Latin and English libretto by John Zorn

Thanks to Neu!mann for the addition
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JOHN ZORN Sacred Visions ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (50%)
Poor. Only for completionists (50%)

JOHN ZORN Sacred Visions reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars John Zorn followed one of his most accessible albums ("The Mockingbird") with one of his more difficult efforts, juxtaposing a pair of similar but contrary pieces of music too short for separate release. One is entirely vocal, the other is completely instrumental; both are challenging modern-classical studies forced to share the same esoteric package.

First up is "The Holy Visions" (2013), a 23-minute canticle described in the album notes as "a mystery play in eleven strophes concerning the life, work and philosophy of Hildegard von Bingen". A little homework might be needed here: von Bingen was a 12th century Benedictine sibyl, musically portrayed by Zorn through a gorgeous (female) a capella quintet, transported from some distant medieval cloister to a modern art gallery. Soaring harmonies alternate with abstract, more dissonant movements in a fascinating but sometimes too academic manner: a short written test will follow the performance.

Next is "The Remedy of Fortune" (2014), presenting a string quartet arrangement of (again, from the CD booklet) "six tableaux depicting the changing fortunes of romantic love: pain, devotion, hope, beauty, longing, ecstasy, intoxication, frustration, anger, despair" ...all familiar reactions to the music of John Zorn, even from established fans. The music here isn't exactly atonal, but the tuning is definitely irregular, in a suitably avant-garde sort of way.

When Zorn is in a scholarly mood his music can often sound cold and sterile, at least on disc: trigonometry functions played on strings, easy to admire from a distance but hard to wrap your ears around. Each of these two orphaned selections is short enough to not tax the well-developed patience of Progheads used to hour-long concept albums, but outside of a museum recital the album will likely find a home only in the most refined music collections.

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