•     Anonymous 4: Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Johanna Rose, Ruth Cunningham
  •     Price:     $17
  •     Audio CD (September 1, 1993)
  •     Number of Discs: 1
  •     Label: Harmonia Mundi France.
  •     ASIN: B0000007DY

The songs are from the 5th to the 15th centuries. They are sung in both Latin and in Old English “Nowel: Owt of your slepe aryse” (yes, that is the correct spelling in Old English). While the cost of the CD is relatively expensive at $17, there are 23 songs for 68 minutes, so I would consider this a good value for the money. While the recording may be close to 20 years old, it was done digitally so it is flawless. The songs are of two main styles: plainchant and polyphonic. In plainchant the voices all sing the same notes, in polyphonic, they sing different notes.

The music is four women’s voices, nothing else. They seam to be singing in a vary large, acoustically perfect medieval cathedral. I do not know how four human voices could sound better.  It is important to note that these are not just Christmas songs, this recording is a 1000 years of history. It is a small sample of how people have praised Jesus with their voices over a period from 1500 to 500 years ago. There is a powerful spirituality present in these songs. These songs are not just for listening to, but also for praying/meditating.

For more information, including the song texts, translations and to listen to samples, please see the group’s web site: http://www.anonymous4.com/discography.php?4

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