Absolute Joy
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Modern music for fans of baroque music!

About Absolute Joy Anthony Newman writes: Absolute Joy was written over a period of ten months in 1996-97, using texts of the Jewish Bible, the New Testament, and the Book of Enoch. Conceived in three parts, the dramatic structure comprises angelic accounts in the Torah, texts dealing with the fallen angels, and messengers of the Most High in the Christian Bible. It also includes quotations from the English poets John Milton, William Shakespeare, and William Blake. The work was premiered at the Presbyterian Church, Mount Kisco, New York, as part of Mary Jane Newman's Candlelight Concert Series, on April 26, 1998 - with the same forces as appear on this recording. I have felt the presence of the Divine at crucial times in my life, in human form and in more undefinable phenomena, what some might term angelic. I wanted to honor these great beings of light and power with Absolute Joy . I am also humbly dedicating this work to the memory of an angel of compassion, Mother Teresa of Calcutta." For three decades, Anthony Newman has been in the public eye as one of the country's leading keyboard players, and as a prodigiously active composer, conductor and recording artist. Mary Jane Newman's many talents as conductor, harpsichord and Organ soloist are widely recognized in the U.S. and Europe. She made her New York debut in 1986 in Lincoln Center's prestigious Great Performers series at Alice Tully Hall.
Anthony Newman, composer
Absolute Joy
Musica Antiqua New York, Mary Jane Newman, conductor

"Anthony Newman, the much-recorded Organist and harpsichordist, composed this eclectic salute to angels. His oratorio draws from such diverse textual sources as the Jewish Bible, the New Testament, Augustine, Milton, Shakespeare, John Donne, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Newman's style of composition is also on the move a lot. The Overture's perky little theme and bouncy string figures establish an air of child-like innocence and wonder. Several movements are evocations of the baroque era. There's a lovely Bach-style Chorale in Part 9, for example, along with a grand Handelian chorus...If it sounds like I'm describing a bit of a hodge-podge, it's because I am. Newman is clearly at his best imitating the baroque idiom. (I just played that soprano Air on a G String aria again and it truly is lovely.)...The performance is very good." (American Record Guide)
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