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Anonymous 4

The female vocal quartet called Anonymous 4 is one of the most popular and respected small vocal groups specializing in early music. The group has attained the elusive combination of popularity and respect through its unique blend of creativity and scholarly/historical depth.

The name "Anonymous 4" comes from a scholarly convention for designating anonymous medieval writers and scribes with numbers; working with a particular manuscript by the scribe known as Anonymous 4, they found it an ideal name for their new quartet when they formed in 1986. Its purpose was to experiment with the sound of medieval music (both chant and polyphony) as sung by higher voices. Its original members included Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Johanna Marie Rose, and Ruth Cunningham. Jacqueline Horner replaced Cunningham in 1998, and in 2007, Cunningham returned, replacing Rose. The group's four members are singers with considerable beauty of tone, range, and flexibility.

Anonymous 4 is renowned for the depth of its scholarship. Hellauer does the primary music research, and when needed prepares the group's repertory by transcribing it into modern notation from original sources. Genensky is in charge of language research and the study of literary sources, and adapting readings for their concerts. The teamwork results in concerts that avoid presenting the music in a vacuum. Anonymous 4's programs are innovative and entertaining, relating the music to its time and milieu through narrative and poetry interwoven with the music. Sometimes they fill out groups of chants or fragmentary pieces of polyphony with music of their own composition in order to make convincing wholes, but the new music they create is done accurately enough to blend seamlessly with the medieval originals.

Beyond such historical considerations, the group's astonishingly beautiful and pure vocal blend has made it one of the leading acts in classical music recording. Despite being involved in what may seem a narrowly specialized academic area of music, they had sold about a million copies of their recordings on the Harmonia Mundi label by the turn of the 21st century. Among these are On Yoolis Night, a medieval Christmas album that won the prestigious French Diapason d'Or award. Their first disc, An English Ladymass, was CD Review's Classical Early Music Disc of the Year, and their fourth, The Lily and the Lamb, was Classic CD's Disc of the Year for 1996. Tower Music reported that the group's 11,000 Virgins, with music by Hildegard von Bingen, was one of the Top 100 Independent Label releases in 1997-1998. Other significant albums include Voices of Light, Richard Einhorn's contemporary oratorio-soundtrack to Carl Dreyer's classic 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc (1995). The group turned to early American religious traditions with its albums American Angels (2003) and Gloryland (2006).

Anonymous 4 took a break from full-time touring and recording after its 2003-2004 season, doing only a few special appearances and recordings, but in 2013 they began touring again, with a new album released in early 2014 (Marie et Marion) and a new project featuring music of the American Civil War period with Bruce Molsky. However, the return did not last long; the group announced its full retirement at the end of the 2015-2016 season. ~ Rovi Staff
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: American Angels: Songs Of Hope, Redemption, & Glory

1. Holy Manna

2. Abbeville

3. Wondrous Love

4. Sweet Hour Of Prayer

5. Jewett

6. Dunlap's Creek

7. New Britain

8. The Morning Trumpet

9. Resignation

10. Poland

11. Wayfaring Stranger

12. Sweet By And By

13. Blooming Vale

14. Idumea

15. Sweet Prospect

16. Shall We Gather At The River

17. Amanda

18. Invitation

19. Parting Hand

20. Angel Band

x

Track List: 1000: A Mass For The End Of Time / Anonymous 4

1. Judicii Signum, Processional Hymn: Processional Hymn: Judicii Signum

2. Quem Creditis Super Astra / Viri Galilei, Troped Introit: Troped Introit: Quem Creditis Super Astra/viri Galilei

3. Celestis Terrestrisque, Kyrie: Kyrie: Celestis Terrestrisque

4. Prudentia Prudentium, Gloria: Gloria: Prudentia Prudentium

5. Dominus In Sina: Alleluia I: Dominus In Sina

6. Ascendens Christus: Alleluia II: Ascendens Cristus

7. Salvator Mundi / Rex Omnipotens Die Hodierna, Sequence: Sequence With Prose: Salvator Mundi/rex Omnipotens Die Hodierna

8. Elevatus Est Rex Fortis / Viri Galilei, Troped Offertory: Troped Offertory: Elevatus Est Rex Fortis/viri Galilei

9. Ante Secula, Sanctus: Sanctus: Ante Secula

10. Omnipotens Eterne (Agnus Dei): Agnus Dei: Omnipotens Eterne

11. Corpus Quod Nunc / Psallite Domino, Troped Communion: Troped Communion: Corpus Quod Nunc/psallite Domino

12. Apocalypse 21:1-5, Lection: Lection: Apocalypse 21:1-5

13. Regnantem Sempiterna, Prose: Prose: Regnantem Sempiterna

14. Cives Celestis Patrie, Hymn: Hymn: Cives Celestis Patrie

x

Track List: Secret Voices: Chant & Polyphony From The Las Huelgas Codex, C.1300

1. Virgines Egregie: Virginies Egregie

2. Ave Maris Stella: Ave Maris Stella

3. Castrum Pudicicie / Virgo Viget Melius: Claustrum Pudicicie/virgo Viget

4. Fa Fa Mi Fa Mi Re: Fa Fa Mi/ut Re Mi

5. O Maria, Virgo Regia / Organica Cantica: O Maria Virgo/o Maria Maris Stella

6. Benedicamus Domino C*m Cantico: Benedicamus Domino: C*m Cantico

7. Salve Porta / Salve Salus / Salve Sancta Parens: Salve Porta/salve Salus/salve Sancta Parens

8. Rex Virginum Amator (2v Kyrie Trope): Kirie: Rex Virginum Amator

9. Gloria: Spiritus Et Alme: Gloria: Spiritus Et Alme

10. Verbum Bonum Et Suave: Verbum Bonum Et Suave

11. Salve Virgo Regia / Ave Gloriosa Mater: Salve Virgo Regia/ave Gloriosa Mater

12. Sanctus & Benedictus: Sanctus & Benedictus

13. Gaude Virgo Nobilis / Verbum Caro Factum: Gaude Virgo Nobilis/verbum Caro Factum

14. Agnus Dei: Gloriosa Spes Reorum: Agnus Dei: Gloriosa Spes Reorum

15. O Monialis Concio Burgensis: O Monialis Conscio

16. Belial Vocatur: Benedicamus Domino: Belial Vocatur

17. In Virgulto Gracie, Conductus: In Virgulto Gracie

18. Ave Regina Celorum / Alma Redemptoris Mater: Ave Regina Celorum/alma Redemptoris Mater

19. Benedicamus Domino A 3 (Rondellus): Benedicamus Domino A 3 (Rondellus)

20. Si Vocatus Ad Nupcias: Si Vocatus Ad Nupcias

21. Mater Patris Et Filia: Mater Partis Et Filia

22. Benedicamus Domino A 2: Benedicamus Domino A 2

23. Omnium In Te Christe: Omnium In Te Christe

Comments

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Absolutely.. . and I'll bet all my lucky pennies on it!!!
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Beautiful
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johnrhealthe d
Will try to attend one of the 2015-2016 concerts.
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LORD revive us! LORD revive us! All our help must come from THEE!
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"Oh when shall I see JESUS and reign with HIM ABOVE, and from THE FLOWING FOUNTAIN drink EVERLASTING LOVE? O! Had I wings i would fly away and be at REST, and I'd Praise GOD in HIS BRIGHT ABODE!" Amen! Praise The Lord God ALMIGHTY!
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I highly doubt angels sound half as good as these ladies
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This wonder has nothing to do with Jesus, brilliance and joy for sure.
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Lord revive us .... Thank you dear Jesus for each breath ....
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rebex_
Love's Illusion?
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bpwatl
Absolutely wonderful
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kirby174
Also surprised Pandora doesn't have more of their albums. They have so much wonderful material!
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A4 has many albums available. Pandora only has 2?? Get with the polyphonic program folks. This is rich and enriching music!
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The Anonymous 4 are incredible in VOICES OF LIGHT - Richard Einhorn's amazing score for the silent movie, Joan of Arc.
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Makes me wont to sing :)
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donald.harri n g t o n
Inspiring music
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philfels
Great relaxing music.
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lisaw4413
Lovely way to start the day!
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gradgirl_890 1 5
This collection needs Voices of Light.
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pure spring water clarity for my day
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Sometimes angelic, true. However, some of their albums get very dark and spooky...
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Calming at work!
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danahumphrey s 6 6
Had the great good fortune to attend one of their concerts. The general consensus was they "sounded like angels." Sublime!
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.......li'l Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? sound....spa r e . . . . . . e x c e p t i o n a l l y worthy music.......

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