OK, show me just one, for Christ's sake... No, no, stoppit, spoiling it for others, let's not let cynicism prevent our enjoyment of this beautiful 13th century song by Alfonso X de Castilla, which tells the story of how the Mother of God straightened the limbs of a crippled girl brought to her on a pilgrimage, and 'therefore we offer you praise, as is fitting for such a gracious lady, for you pardon sins, and heal all pain'. Yeah, right.
The song is from the album Sound in Spirit by Chanticleer, and Amazon.com reviewers are not unanimous in praising it. That it attracted so many unenthusiastic comments inspires one reviewer to say rather sniffily: 'What you will hear requires some discipline to appreciate and more patience and concentration than most members of the Sesame Street Generation can summon up.' So that's you told. This is serious music and as such it makes justified demands on the attention, but it does try my patience when the aural gorgeousness of tracks such as the one above, Beata, Axion Esti and Grace to You are interlarded with birdsong and the sound of rippling streams and ribbiting frogs. That's just bloody naff. And I think the tracks Night Chant and Past Life Melodies are flat-out awful. However, this arrangement of Como pod' a Groriosa has a beautiful, reverential opening, then a wonderful sense of swinging forward motion, and a triumphant ending. I think it's worth the price of the album.