Reverent, Riveting, Full of Love
Content_Rules | Washington, DC USA | 10/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw and heard this music broadcast Veteran's Day on TBN and my friends serving in our Armed Forces in Iraq saw it broadcast on Armed Forces Network, I was so happy to find the stereo CD and companion Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound DVD on Amazon. I cannot stop watching it! The 60 minute musical program, reminiscent of the great concept albums of years ago, is one of the most reverent, intelligent and passionate portrayals of America's character ever produced and put on video. It contains many styles of choral music - all superbly performed by the world famous Cadet Glee Club of West Point arrayed in breathtaking formation on the altar of the massive 100 year old Cadet Chapel. Four cameras and 11 microphones capture all action. Archival video footage and pictures from WWII through the Iraq War are interspersed throughout the program honoring the memory of our soldiers past and present.
There are richly textured vocal a capella songs such as "Rise Up O Men of God", "Manisons of the Lord", one of the most popular new hymns written, and "America (My Country `Tis of Thee)". Your buttons will burst with pride when you hear the brand new song "Men of Freedom" introduced by a single Cadet then followed by a cascade of additional voices building to a unified and thunderous declaration of defiant freedom in a style reminiscent of the great Welsh Male Choirs. Four songs highlight the power and majesty of the largest church organ in the world. The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound will shake your house with its majesty. You'll have to fight the urge to stand at attention when you hear and feel its power kick in on "Lest We Forget", "On Great Lone Hills", "Jerusalem" and "This Christmastide". The musical variety is further enhanced by the addition of brass and percussion for the rousing marches, "The Longest Day" and "Non Nobis". When was the last time you heard these two songs - one by world famous singer, songwriter and teen idol, Paul Anka and the other a medieval celebration of thanksgiving sung in Latin! In addition, "The Longest Day" tells the story of D-Day with historical accuracy and genuine video footage and photos taken on the beaches that day. "Non Nobis" is performed to the backdrop of the traditional brigade march of the Corps of Cadets upon the historic Plain of the US Military Academy - a very rare sight, indeed!
The rich background vocals of the Cadet Glee Club musically frame two songs that underpin the message of this album - Bravery and Sacrifice. "Into the Fire" by NYPD's Daniel Rodriguez made me want to immediately rise up and rush to anyone's aid and when he holds that note at the end - wow! Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga's performance of the classic Christian hit, "Via Dolorosa", (one of the top 50 Christian songs of all time), is "The Passion of the Christ" embodied in a 5 minute song. You will alternate between tears and goose bumps. Her performance of the Spanish stanza will overwhelm you. Finally, Irish song writing master, Phil Coulter's wistful "Take Me Home" is accompanied by beautiful piano and guitar and introduced by a new poem entitled "I Am A Soldier" that is sobering reminder of the oath our soldiers swear to and the actions they are bound to take. God bless them! The sound is superb, the editing is crisp and well thought out and the coloring is gorgeous.
A great bonus of the CD and DVD is that they both include a stylish lyric booklet as well as commentary by the producer on why he chose each song.
On the back cover of the CD and DVD cases is the statement that this production was created to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present, and the great values of America that they defend. This it surely does!! Also, it states that the producer is contributing a portion of his wholesale proceeds from its sale to organizations assisting our wounded soldiers. Bravo, Mr. Coppi."
Stand Ye Steady, West Point Cadet Glee Club
John F. Grisoni | 12/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the famed West Point Cadet Glee Club at its very best. The DVD was taken at the Cadet Chapel with professional direction. The songs "Into the Fire", "Via De La Rosa", and "Christmastide" are particularly spectacular and uplifting. "Mansions of the Lord", a tribute to fallen soldiers, and now a standard piece with the Glee Club, is bitter-sweet. The DVD was recorded in 2005, and the cadets featured are now leading our young men and women through harm's way in the Middle East. The music is somewhat spiritual at some points but very uplifting. Director Connie Chase has done a wonderful job bringing the traditional and popular music of the Glee Club into the 21st century. This a DVD that can be viewed over and over by anyone with pride in America."