As the webmaster of a Medjugorje website, I am always interested in other sites and pages related to and inspired by Medjugorje. When I browse through them, I notice that only a minor part of them is able to offer a really unique and attractive content. Pages of Gospa Oratorio fortunately belongs to this category - on their pages they publish something very rare and unique - a quality spiritual music album that was inspired by Medjugorje, that we can download and listen to freely in high-quality encoded mp3 files. One can also download a booklet with all the lyrics of the songs in English language. After downloading, the music can be burned to a CD, copy to a mp3 player or played directly from the computer
On the Internet today, one can freely access dozens of various documents, news, newsletters and testimonies about Medjugorje. We have considerably fewer possibilities, when finding freely accessible music influenced by Medjugorje on the web. There is currently not very much more then some live music, amateurish recorded songs by pilgrims in Medjugorje during various events, namely during the International Youth Festivals, performed by the local Medjugorje music. Although it may be nice to listen to this group, one may desire something more then that.
Their songs and instruments sound too folky sometimes. Their music matches well to the local atmosphere of a church in a village, which is daily visited by thousands of people around the world. However, in my opinion, they are not very successful in expressing heavenly and timeless spiritual atmosphere that one can reveal in Medjugorje or in messages given by Our Lady at Medjugorje, thus the inner, spiritual impression of Medjugorje.
The musical composer Mike Read-Shaw (deceased 2005) and his brother Phil Read-Shaw (see their testimonies) from England produced in the year 2002 a selftitled music album of the choir Gospa Oratorio. The lyrics of the album consist of prayers and expression of gratitude towards Our Lady, parts of Her messages and encouragements of living a valuable spiritual life according to Her messages given in Medjugorje. The album consists of 12 tracks (9 songs and 3 interludes) with total length 41 minutes. The musical side of the album is very nice and is a composition of well sounding synthesizer sounds together with an angelic sounding choir. The voices of the mixed choir with dominant female voices match well to the spiritual presence of Our Lady in Medjugorje. The music performance expresses the atmosphere of the messages - the music is gentle, calm, soothing, simple, sweet and positive and with the combination of angelic voices evokes the atmosphere of joyful heavenly spheres filled with Love of God and Our Lady.
Upon feedback to authors and their friends, the album helped grow in faith to people or even became an part of mosaic of life events, that ended in tears of love and gratitude upon spiritual touch of Our Lady and God on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and leading of better, more spiritual life after returning from Medjugorje. This music by my opinion could also be useful for e.g. emotional healing, as it was reported e.g. for the music of Shaina Noll.
The simplicity and beauty of the music is well illustrated with the "If you knew" song, which text consists just from the well known sentence of Our Lady of Medjugorje, "If you knew how much I love you would cry", which due to simple but creative playback and choir creates atmosphere which matches the messages. Especially this song is very touching, so do not be surprised if you would cry during these songs, just as Mary Jane Muslera describes in her testimony. Another song, called Visions, without any lyrics but with an impressive melody and accompanying choir is one of the most beautiful songs of the album. The overall quality of the album reaches the level of albums with valuable spiritual music that are available upon purchase (if you are interested in an excellent choir music, you may try the Deep Peace album from the composer Bill Douglas featuring Ars Nova Singers choir, samples of albums that you can listen to are at Amazon).
However, the Gospa Oratorio album could be somewhat longer then only 41 minutes and the part of the album starting from the eighth song named Prayer is not so creative, melodic and catching as the previous part. Nevertheless, these are only small and minor drawbacks, namely with regard to the fact that the album is available completely free. The authors encourage those who receive the Gospa Oratorio music will if possible further copy and share the album with others.
In summary, the Gospa Oratorio album is a quality music album, which matches well to the atmosphere of Medjugorje and spirit of messages of Our Lady. It could be even used during meditation and prayer or before that - as an instrument helping to reach the state of inner peace and love needed to make further spiritual effort effective. I would like to see more such useful, original and contributing works on websites about Medjugorje.
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