Esenvalds - St Luke Passion, Sacred Works | Ondine ODE12472

Esenvalds - St Luke Passion, Sacred Works

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Label: Ondine

Cat No: ODE12472

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 29th April 2016

Contents

Artists

Ieva Ezeriete (soprano)
Ieva Parsa (mezzo-soprano)
Liga Paegle (alto)
Janis Kursevs (tenor)
Daumants Kalnins (baritone)
Aleksandrs Maijers (recorder, jaw harp)
Latvian Radio Choir
Sinfonietta Riga

Conductor

Sigvards Klava

Works

Esenvalds, Eriks

A Drop in the Ocean
Litany of the Heavens
St Luke Passion
The First Tears

Artists

Ieva Ezeriete (soprano)
Ieva Parsa (mezzo-soprano)
Liga Paegle (alto)
Janis Kursevs (tenor)
Daumants Kalnins (baritone)
Aleksandrs Maijers (recorder, jaw harp)
Latvian Radio Choir
Sinfonietta Riga

Conductor

Sigvards Klava

About

Ēriks Ešenvalds (b. 1977) is one the leading Latvian composers of vocal music and one of the leading Latvian composers of his generation. This recording features new works by the composer with the prestigious Latvian Radio Choir conducted by Sigvards Kļava.

The title piece of the recording is a 30-minute Passion according to St Luke, a work in eight movements completed by the composer in 2014. The work holds a special place in the composer’s repertoire as the first Passion by the celebrated composer of several choral works. The music is sumptuous, rich, and powerful, with heroic, picturesque, passionate, and ethereal elements.

A Drop in the Ocean (2006) is an impressive vocal work dedicated to Mother Teresa while The First Tears (2014) is based on an Inuit legend. Litany of the Heavens (2011) is a mysterious and magical work based on a religious poem by Fricis Bārda.

Latvian Radio Choir’s previous releases on Ondine have been highly successful. For instance, the recording of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil (ODE12065) was chosen as the Record of the Month, Editor’s Choice and received a nomination in the Gramophone Awards in 2013. Also their most recent release of choral works by Valentin Silvestrov (ODE12665) received Gramophone Editor’s Choice.

Reviews

Ešenvalds’s St Luke Passion (2014) plunges the listener straight into the midst of the Crucifixion scene, rushing strings underlying the terrible urgency of the crowd’s shouts of ‘Crucify him!’. It’s an unusual and highly effective beginning, and I can say that it is unlike any other setting of the Passion with which I am familiar. ... One could hardly ask for better performers in this repertoire than the Latvian Radio Choir under the inspired direction of Sigvards Kļava, and Ondine’s recording, made in St John’s Church in Riga, is a model of clarity. A superb release.  Ivan Moody
Gramophone August 2016
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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