Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava – Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing – Sacred Choral Works (2015)

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Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing - Sacred Choral Works (2015)

Valentin Silvestrov – To Thee We Sing: Sacred Choral Works (2015)
Latvian Radio Choir, conducted by Sigvards Klava

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 200 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 151 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Sacred, Choral | Label: Ondine | # ODE1266-5 | Time: 00:59:59

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov (b.1937) is an important contemporary voice in vocal music. In this new release, Silvestrov’s hauntingly beautiful vocal works are performed by the Latvian Radio Choir under their director Sigvards Kļava. During his artistic career, Silvestrov has explored a number of musical styles and techniques, such as avant-guard, post-modernism, neo-classicism, dodecaphony, aleatoric writing and pointillism. The fall of the Soviet Union, however, allowed Silvestrov to eventually compose spiritual works, inspired and influenced by his love of the Russian Orthodox Church music which Silvestrov imbues with his own unique sound and bursts of surprising harmonic moves. Silvestrov’s compositions are invested with the composer’s own unique personality, musical sensibility and sense of beauty.

At a first, superficial listening, this hour-long selection of Silvestrov’s a cappella choral music gives an impression of sumptuous solace, suffused by the warm, swimming acoustic of St John’s Church in Riga. Scratch a little deeper, however, and this contemplative recital reveals an astonishing richness which invites repeated listening. It has the effect of a healing balm and I cannot recommend it too highly for those who require restoration from life’s vicissitudes.

The Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Kl,ava sing, as expected, with a scintillating beauty. None of this programme, composed between 1995 and 2006, could be labelled technically easy. Fortunately the singers’ intonation, balance and blend are absolutely first-rate. Nearly all of this ‘metaphorical music’, as Silvestrov terms it, is either slow or very slow. There are stylistic hints of Poulenc, Pärt and Górecki, perhaps; certainly the ghost of Rachmaninov hovers
reverentially overhead. But Silvestrov is definitely his own man with his tuneful, naive and floating music. He favours rich homophonic textures, with basses delving several leger lines below the stave and the sopranos weaving the sweetest of melodic lines, flavoured by a fondness for falling sequences. Accompaniments are often hummed and occasionally whispered.

The disc’s centrepiece is the dark Diptych, the second part of which, ‘Testament’, is a setting of Silvestrov’s fellow Ukrainian Taras Shevchenko (1814 61). Its liquid beauty is breathtaking. On a lighter note, the Alleluia of 2006 is much daintier, almost waltz-like, akin to Elena Kats-Chernin. Where Silvestrov really makes his mark is in his endings, with scrumptious clustered chords suspended in mid-air. More please!

Review by Malcolm Riley, Gramophone

The career of the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov goes back to the days of suppression of modernist styles by Soviet authorities. He has been underexposed in the West compared with other Eastern European composers working in accessible idioms. This may be because he is not readily classifiable or marketable among the minimalists or among the neo-Romantics, but instead has forged an individual language drawing on both, as well as on Slavic sources. This collection of a cappella choral pieces from the 1990s and 2000s is a good introduction to his rather inward late style. Silvestrov may write hypertonal music if it fits the text (such as the Ave Maria, which appears twice in this set of mostly sacred pieces), refer to Rachmaninov’s sacred music, or employ static textures as needed. His palette has subtle shades such as the distinction between chant and song in the Two Sacred Chants and Two Sacred Songs, both from 2006; the songs, naturally enough, have a more purely melodic idiom. But his pieces tend to end luxuriously in big stacks. The closest comparison might be Henryk Górecki, but lovers of Pärt’s music should also check this out. The Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Klava is an ideal ensemble for this music, with brilliant highs that resound in the unidentified but excellent space employed by Ondine for its recording. The booklet is also worthwhile, containing a biography of Silvestrov that will be news to many listeners outside the vicinity of the composer or performers.

Review by James Manheim, Allmusic.com

Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing - Sacred Choral Works (2015)

Valentin Silvestrov at Allmusic
Valentin Silvestrov at Wiki
Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing - Sacred Choral Works (2015)

Sigvards Klava at Latvian Radio Choir Website
Sigvards Klava at Allmusic

Latvian Radio Choir
Sigvards Klava, conductor

Tracklist:

Alleluia (2006)
01. I. Evening – 02:19
02. II. Morning – 02:41
03. III. Night – 03:31

Liturgical Chants (excerpts) (2005)
04. 4 Spiritual Songs: Cherubic Song – 02:35
05. 4 Spiritual Songs: Alleluia – 02:48
06. O Holy God – 03:22
07. Ave Maria – 03:21

Diptych (1995)
08. I. Otche nash (The Lord’s Prayer) – 04:51
09. II. Zapovit (Testament) – 08:59

2 Sacred Chants (2006)
10. No.1 Milist’ Miru (Mercy of Peace) – 05:03
11. No.2 Tobi spivaemo (To Thee We Sing) – 03:14

2 Sacred Songs (2006)
12. No.1 Alleluia – 03:19
13. No.2 Ave Maria – 04:39

2 Christmas Lullabies (2006)
14. No.1 Spi, Isuse (I Sleep, Jesus) – 03:50
15. No.2 Tikha nich’ (Quiet Night) – 05:27

EAC log
Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 23. February 2016, 1:26

Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava / Silvestrov – To Thee We Sing

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DR log
foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-02-15 01:44:47

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava / Silvestrov – To Thee We Sing
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR14 -5.12 dB -28.58 dB 2:19 01-Alleluia – I. Evening
DR14 -10.30 dB -30.64 dB 2:41 02-Alleluia – II. Morning
DR14 -8.30 dB -28.60 dB 3:31 03-Alleluia – III. Night
DR16 -1.88 dB -25.31 dB 2:35 04-Liturgical Chants – Cherubic Song
DR14 -3.15 dB -27.52 dB 2:48 05-Liturgical Chants – Alleluia
DR15 -3.39 dB -25.85 dB 3:22 06-Liturgical Chants – O Holy God
DR15 -7.20 dB -29.60 dB 3:21 07-Liturgical Chants – Ave Maria
DR14 -5.84 dB -29.61 dB 4:51 08-Diptych – I. The Lord’s Prayer
DR16 -0.86 dB -24.71 dB 8:59 09-Diptych – II. Testament (T.Shevchenko)
DR14 -5.53 dB -26.21 dB 5:03 10-Two Sacred Chants – I. Mercy of Peace
DR14 -6.57 dB -27.42 dB 3:14 11-Two Sacred Chants – II. To Thee We Sing
DR12 -6.01 dB -28.16 dB 3:19 12-Two Sacred Songs – I. Alleluia
DR15 -8.31 dB -30.69 dB 4:39 13-Two Sacred Songs – II. Ave Maria
DR15 -10.08 dB -31.72 dB 3:50 14-Two Christmas Lullabies – I. Sleep, Jesus
DR16 -9.28 dB -32.21 dB 5:27 15-Two Christmas Lullabies – II. Quiet Night
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 15
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 430 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava - Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing - Sacred Choral Works (2015)

All thanks to original releaser – A-Z

More Valentin Silvestrov music in My Blog

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