Latvian Radio Choir
conductor | Sigvards Kļava
Georgy Sviridov’s (1915–1998) Canticles and Prayers is considered by many as one of the most important works in Russian sacred music. In this new recording Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Kļava offer impressive renditions of music from this collection by the Russian master.
Sviridov, a pupil of Shostakovich, began writing religious works since 1969. Since then these works came to form an important part of his oeuvre. In the 1980s Sviridov had several projects to write a liturgy or a mass. In the end, the sketches of his sacred music came to form a cycle titled Canticles and Prayers. The work was created at a turning point in the history of Russia, the perestroika years that ended in the collapse of the Soviet state. The composer was keenly affected by the events of those years, building a monument to his era. The main body of Canticles and Prayers was assembled between 1988 and 1992. In September 1997, Sviridov selected the versions he thought best, approving the final order for the first three parts and making the final edits to the score. This work remained incomplete at the time of his death in 1998. Canticles and Prayers was thus Sviridov’s last work. The recording also includes chorus The Red Easter (1978) based on a cycle of Easter hymns.
Ivan Moody Gramophone Magazine | 07.2018
“This is a beautiful selection of Sviridov’s choral music. There is a subtlety to phrasing of the Latvian Radio Choir’s performance of the Trisagion, for example, that often eludes Russian and Ukrainian choirs.”
Grego Applegate Edwards | Gapplegate Classical - Modern Music Review | 06.2018
This is music that expressively expands outward from Russian Orthodox Chant. It is Chant as much as Afterchant, if you will pardon the phrase. It has a modern foundation with harmonies a bit more tangy at times than what would be typical in the church music. It is meditative and feelingful.”
Steven A Kennedy | Cinemusical | 06.2018
“The Latvian Radio Choir is simply miraculous. The text diction is clear and the harmonic realizations seem so completely effortless in their performances. They have managed to capture some of the deeper meaning of these pieces helping to straddle Sviridov’s own blurred lines of liturgy and experience. The journey they take the listener on is nothing short of amazing.”
David Denton | David's Review Corner | 06.2018
"The performance by the Latvian Radio Choir and their conductor, Sigvards Klava, is deeply moving and sung with a wide dynamic range and a perfect internal balance, those deep bass singers, very much in the mould of the Russian Orthodox Church, underpinning the texture, which is mercifully free of the screaming sopranos of today’s West European choirs."
Richard Hanlon | MusicWeb International | 08.2018
"As might be expected the Latvian Radio Choir under its renowned conductor Sigvards Kļava by no means present a full-on Russian sound here – vibrato is tangible but relatively restrained, the basses have depth but not cavernously so. They provide crystalline, nuanced accounts of these austerely beautiful pieces. Soloists, when called on, project model clarity and tact, the recording is supremely detailed and expertly balanced, the naturally warm acoustic of St John’s Church in Riga clothes the luxuriant choral sound in a luminous halo that falls just on the right side of intoxicating."
Matthias Lange | | 07.2018
"Sviridovs Musik ist das perfekte Vehikel für den hochpotenten Lettischen Radiochor. Das Ensemble vollbringt unter der Leitung von Sigvards Kļava lyrische Wunder; es sind kraftstrotzende Gesten zu hören, gesungen von prall profilierten Registern."
Rainer W Janka | Klassik heute | 06.2018
"Der Latvian Radio Choir unter Sigvards Kļava singt betörend schön, mit sehr gut gestützter Stimmgebung und deshalb mit feinster Pianissimo-Kultur, sehr klaren Frauen – und machtvollen Männerstimmen, die Chorakkorde erklingen in reinster Intonation. Die russische Seele mag sich wohlfühlen in diesen religiösen Chören, die westliche Seele ist beim Hören schnell ermüdet: Allzu ähnlich klingen sie. Aber ein mystisch-erhabenes Klanggefühl vermitteln sie durchaus."
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