ALEXANDER RASKATOV (b.1953): Obikhod for 4 Male Voices and String Orchestra, Praise for Male Voice Quartet and Optional Bells.

Catalogue Number: 06O081

Label: Challenge Classics

Reference: CC72578

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: These settings of liturgical texts are notable for their luminous textures and saturated colors. The composer's means of achieving this striking, immersive soundworld involve an interesting paradox; on the one hand, slowly pulsating, consonant, modally based music evokes both Russian Orthodox polyphony and the 'new spirituality' movement, with obvious comparisons to the likes of Pärt and Kancheli. However, Raskatov frequently melds this comforting idiom with elements of is exact opposite; extreme dissonance, with little middle ground - so that for instance the dense string clusters in the highest registers in 'Obikhod' cast an unearthly dazzling haze around the prayerful, pleading voices. The hymns of 'Praise' feature more conventional use of dissonance and its resolution, in harmonically ambiguous evocations of liturgical chant, redolent of vast spaces and ancient ritual. Texts included. The Hilliard Ensemble, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra; Krystof Maratka.

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