ĒRIKS EŠENVALDS (b.1977): Passion according to St Luke (Ieva Parša [mezzo], Jānis Kurševs [baritone], Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Riga), A Drop in the Ocean (Ieva Ezeriete [soprano], Liga Paegle [alto], Latvian Radio Choir, Sinfonietta Riga), The First Tears (Alexsandrs Maijers [recorder, jaw harp], Latvian Radio Choir), Litany of the Heavens (Latvian Radio Choir).

Catalogue Number: 06R080

Label: Ondine

Reference: ODE 1247-2

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: The Passion is a powerful, emotional work. Luke emphasizes Christ's humanity more than the other Gospels, and this is reflected in Ešenvalds' choice of texts, interpolating poems and prayers among the Biblical verses to make this a movingly personal drama as well as a profound retelling of the Passion story itself. The music matches this in rich, dramatic choruses and sumptuous orchestration alongside gorgeously ethereal timbres and heartrendingly beautiful vocal lines. The language is tonal and neo-romantic, owing something to 'new spirituality' and 'new simplicity' as well as folk idioms and opulent old-fashioned Romanticism. A Drop in the Ocean innovatively combines various choral and vocal textures and tonalities in a beautiful, prayerful sonic tapestry infused with radiance. The First Tears tells an Inuit creation myth, evoking a sense of vast scale through a background of echoing, shifting chords like aurora borealis, antiphonal effects and ingenious word-painting and illustrative instrumental sounds. Litany of the Heavens spins a devotional, mysterious aura of choral harmony and orchestral texture around a recording of a traditional chant, adding weight and dignified drama to the simple prayer. English and Latvian-English texts. Sigvards Klava (conductor).

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