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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Front illustration based on a photograph by Dr Tracy Langkilde, Pennsylvania State University Biology Department.
Track(s) taken from CDA67968
Recording details: June 2012
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: July 2013
Total duration: 7 minutes 44 seconds

'The Choir of Royal Holloway's championship of the music of the Baltic countries is a true feather in their cap, as this recording proves once again … these simple, memorable melodies are couched in Kõrvits's lush (but never too lush) arrangements … performances and recording are outstanding' (Gramophone)

'Kõrvits is euphoniously fanciful, threading together elements of Lutheran hymnody with runic song, and vocal ornamentation with chamber-musical textures … this Baltic compilation is given gently sympathetic performances by the student singers of Royal Holloway College and the Britten Sinfonia under Rupert Gough' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This album proclaims the excellence of British choral singing and the remarkable quality of contemporary choral music from the Baltic countries. If you think that only indigenous choirs can bring out the best in music from this part of the world, then these magnificent performances, the latest in a Hyperion series, will make you think again … melodies to die for … this is a lovely work that casts its spell immediately. Gough and his forces deliver a spellbinding performance' (International Record Review)

1995; in memory of those who died in the sinking of the Estonia on 28 September 1994
author of text
from the 13th-century Hymn Dies irae

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the early hours of 28 September 1994 the Baltic ferry Estonia sank in the cold Baltic Sea. Nearly one thousand souls perished in Europe’s worst maritime disaster since the Second World War. Arturs Maskats composed his Lacrimosa the following year in memory of those lost in this disaster. Maskats studied at the Latvian Academy of Music, graduating in 1982. He spent the following sixteen years as music director of the Daile Theatre in Riga, composing music for over ninety theatrical productions throughout Latvia, before becoming artistic director of the Latvian National Opera. He is an avowed admirer of Latvia’s best-known composer Peteris Vasks, but has also clearly absorbed much from late Romanticism. Both of these elements are present in Lacrimosa, which moves between a number of emotional extremes over the course of seven minutes. The lyrical vocal writing is often set against a turbulent backdrop of string writing, with the organ also a strong presence. A fugal middle section, with its mechanical driven bass line, reaches an intense crescendo before the voices plaintively answer ‘Domine, Dona eis requiem’ (‘Lord, grant them rest’). Maskats finishes the piece with a profound sense of reconciled peace and, in the final chord, it is as if the depths of the ocean reach into the heavens with the final unresolved high violin tremolo hanging in the air.

from notes by Rupert Gough © 2013

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