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Hyperion Records

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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: 5 minutes 53 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)

In memoriam
First line:
All that is good flies heavenwards
author of text
translator of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In memoriam (1990) is a free composition and yet the melodic writing is imbued with the spirit of Latvian folk music. Plakidis begins with the pulse of a single repeated note set against rising arpeggiated figures painting the words ‘All that is good flies heavenwards’. The lower voices enter in the manner of a chorale over which the sopranos continue their ethereal interplay. The haunting characteristic of this piece comes from the tonality of the soprano lines: F major with D flat and E flat. This mode allows the harmony of the lower voices to shift repeatedly between the darkness of B flat minor to a very satisfying F major. The poet Bronislava Martuzveva was a true Latvian patriot—having been active in the Resistance movement she spent some time imprisoned in Siberia. Plakidis’ music is an ideal match to this heartfelt poetry as is particularly apparent in the final lines (‘Soil of the homeland hums and cracks’). The English version of the text is by Lilija Zobens.

from notes by Rupert Gough © 2013

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