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Track(s) taken from CDA67968

Fatamorgana 'Mirage'

First line:
Ienac mana setina
author of text

Royal Holloway Choir, Rupert Gough (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
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 15 seconds

Cover artwork: Front illustration based on a photograph by Dr Tracy Langkilde, Pennsylvania State University Biology Department.


'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)
Fatamorgana is an early work (1980) and is real musical fantasy. In the first movement, two folk-like melodies vie for attention. The basses represent the relentless heat of the desert while the more wistful lines of the altos reminisce and hallucinate. All the while the dreamy atmosphere is enhanced by the nonchalant commentary floating above in the soprano part. In the second movement the melody of the soprano solo is picked up and echoed by the other voices to the words ‘The sun runs around it’. The last few notes of this movement are thrown around the three soprano parts as again Plakidis creates a texture with free-floating soprano lines offsetting a chorale-like song in the lower voices. If there is something fairytale-like about the text then this could certainly be said of the musical setting. The magical ending to the lines ‘while a glassy-winged dragonfly will make for you a gentle cooling breeze’ has three sopranos singing the same melodic pattern in different rhythms. Plakidis is adept at creating sounds that appear free and improvised and yet are notated with economic ease.

from notes by Rupert Gough 2013

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