Baltic Exchange - The Irish Times



Think of Baltic choral music and you probably think of something by Arvo Pärt. This new CD leaves him aside, and offers works from all three Baltic states: the 29-minute Missa Rigensis and Laudibus in sanctis by Ugis Praulins, and A cycle of Fricis Barda poems by Maija Einfelde (both Latvians), Benedictio by Estonian Urmask Sisask, and Angelis suis Deus and Pater noster by Lithuanian Vytautas Miskinis. The Baltic states have long traditions of massed choral singing (choirs of thousands and audiences of hundreds of thousands), and that history is reflected in the impeccable choral finish of these often overtly referential pieces, offering flavours from the Renaissance to the post-war avant-garde and minimalism. The excellent performances suggest Einfelde as the most probing of the composers.

Michael Dervan

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