I highly recommend this CD to all those who fancy modern, and I mean truly modern a cappella choral music, as in that of the past 20 years or so. I find the music on this CD both beautiful and affecting. I've become a huge fan of modern Baltic choral music over the past year, having first run across it in a review in the American Record Guide. Glorious Hill adds another chapter to that discovery. Most of the tracks on this CD are a cappella choral music by Gavin Bryars, an English composer with highly eclectic musical background and training. His sound is quite distinct (not particularly British) and very appealing, definitely of what I call 'the new choral idiom,' which emphasizes beauty, expression, and accessibility over compliance to mid/late 20th century rules of form, obligatory random dissonance, and 'ugliness'. That is my personal view, of course. There are also two fairly brief choral entries from the 13th century. For me, the feature offerings of this CD are the two Baltic offerings, each a substantial work by Eriks Esenvalds and Peteris Vasks, both contemporary Baltic composers. Both offer great examples of the unique sound of modern Baltic choral music, including some splendid vocal 'special effects.' I am very much glad to see choral music at last turning the corner over the past 20 years or so. For me, this new breed of contemporary choral music is truly a heart-warming affair, giving birth to music that stands with the ranks of that of the greats - Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Haydn, Vaughn-Williams, Janacek, and Poulenc.
These performances by the Latvian Radio Choir are, as always, superb and highly idiomatic. Sound and engineering are topnotch.