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Rautavaara: Missa A Cappella [Sigvards Kava, Latvian Radio Choir] [Ondine: ODE 1223-2]

Latvian Radio Choir , Einojuhani Rautavaara , Sigvards Kava Audio CD

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1. MISSA A CAPPELLA
2. PSALM OF INVOCATION
3. EVENING HYMN
4. MISSA DUODECANONICA
5. AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA
6. CANTICUM MARIAE VIRGINIS
7. OUR JOYFULST FEAST
8. DIE ERSTE ELEGIE

Product Description

Product Description

Ondine continues its long-term collaboration with Einojuhani Rautavaara with the world première recording of his Missa a cappella.

Einojuhani Rautavaara a self-described mysthic has written a considerable amount of sacred music, including works in the Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox traditions. His Missa a cappella is one of his most significant recent works, and is here recorded alongside extracts of the Vigilia his most extensive sacred choral work his Missa duodecanonica, and a number of smaller sacred choral works.

The Latvian Radio Choir is one of the top chamber choirs in Europe, praised by Gramophone as an outstanding body of singers. As a sound laboratory, the singers investigate alternative techniques to enhance their vocal skills from traditional methods to the art of quartertone and overtone singing.

Under the direction of Sigvards Kava, the Latvian Radio Choir has become an internationally acclaimed and vocally distinctive ensemble, constantly searching for new ideas. Under his guidance, the choir has recorded a several works bylesser-known composers, and have collaborated with a number of notable Latvian composers.

This is the Latvian Radio Choirs follow-up disc to their highly acclaimed recording of Rachmaninovs All-Night Vigil, which was Gramophones Recording of the Month in their February issue.

Product Description

Missa a cappella - Psalm of Invocation - Evening Hymn - Missa duodecanonica - Ave Maria gratia plena - Ave Maria gratia plena - Canticum Mariae Virginis - Our Joyful'st Feast - Die erste Elegie / Latvian Radio Choir - Sigvards Klava, direction

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music, beautifully recorded 7 Aug 2013
By Digital Chips - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There's a consistency about Einojuhani Rautavaara's writing that gives his music a timeless quality. After auditioning this new release, I revisited the earliest recording I owned of his music, Violin Concerto / Angels & Visitations (1997). The style was virtually identical.

That's not to say Rautavaara hasn't grown creatively. Rather, to me it shows that once he hit upon the best way to express himself musically, he's simply continued in that vein, creating works that continue to be deeply spiritual and thought-provoking.

This new release is no exception. The major work on the album, Missa a cappela, is a floating, ever-changing cloud of sound that benefits from the resonant echoes of the cathedral it was recorded in. This is not music for the concert hall, but truly music for the church. Rautavaara writes masterfully for choir, creating a work that is ethereal and spiritual, yet rooted in human emotion.

The release is filled out with several shorter a cappella selections that compliment the Missa perfectly. The Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Klava has a warm, blended sound ideally suited to Rautavaara's music. Beautiful music beautifully recorded.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music - faulty download 14 Jun 2013
By PianoGuyFromSC - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a lush, atmospheric recording of several sacred choral works by Einojuhani Rautavaara, in excellent performances by the Latvian Radio Choir.

Sad to say, track 7 (part one of "Vigilia") is missing at least 20 seconds of the end of the piece. It cuts off in mid-note. Unfortunately, Amazon makes it difficult to rectify situations like this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subdued but gorgeous 15 Nov 2013
By Michael Roof - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a highly attractive collection of modern Finnish choral music. Compared to that of some of his Baltic contemporaries, Rautavaara's music may come across as a bit subdued; however, it must also be described as highly expressive, often ethereal, and sometimes downright beautiful. For me, the feature work, Missa a Cappella, was the hero of the collection. It was also the most recent composition, having been completed in 2010. I really love what has happened to modern choral music over the past 10 years or so, especially during the past five. It seems as though so many composers, even those in their 60's and 70's, have finally broken free of many of the rigid constraints imposed by the mid 20th century (1950-1990) modernists music czars. Composers seem much more interested in accessibility, beauty, and expressiveness, not just modernists rules and sensibilities. I am very pleased with the change. I have heard some critics complain that this transition cheapens classical music by pandering to the contemporary pop crowd. We all know that pop music fans do not and will not listen to this material, well, perhaps a few. I my view, that complaint arises from the fact that many "classical" listeners seek and enjoy this new stuff - it is actually somewhat "popular" - something that supporters of the former "modern" music could never lay claim to. Then again, perhaps I'm just full of it.

Anyway, other than as a young composer, Rautavaara evaded or circumvented many of the most rigid compositional rules of the period, so his music has always tended toward beauty and accessibility. The music on this CD is no exception. Track# 9-11 (Missa Duodecanonica) is a serialist work; however, it is so brief and nicely done that it offers a highly digestible taste of music of that genre. Track # 12, "Ave Maria, gratia plena", from 1978, is a 5 minute stretch of gentle, mystic beauty, which could have been written last year. Many of us who love modern choral music, especially in the "sacred" vein, insist on finding expressiveness and beauty in our music, and this collection does not disappoint.

As always with the Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Clava, the performances are gorgeous and radiant. One couldn't ask for more. The sound is excellent.

So if you love very modern choral music - like that of Miskinis, Vasks, Gjeilo, Esenvalds, Lauridsen, and Whitacre, you'll undoubtedly appreciate this collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old faith, new music 22 Oct 2013
By Jim D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Though God endures unchanging on, the music of praise is constantly renewed and refreshed. Einojuhani Rautavaara, probably the most important Finnish composer since Sibelius, has produced works in every genre, not neglecting choral music--his sacred pieces even include a commission for the very British carol service at King's College. This program leads off with a full Mass setting for unaccompanied voices; there's also a twelve-tone Missa Brevis. It is unlikely you would hear music like this in any ordinary church--for one thing, there can't be more than a handful of choirs that could perform it! Also, much of it sounds (at first hearing) more suitable for a science-fiction movie than for a worship service. It was meant for church, however, and it does grow on one, with its ethereal beauty. The musically timid may want to start with "Evening Hymn," the most traditional piece on offer, and work their way into some of the more challenging music. Performance and recording are all that could be desired; notes and texts provided. (Watch out: There's an earlier Ondine disc with some of the same pieces.)
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it...sent from Heaven 3 Oct 2013
By Art - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Heavenly...I had never heard of the composer, but after hearing on NPR I had to have the CD. Thank you .
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