Galina Grigorjeva: Music for Male-Voice Choir; Estonian Nationwide Male Choir, Mikk Üleoja, Theodor Sink; Toccata Classics
Reviewed 27 January 2023 (★★★★★)
A merely beautiful disc that brings collectively the wealthy and sophisticated sound world of the Russian-trained Estonian composer Galina Grigorjeva with the terrific musicality of the Estonian Nationwide Male Choir
In 2017, I used to be in Tallinn on the Estonian Music Days after I heard Vox Clamantis, conductor Jaan-Eik Tulve in a efficiency of Galina Grigorjeva’s Vespers [see my review] and I used to be very taken along with her work. Since then, I’ve not had the chance to listen to extra. Now Toccata Classics has issued a disc of Galina Grigorjeva’s music for male-voice choir, carried out by the Estonian Nationwide Male Choir, conductor Mikk Üleoja, with Theodor Sink (cello).
The disc contains Nox vitae (2006-2008), Diptych (2011), God is the Lord (2014), Prayer (2005/2022), Agnus Dei (2022) and In Paradisum (2012). Nox Vitae units poems by the Russian symbolist poet Innokenty Annensky (1856–1909), while all the opposite works take texts from Russian Orthodox and Roman liturgies.
Born in Simferopol in Ukraine, Grigorjeva studied in Simferopol and at Odessa Conservatoire, earlier than graduating from St Petersburg Conservatoire, she then took postgraduate research on the Estonian Academy of Music with Lepo Sumera in Estonia, the place she is now primarily based.
Nox Vitae units a gaggle of 5 poems by Annensky and the entire work was premiered in 2008 by the Estonian Nationwide Male Voice Choir, conductor Kaspars Putniņš. In ‘Nocturno’ a man stands alone in the course of the darkness of night time, and the music is robust and wealthy with a wonderful depth to the sound. At occasions the slowness is sort of ceremonial and the sound world right here, and elsewhere on the disc, reminded my of Schnittke’s Choir Concerto. The phrases of ‘Romance with out Music’ trace at wistful longing, the music right here is extra very important with fragments of melody over fixed drones, because the music builds the sense of motion continues however the drones are ever current, giving a really specific sound to the music. ‘October Delusion’ is an intense solo meditation, right here a hanging bass solo, Aleksandr Mihhailov, over drone clusters, the angular solo line bringing out a sense of darkness and melancholy, the entire evoking Shostakovich. ‘Cake-Stroll on the Dulcimer’ is intriguing, the phrases a mixture of light-hearted and melancholy, the music with an intriguing rhythm dancing over an everyday development beneath. ‘The Snow is Falling’ is quiet and intense, drifts of melody over not clusters, haunting however a wealthy but intimate sound, because the phrases intrigue with their photographs of dying and love.
Diptych is a pair of actions reflecting on dying. The primary units the Tune of Simeon from St Luke’s Gospel, considerate and intense with the sound Schnittke to the fore once more, and a beautiful depth to the sound of the refrain. The second ‘Don’t lament me, O Mom’ has a haunting tenor solo Aleksander Arder making a remarkably Rachmaninov-like impact, however regardless of how wealthy the textures the temper is all the time melancholy.
God is the Lord for choir and cello units texts from Psalm 117, making a joyful proclamation within the type of a Slavic hymn. The quick but vivid folk-inspired choral interjections alternate with a strenuous cello solo to create a kind of dialogue and regardless of how the music develops, that energetic folk-sense is a continuing. A terrific piece. Prayer for choir and cello is extra reflective and we extra extra into John Tavener territory right here (I am pondering of his Svyati for choir and cello), a lamenting cello over choir drones, creating a way of a protracted, intense cello rhapsody with highly effective choral help.
Agnus Dei lasts round 12 minutes but utilises solely a fraction of textual content from the Latin liturgy. But Grigorjeva creates music of nice energy and richness, this can be a vibrant and up-front sound world. Lastly, one other fragment of Latin liturgical textual content, In Paradisum, a beautiful intimate motion with flowing tenors over observe clusters.
It is a terrific disc, partly from the richness and seductive depth of Grigorjeva’s music, referring to earlier composers and kinds but all the time creating her personal. But in addition, partly due to the merely beautiful performances from the Estonian Nationwide Male Voice Choir. Their photograph exhibits round 50 males, and the depth of sound that they’re thus in a position to create is just phenomenal, and their grasp of the complexities of Grigorjeva’s type is masterly. A barely stunning but very particular hit.
Galina Grigorjeva (born 1962) – Nox vitae (2006-2008)
Galina Grigorjeva – Diptych (2011)
Galina Grigorjeva – God is the Lord (2014)
Galina Grigorjeva – Prayer (2005/2022)
Galina Grigorjeva – Agnus Dei (2022)
Galina Grigorjeva – In Paradisum (2012)
Estonian Nationwide Male Voice Choir
Mikk Üleoja (conductor)
Theodor Sink (cello)
Recorded 14 & 16 February 2012, 27 January 2013, 24 & 25 2022, Estonia Live performance Corridor, Tallinn
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0679 1CD [67.46]
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