Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rautavaara: Sacred Choral Works - Beautiful music beautifully recorded

Rautavaara: Missa a Cappella
Sacred Choral Works
Latvian Radio Choir
Sigvards Klava, director

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, "Angels and 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 cappella, 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.

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