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Michael Wilkinson
MusicWeb International, August 2020

For those who love to explore Church music, this CD will give immense pleasure. Here we have Armenian liturgical music, in the Orthodox tradition, arranged by an Armenian composer for mixed chorus, sung by a Latvian choir, with Armenian soloists, and recorded and released by a U.S. company. It is an adventurous project, and a very successful one. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, August 2020

This version by the Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Klava is the first non-Armenian recording of the work (the lead soloists are Armenian). It came about at the behest of Armenia’s ambassador to Latvia, who hoped to introduce the work to a wider audience. He commissioned composer Vache Sharafyan to make a new version, here termed an arrangement.

Sharafyan’s female voice parts have a unique subtlety that is captured well by the Latvian Radio Choir. In general, Klava gets an intriguing airy but sober sound from this remarkable group, which here offers a really offbeat item. © 2020 AllMusic.com Read complete review




Norbert Tischer
Pizzicato, August 2020

The performances of the Latvian Radio Choir are, as usual, excellent.

The choir sings with great eloquence and authority. Well balanced and with flawless intonation and technical perfection it can produce a sound of great beauty. Under Klava’s direction the singers show a good sense of the spiritual dimension and seriousness of the music. © 2020 Pizzicato Read complete review




The Independent, July 2020

This recording by the superb Latvian Radio Choir… has wonderful grace and is shot through with echoes of the folk music on which Komitas drew for his inspiration. © 2020 The Independent



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, July 2020

The performance winds along nearly timelessly as the nearly 80 minutes of the full score makes for an ideal vehicle for the Latvian Choir and soloists tenor Armen Badalyan and bass voice Hovhannes Nersesyan.

Anyone devoted to Armenian classical strains and anyone interested in Eastern Orthodox sacred music will no doubt take readily to both the score and the performance. A must for Komitas lovers. © 2020 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), July 2020

It is impossible to overstate the significance of Komitas Vardapet’s music to the Armenian identity. A priest and eminent ethnomusicologist, Komitas was a victim of Mets Yeghern, the 1915 genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey were either slaughtered or died on forced marches into exile. Though he survived, his psyche was shattered, and he spent most of his last two decades in exile in a Paris asylum. Komitas began working on the Divine Liturgy in 1892, and at least ten versions exist. This is the first-ever recording of a mixed-choir version, beautifully arranged and edited by the Armenian composer Vache Sharafyan. The acclaimed Latvian Radio Choir is led by its artistic director, Sigvards Klava, with guest soloists bass Hovhannes Nersesyan and tenor Armen Badalyan. © 2020 WFMT (Chicago)



Rafael de Acha
Rafael’s Music Notes, July 2020

The hour-long work—performed in this recording by the superb Latvian Radio Choir conducted by Sigvards Klava—introduces the listener to the hauntingly exotic music of the 19th century priest and multi-talented musician Soghomon Soghomonian, known in his country by his given priestly name of Vardapet Komitas. © 2020 Rafael's Music Notes Read complete review





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