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Joshua Rosenblum
Opera News, December 2016

The Latvian Radio Choir and the Sinfonietta Riga, performing impeccably under Klava, are perfectly suited to Ešenvalds’s distinctly personal vision of the divine. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review



Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, November 2016

The performances and sonics are exemplary. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, October 2016

Having converted John Quinn’s review—‘Highly imaginative music by Ēriks Ešenvalds in superb performances’—I downloaded this in 24-bit sound, with pdf booklet, from eclassical.com and was equally enthralled. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



John Quinn
MusicWeb International, September 2016

All the music on this disc is very well worth hearing. It confirms Ēriks Ešenvalds as a leading light in contemporary choral music. His compositions are tremendously imaginative and effective; I found my attention gripped by all the pieces on this disc. …The Latvian Radio Choir is a professional body and, my goodness, it shows. The singing throughout is exemplary, as is the playing of Sinfonietta Riga. Sigvards Kļava and the Ondine engineers deserve our admiration and our thanks for presenting this music with such clarity and yet with the benefit of a pleasing acoustic in which the amount of resonance is just right. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Ivan Moody
Gramophone, August 2016

A superb release. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2016

If you can imagine that Penderecki had never been influenced of the Second Viennese School, then you will have a good idea of the music from Erkis Esenvalds. Born in Latvia in 1977, his musical education has taken place entirely in his homeland, but he has since spent time in England and the United States where his music has received performances by leading ensembles. Having been a member of the famous Latvija State Choir for nine years, much of his output has been in the field of vocal music, and among his major and substantial scores is the Passion According to St Luke, a work lasting around thirty minutes. In eight highly emotive sections it moves from the gentle mezzo solo, Behold the timber of the cross is a carpenter’s work, to the agony of Farther forgive them, for they know not what they do, and the cruel opening of And the soldiers mocked him, offering him vinegar. Throughout his use of words to colour the music is both inspired and remarkable, Esenvalds choosing to use the English language. A Drop in the Ocean possesses that spiritual contemplation that has been the trademark of John Tavener, while The First Tear is the very moving story of how the first tear in the world was shed, and how it heard the first song and dance. Finally from 2011 a Litany of the Heavens sets to music the profetic words of Fricis Bārda. In sum, this is a disc that I have already played and deeply enjoyed half a dozen times, yet I have the fervent hope that this outstanding new musical voice will not fall into a stylistic grove from which it cannot escape. The Latvian performances carrying deep conviction, while the sound quality is really top class. Fervently recommended. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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