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Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, November 2018

I can only say that the music is hauntingly beautiful, as is the singing by the Latvian choir, which has been praised to the hilt many times in these pages. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Tony Way
Limelight, September 2018

While Sviridov’s choral style is firmly rooted in traditional Russian Orthodox chant, it is enriched with a romantic sensibility that delights with rich harmonies and textures. This intriguing take on Russian choral music employs all sorts of compositional techniques, especially contrasts of spacing and dynamics. Various forms of repetition are also effective.

Under Sigvards Klava’s direction, the Latvian Radio Choir delivers appropriately plush performances, aided by the generous acoustic of St John’s Church, Riga. © 2018 Limelight Read complete review

Richard Hanlon
MusicWeb International, August 2018

As might be expected the Latvian Radio Choir under its renowned conductor Sigvards Kļava by no means present a full-on Russian sound here—vibrato is tangible but relatively restrained, the basses have depth but not cavernously so. They provide crystalline, nuanced accounts of these austerely beautiful pieces. Soloists, when called on, project model clarity and tact, the recording is supremely detailed and expertly balanced, the naturally warm acoustic of St John’s Church in Riga clothes the luxuriant choral sound in a luminous halo that falls just on the right side of intoxicating. © 2018 MusicWeb International  Read complete review

Ivan Moody
Gramophone, July 2018

This is a beautiful selection of Sviridov’s choral music. There is a subtlety to phrasing of the Latvian Radio Choir’s performance of the Trisagion (track 2, ‘Holy God’), for example, that often eludes Russian and Ukrainian choirs. And this serves them well too in the remarkable Having beheld a strange nativity, especially in the last movement, with its ‘increasing’ alleluias, and their mastery of dynamics means that they can bring it down to the quietest of pianissimos in nanoseconds.

Do buy this disc, listen to the frequently wonderful music and the consistently astounding performances… © 2018 Gramophone

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2018

This is music that expressively expands outward from Russian Orthodox Chant. It is Chant as much as Afterchant, if you will pardon the phrase. It has a modern foundation with harmonies a bit more tangy at times than what would be typical in the church music. It is meditative and feelingful. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

Steven A Kennedy
Cinemusical, June 2018

The Latvian Radio Choir is simply miraculous. The text diction is clear and the harmonic realizations seem so completely effortless in their performances. They have managed to capture some of the deeper meaning of these pieces helping to straddle Sviridov’s own blurred lines of liturgy and experience. The journey they take the listener on is nothing short of amazing. © 2018 Cinemusical Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2018

In the world of unaccompanied choral music, this disc of ‘Canticals and Prayers’ from the Russian-born Georgy Sviridov, is the most beautiful disc I have ever heard. He was a pupil of Shostakovich, though you would never guess that, and for much of his time he composed music that would please the Communist Party edicts, so as to keep him out of trouble. Then for the last work he completed, before his death in 1998, he returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in which he was brought up, bringing together music he had written over seventeen years and now divided into four groups, The inescapable miracle; Having beheld a strange nativity; From the Old Testament and Other Songs. Here recorded, the whole adds up to more than an hour of music. Among these section is moments of thanksgiving, prayer and ‘scenes’ such as The Last Supper, and at one time he had the idea of building a massive oratorio for soloists, instrumental ensemble and orchestra, of which the Canticles and Prayers would form part. Life was taken away from him before he could go that far. The present disc omits—for reasons not explained—the Second Section, Three Stichera, and two parts of Other Songs, but does include the brief Easter hymn, The Red Easter. The performance by the Latvian Radio Choir and their conductor, Sigvards Klava, is deeply moving and sung with a wide dynamic range and a perfect internal balance, those deep bass singers, very much in the mould of the Russian Orthodox Church, underpinning the texture, which is mercifully free of the screaming sopranos of today’s West European choirs. The recording quality, with a nice church resonance, is perfect. Please do not miss this release. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

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