Baltic Exchange

Audio Samples

>Praulins, Ugis : Missa Rigensis, for chorus
>Einfelde, Maija : A cycle of Fricis Barda poems, for chorus
>Sisask, Urmas : Benedictio, for 8 part chorus
>Miskinis, Vytautas : Angelis suis Deus, for chorus
>Praulins, Ugis : Laudibus in sanctis, for chorus
>Miskinis, Vytautas : Pater noster, for chorus

Album Summary

>Praulins, Ugis : Missa Rigensis, for chorus
>Einfelde, Maija : A cycle of Fricis Barda poems, for chorus
>Sisask, Urmas : Benedictio, for 8 part chorus
>Miskinis, Vytautas : Angelis suis Deus, for chorus
>Praulins, Ugis : Laudibus in sanctis, for chorus
>Miskinis, Vytautas : Pater noster, for chorus
Conductor Ensemble
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Composers

Notes & Reviews:

With choral music at the heart of musical life in the Baltics, it is not surprising that the medium has been a central preoccupation for many of their composers. And while there is certainly no such thing as a pan-Baltic style (this recording offers only a glimpse of the choral riches to be found in these three tiny countries) all the composers on the disc share a number of characteristics - a sure-footed handling of choral orchestration, lucidity of texture, a pragmatic use of "avant-garde" effects (shorn of their ideological baggage), a fondness for cluster-chords and diatonically saturated harmonies. Stephen Layton has single-handedly brought many of these composers to the attention of audiences and choirs in the West, and through his sensitive and inspirational direction, has won many fans for this repertoire. Together with his brilliant young choir, who sing this repertoire with passion and purity, he is the ideal guide to this beautiful and enchanting music.

'A fascinating collection of choral works ... centring on a Mass setting by Latvian Ugis Praulins ... Probably the single most impressive moment in the work is the end of the Credo, whose increasing waves of spoken affirmation of faith are haloed by bell-like choral roulades ... Einfelde's music is altogether more introverted, darker than that of Praulins but beautifully crafted and jewel-like ... [Angelis suis Dominis and Pater noster by Miskinis] These are works of absolutely luminous beauty' (Gramophone)

'The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge enjoys the urgent heartbeat of this music ... Missa Rigensis contains many wonders, including a buoyant Gloria which vanishes magically into the long acoustic perspectives of the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, where this disc was most sensitively produced and engineered ... Stephen Layton conducts this music with all the rigour, colour and craft characteristic of his work' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Soaring melodies, folklike tunes, drones with religious gravity, and stylized speech are all encompassed by these works, the biggest among them being Ugis Praulins' Missa Rigensis - one of the most original and personal settings of the Mass text imaginable. Best of all, this is a disc to live with: There's much to enjoy on first hearing, but all the pieces have dramatic new revelations on subsequent encounters' (Philadelphia Inquirer, USA)

'Stephen Layton conducts vital and immaculate performances. These works must be quite taxing and they're not always as simple or as straightforward as they may sound. The singing is a pure joy from first to last. The recording lends an appropriately reverberant aura to the music. This splendid release perfectly complements Hyperion's disc devoted to Dubra's choral music, enthusiastically reviewed here a few months ago ("Hail, Queen of Heaven" - CDA67790. This disc will appeal strongly to all lovers of imaginative choral music, but others - I am sure - will find much to relish' (MusicWeb.com)

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (08/04/2008-08/06/2008).



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Works Details

>Praulins, Ugis : Missa Rigensis, for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (08/04/2008-08/06/2008)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 2002

>Einfelde, Maija : A cycle of Fricis Barda poems, for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (08/04/2008-08/06/2008)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Sisask, Urmas : Benedictio, for 8 part chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (08/04/2008-08/06/2008)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Miskinis, Vytautas : Angelis suis Deus, for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (08/04/2008-08/06/2008)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Praulins, Ugis : Laudibus in sanctis, for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (08/04/2008-08/06/2008)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2008

>Miskinis, Vytautas : Pater noster, for chorus
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Notes: Lady Chapel Of Ely Cathedral (08/04/2008-08/06/2008)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999