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Frank Martin: Golgotha

Album Summary

>Martin, Frank : Golgotha, oratorio for 5 soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

"A long standing wish of mine has come true: I now have the chance to cover a truly outstanding recording of Frank Martin's towering oratorio,Golgotha, a work considered by many to be his masterpiece...You simply can't imagine how utterly holy this music is until you've heard it.

And if you haven't heard it, you'll be hard-presses to find a better, more utterly profound or convincing account of this music than this. Daniel Russ s one of Europe's established choral stars, and he has combined two of Europe's finest chamber choirs here to produce a sonorous and ultra-competent large ensemble; it's not often that you hear a big orchestral chorus like this that consists entirely of professional singers. The soloists, singly and collectively, are marvelous: the alto made me cry in her Part II meditation, and the mellifluous baritone who portrays Jesus is a wonder, projecting a sense of dignified purpose, resignation, and sacred presence: you can almost see the halo surrounding Christ's head as he sings.

The work is performed in its original French version...Estonia's finest orchestra realizes Martin's complex score to perfection. Sound quality is splendid; the meaty booklet offers thoughtful notes and complete texts. The unique packaging is practical and durable. If large-scale choral-orchestral sacred masterpieces are important to you, you simply must hear this miraculous release."-American Record Guide

BBC Music Magazine
A restrained, haunting chromaticism suffuses the music...The choral contributions throughout are engaged and responsive...this is a strong performance of a work where this is limited competition on CD at present. As such it warrants a warm welcome.

Gramophone Magazine
The quintet of soloists sounds at ease with the demanding roles...The two choirs make light work of Martin's demanding part-writing...Reuss maintains a tight grip on the unfolding drama...there is such an obvious intensity and love of this extraordinary piece that it never feels as though it is dragging...A revelatory recording.

New York Times
This remarkable recording of "Golgotha"...makes Martin's place on the modernist spectrum seem irrelevant. A bittersweet melancholy pervades this poignant, distinguished score, with its hints of Renaissance polyphony and ancient mysticism.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn (04/2009).


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Works Details

>Martin, Frank : Golgotha, oratorio for 5 soloists, chorus, organ & orchestra
  • Performers: Judith Gauthier; Mattijs Woerd (Voice); Konstantin Wolff (Bass Baritone); Adrian Thompson (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Daniel Reuss
  • Running Time: 93 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1945-1948