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Schnittke & Pärt - Choral Works

Composer Arvo Pärt
Alfred Schnittke
Performer Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Kaspars Putnins, conductor
Catalogue Number BIS-2292 SACD
EAN 7318599922928
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Dec 2017
Total time 59'51

Winner of the Gramophone Awards 2018: Choral Music

Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt lived through times of remarkable change in the last decades of the Soviet Union. From the 1970s, state restrictions on religion were gradually relaxed and this was reflected in the arts and especially in music. Schnittke’s adoption of Christianity was triggered by the death of his mother in 1972, and culminated in&&& his later conversion to Catholicism. Pärt was from a nominally Lutheran background in Estonia, but embraced the Orthodox faith in the 1970s, following intensive study of liturgical music. Both composers began to incorporate religious themes into their work, moving away from the modernist abstraction that had characterized their early careers.

Schnittke’s large-scale Psalms of Repentance were composed in 1988 for the celebrations for the millennium of Christianity in Russia. The texts come from an anonymous collection of poems for Lent, written in the 16th century, and in his settings Schnittke engages with the traditions of chant-based Orthodox liturgical music. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Kaspars Putniņš have chosen to combine Schnittke’s Psalms with two shorter works by Arvo Pärt, whose music they are well-known exponents of. Like the Psalms, Pärt’s pieces are composed in a quasi-liturgical style, and with its serene atmosphere, his Nunc dimittis forms a natural counterpart to the Magnificat even though the two were written more than a decade apart.
 
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  Alfred Schnittke
  Psalms of Repentance (1988) for mixed choir 45'16
01 I. Adam sat weeping at the gates of paradise 2'43
02 II. O wilderness, gather me to your silent and gentle lap 4'09
03 III. That is why I live in poverty 2'48
04 IV. My soul, why are you in a state of sin? 2'22
05 V. O Man, doomed and wretched 3'03
06 VI. When they beheld the ship that suddenly came 1'47
07 VII. Oh my soul, why are you not afraid 5'14
08 VIII. If you wish to overcome unending sorrow 1'57
09 IX. I have reflected on my life as a monk 6'30
10 X. Christian people, gather together! 3'40
11 XI. I entered this life of tears a naked infant 3'32
12 XII. [wordless humming] 7'31
 
 
  Arvo Pärt
13 Magnificat (1989) for mixed choir 7'23
 
14 Nunc dimittis (2001) for mixed choir 7'05
 
  Album total 59'51
ComposerPärt, Arvo
Schnittke, Alfred
TenorMikson, Raul
Tohert, Toomas
SopranoKriis, Karolina
Melaha, Maria
Urb, Kaia
AltoHännikäinen, Ave
Pärna, Marianne

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