Baltic Voices 3 (2005)

Gorecki, Martinaitis, Bergman, Mazulis, Saariaho, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Augustinas

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Paul Hillier

Listeners will probably agree that this third CD is the most varied in content. It will always be a leap to go from Górecki’s slow-moving, pan-consonant harmonies to the wailing saxophones and tooth-mark dissonance of Tüür; and I have contrasted Lithuanian minimalism and Holmgreen’s constructions in white with two Finnish modernists, though again there is quite a jump from the Francophile intimacies of Saariaho to the Germanic surrealism of Bergman’s Morgenstern settings.
Choral music tends to be more conservative in style than  instrumental music, mostly for the practical reason that singers enjoy and find it easier to sing music that is rooted in tonality. Many instrumentalists prefer it too, if the truth be known, but it is easier to play difficult notes than to sing them. By sustaining a strong choral tradition, the Baltic area has fostered a continuing respect for tonal music, and when the pendulum of music fashion started to move away from the avant-gardism of the 1960s and ’70s, many Baltic composers found themselves on the crest of a wave: the obvious examples include Pärt, Vasks, Górecki, and Tormis. But it would paint a very false picture indeed to suggest that the region has ignored modernism, either generally or even specifically in the choral sphere. To some extent Baltic Voices 3 this CD will redress that balance. However, if I have favoured the more tonal styles, this is because there are many more composers who have produced fresh and exciting choral music in that language, than those using a more experimental vocal style or a more instrumental idiom. It is interesting, moreover, to note that those who are successful at bridging this gap are usually themselves singers or have strong choral-conducting experience. 

NOTICE: The track Erkki-Sven Tüür - Meditatio (2003), is not included in this DSD Album because it was not originally recorded in DSD. The booklet comes from the CD and thus does mention it in the track list.

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Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Tõnu Kaljuste founded the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 1981 as a professional successor to his father Heino Kaljuste's amateur chamber choir Ellerhein. The younger Kaljuste nurtured the ensemble as its principal conductor and artistic director for 20 years, focusing the group's programs and recordings on music by Estonian composers, primarily Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis, although its full repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant and gems of the Baroque and Classical periods to contemporary compositions. The EPCC won the top prize at the 1991 Takarazuka Chamber Choir Competition in Japan and received its first Grammy nomination two years later for Te Deum. Under Paul Hillier (2001-2007), the ensemble's reputation grew more widely, even as he expanded its repertoire. Under his direction, it produced a highly praised series of recordings entitled Baltic Voices and won a Grammy in 2006 for Da Pacem. It performs and records with the world's leading conductors and orchestras and has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial collaboration with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. In 2008, Daniel Reuss became the EPCC's chief conductor and artistic director. Their first recording together was of Frank Martin's oratorio Golgotha, released in 2010.

Paul Hillier

His musical interests range from medieval to contemporary music and include singing, conducting, and writing. In 1990, after many years as Music Director of the Hilliard Ensemble, he founded the Theatre of Voices and began his series of acclaimed recordings for harmonia mundi usa. From 1996 to 2003, Hillier was Director

of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington. In September, 2001 he was named Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, with which he launched
a cycle of recordings exploring the choral tradition of the Baltic Sea countries. Baltic Voices 1 and Baltic Voices 2 met with unanimous praise and each won Hillier a Grammy® nomination.The Powers of Heaven, a much-admired pro- gram of Russian Orthodox sacred music, was followed by Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, Op. 37 and, most recently, by Baltic Voices 3. In 2004 Paul Hillier was awarded the Estonian Cultural Prize.

In 2002 he was made Honorary Professor in Music
at the University of Copenhagen, and in 2003 accepted the post of Chief Conductor of Vocal Group Ars Nova (Copenhagen). Hillier is the author of a monograph “Arvo Pa?rt” (1997) and editor of “The Collected Writings of Steve Reich” (2002), both published by Oxford University Press. His latest project is a book about consort singing.

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Baltic Voices 3 (2005)

Gorecki, Martinaitis, Bergman, Mazulis, Saariaho, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Augustinas

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Mastering Engineer: Brad Michel
Producer: Brad Michel
Recording Engineer: Brad Michel, Chris Barrett, Maido Maadik
Recording location: Talllinn Methodist Church, Tallinn, Estonia
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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957391DI: Baltic Voices 3
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Tracks.
1.
The Stomping Bride (1994)
Augustinas
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2.
Statements (1969)
Gudmundsen-Holmgreen
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3.
Nuits, adieux (1991, 1996)
Saariaho
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4.
The dazzled eye lost its speech (1992)
Mazulis
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5.
Vier Galgenlieder, Op.51b (1960) - I. Das grosse Lalula
Bergman
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6.
Vier Galgenlieder, Op.51b (1960) - III. Tapetenblume
Bergman
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7.
Vier Galgenlieder, Op.51b (1960) - II. Igel und Agel
Bergman
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8.
Vier Galgenlieder, Op.51b (1960) - IV. Unter Zeiten
Bergman
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9.
Alleluia (1996)
Martinaitis
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10.
5 Kurpian Songs, Op.75 (1999) - Hej, z gory, z gory!
Gorecki
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11.
5 Kurpian Songs, Op.75 (1999) - Ciamna nocka, ciamna
Gorecki
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12.
5 Kurpian Songs, Op.75 (1999) - Wcoraj, dziwcyno, nie dzisiaj
Gorecki
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13.
5 Kurpian Songs, Op.75 (1999) - Z Torunia ja parobecek
Gorecki
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14.
5 Kurpian Songs, Op.75 (1999) - Wysla burzycka, bandzie desc
Gorecki
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