Ondine is proud to release its 17th album together with the award-winning Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Sigvards Klava dedicated to a cappella words by Anton Brucker. Anton Bruckner (1824–1896) is known as one of the greatest of 19th century symphonists. Yet, also choral music formed an integral part of the composer’s output. This album includes a selection of smaller choral works written between the years 1848 and 1892. Many of these works were long forgotten. Yet after a long stretch on the periphery of the choral world, Bruckner’s motets have now finally returned to a broader consciousness. The Latvian Radio Choir (LRC) ranks among the top professional chamber choirs in Europe and its refined taste for musical material, fineness of expression and vocal of unbelievably immense compass have charted it as a noted brand on the world map. The repertoire of LRC ranges from the Renaissance music to the most sophisticated scores by modern composers; and it could be described as a sound laboratory –the singers explore their skills by turning to the mysteries of traditional singing, as well as to the art of quartertone and overtone singing and other sound production techniques. The choir has established a new understanding of the possibilities of a human voice; one could also say that the choir is the creator of a new choral paradigm: every singer is a distinct individual with his or her own vocal signature and roles in performances.
BBC Music Magazine February 2021
I prefer them to Cambridge’s King’s College Choir, who sound as if they are trying to be angels, while this Latvian choir resounds from the bottom upwards and does sound much more like an anxious congregation praying. ***** (Performance) / **** (Recording)
Gramophone Magazine February 2021
These pieces have been recorded multiple times before, but the unforced natural expressivity of the singing as well as the accuracy of the intonation at all dynamic levels puts this new version very near the top of the list. Among the finest of the performances is that of Tota pulchra es, which communicates a feeling of ineffable timelessness at the opening as well as a sense of tremendous majesty at the organ-supported climax. Gramophone Editor`s Choice