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Valentin Silvestrov
Sacred Works

Kiev Chamber Choir
Mykola Hobdych conductor
Liturgical Chants
Two Spiritual Songs
Two Spiritual Chants
Two Psalms of David

Recorded 2006 and 2007

ECM New Series 2117

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This album of sacred a-cappella works from recent years offers a most fascinating addition to the wide spectrum of music by Valentin Silvestrov on ECM New Series. Silvestrov’s interest in the choir came compartively late in his career. “Being an individualist, I never imagined that I would be scoring choral works”, he has said. It was partly due to conductor Mykola Hobdytsch persistent encouragement that Silvestrov decided to immerse himself more deeply into the choral world and to study old Russian litanies. Once he had started reading them, the composer was so fascinated that, within a couple of weeks, he wrote some 40 minutes of music. By treating the choir as an ensemble of “extremely modest” soloists and dividing the sections into small groups Silvestrov acquires unique sonic and harmonic effects and an utmost flexibility of melody and rhythm. Its lyrical fluency and introvert tenderness brings Silvestrov’s choral writing close to his much-lauded “Silent Songs” to “Requiem for Larissa” and his music for solo piano. The ravishing performances from the Kiev chamber choir under Mykola Hobdytsch were recorded in Kiev in 2006 and 2007.