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Luister, Editor’s Choice

These a cappella sacred songs recorded in the Cathedral of the Dormition, Kiev, have a self-contained beauty, politically out of fashion in the Soviet ear but now finding free expression… His „Liturgical Chants“, together with hymns, psalms and an Alleluja mostly written in the past five years, have a burnished, almost disembodied quality, richly communicated in the open-throated timbre of the Kiev Chamber Choir. Hypnotic and startlingly different, this music has cult potential.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich’s notes speak of a golden ground, as in an icon, from which voices emerge, and such an image is certainly appropriate, especially given the superb homogeneity of the Kiev Chamber Choir’s sound… The choir… is in its element and the recorded sound does full justice to Silvestrov’s alternately ethereal and earthy sound world.
Ivan Moody, Gramophone

Silvestrov strikes me as an artist who continues to write music that is deeply rooted in his culture, and in a tradition of the sacred and the beautiful, and who yet also continues to put his personal stamp on it, almost despite himself. … It’s elevated music-making, a sustained prayer.
Robert Carl, Fanfare

Here is a ravishing collection of a cappella choral works by the Ukrainian Valentin Silvestrov that perfectly illustrates his own description of his music as „ a response to and an echo of what already exists“. … It is the sheer beauty of sound that catches the ear. Luminous and lyrical, these miniature settings of hymns, psalms and chants seem to float in a diaphanous light that hypnotically conjures up a fleeting sense of the ineffability of faith.
Michael Quinn, BBC Online

Silvestrov’s choral music is an exploration of harmonic effects. Treating the choir as ‘expressively restrained soloists’, he divides them into small groups that create echoing waves of sound. Silvestrov regards his choral music as being ‘pianistic’. The effect is similar to a judicious use of the sustaining pedal. The result is warm and lyrical. … The outstanding Kiev Chamber Choir are worthy of ten stars! Their warm, tender, lyrical singing, musicianship and breath control is unbelievable.
Shirley Ratcliffe, Choir & Organ

Das Subjektive tritt in den A-cappella-Sätzen von Silvestrovs Liturgischen Gesängen, Geistlichen Liedern, Psalmvertonungen und seinem Alleluja ganz zurück zugunsten einer spirituellen Haltung, die mit kollektiver Zunge spricht. … Die Interpretationen des Kiewer Kammerchors verstärken den Eindruck des Liturgisch-Überpersönlichen noch. Mit großer Ruhe entfalten sich die einzelnen Vokalsätze, in denen der Komponist offenbar manchmal bewusst benachbarte Akkorde ineinander verfließen lässt. Zwar treten häufig Solostimmen heraus, die Impulse setzen, bleiben jedoch stets an die Einheit des Gesamtklangs gebunden. Nahezu glockenartig werden die Töne und Klänge angestoßen, und glockenartig schwingen sie wieder aus, ein schillerndes und fluktuierendes Obertonspektrum hinterlassend.
Gerhard Dietel, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik

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