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Orthodox Chant / Hillier, Estonian Philharmonic Choir


Release Date: 04/08/2008 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 507318   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dimitri BortnianskyBaldassare GaluppiAnonymousGiuseppe Sarti,   ... 
Performer:  Vladimir MillerToomas TohertUku JollerRisto Joost,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A successful transplant of Orthodox staples to a smoother, Western idiom

Bortnyansky’s choruses are cornerstones of the Russian sacred repertory, and the Cherubic Hymn No 7 and the Concerto No 32 both won a nod of recognition from Tchaikovsky, who otherwise found little to praise and much to blame in this composer. The works by Galuppi and Vedel here recorded, and even Sarti’s Now the Powers of Heaven, for all its ecstatic efflorescences, likewise embody a stabilised musical language, transplanted from the central European high Baroque/Classical lingua franca.

It is the more untamed music by less familiar composers on this CD that really takes the breath away. Especially haunting in its oft-repeated
Read more archaisms is the anonymous O Most Holy Maiden Mary. Remarkable, too, are the wildly revolving sequences of Diletsky’s Praise the Name of the Lord and the Venetian-influenced antiphonal writing of Vasily Titov’s Glory/Only-Begotten Son.

Questions of authentic performance style in this repertory are vexed. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir make a more cultivated, "Western" sound than some may be familiar with, or even respond to; nor can they match the fervour of Orthodox choirs that have sung this music down the generations. On the other hand that fervour can itself sound very forced and manufactured these days. Taken on their own terms the Estonians sound fully engaged, and Paul Hillier has them producing beautifully homogeneous tone throughout a wide dynamic range.

As in the first volume of this series (11/02), recording quality is warm but clear. Close-up listening reveals some traffic noise, and a couple of items start at a slightly different pitch from the end of the one before. But those are tiny defects.

-- David Fanning, Gramophone [10/2003, reviewing the original release]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Cherubic Song no 7 by Dimitri Bortniansky
Performer:  Vladimir Miller (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
In the Flesh Thou Didst Fall Asleep by Baldassare Galuppi
Performer:  Vladimir Miller (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1765-1768; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3.
O Most Holy Maiden Mary by Anonymous
Performer:  Vladimir Miller (Bass), Toomas Tohert (Tenor), Uku Joller (Bass),
Risto Joost (Alto), Tiit Kogermann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Written: Russia 
Length: 11 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4.
Let my prayer arise by Dimitri Bortniansky
Performer:  Vladimir Miller (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: Russia 
Length: 7 Minutes 0 Secs. 
5.
Now the Powers of Heaven by Giuseppe Sarti
Performer:  Vladimir Miller (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
6.
I raise my eyes toward the mountains by Dimitri Bortniansky
Performer:  Vladimir Miller (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: Russia 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 
7.
Praise the Name of the Lord by Nikolai Diletsky
Performer:  Vladimir Miller (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Ukraine 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
8.
Sacred Concerto for Chorus no 27 "With my voice unto the Lord have I cried" by Dimitri Bortniansky
Performer:  Allan Vurma (Bass), Kaia Galina Urb (Soprano), Mati Turi (Tenor),
Aarne Talvik (Bass), Juta Roopalu-Malk (Alto), Iris Oja (Alto),
Vladimir Miller (Bass), Tiit Kogermann (Tenor), Uku Joller (Bass),
Vilve Hepner (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: Russia 
Length: 9 Minutes 10 Secs. 
9.
By the rivers of Babylon by Artemi Lukyanovich Vedel
Performer:  Allan Vurma (Bass), Kaia Galina Urb (Soprano), Mati Turi (Tenor),
Juta Roopalu-Malk (Alto), Iris Oja (Alto), Tiit Kogermann (Tenor),
Vladimir Miller (Bass), Uku Joller (Bass), Vilve Hepner (Soprano),
Külli Erimäe (Alto)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: Ukraine 
Length: 10 Minutes 18 Secs. 
10.
Sacred Concerto for Chorus no 32 "O Lord, make me to know mine end" by Dimitri Bortniansky
Performer:  Kaia Galina Urb (Soprano), Iris Oja (Alto), Mati Turi (Tenor),
Vladimir Miller (Bass), Allan Vurma (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: Russia 
Length: 8 Minutes 15 Secs. 
11.
Glory - Only Begotten Son by Vasily Polikarp Titov
Performer:  Aarne Talvik (Bass), Kaia Galina Urb (Soprano), Iris Oja (Alto),
Vladimir Miller (Bass), Juta Roopalu-Malk (Alto), Tiit Kogermann (Tenor),
Uku Joller (Bass), Vilve Hepner (Soprano), Mati Turi (Tenor)
Conductor:  Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 

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