Review by Chris April 28, 2005 (10 of 11 found this review helpful)
|What a wonderful disc this is. Some of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's greatest choral works are admirably performed by the Elora Festival Singers under the direction of Noel Edison.The main work "Berliner Messe" for choir and strings is very atmospheric,even spellbinding both in its apparent simplicity and timeless beauty.
But it is indeed difficult to say which of the 6 pieces performed on this SACD, is the best.
They are all modern masterworks in their own right.
Contemporary music isn't always as beautiful and easily approachable as this.
When I asked conductor Neeme Järvi during an interview about his work as a conductor, which contemporary composers he liked most, he first shrugged away as if offended(we had been discussing the great classical composers and his love of Mahler among other great composers of the past)and then he said :
-Oh all these Atonalist and Minimalists,how many of them can really compose a Fugue?
Then his face lit up again and he said:
-Yes, there is of course Arvo Pärt,and I don't say this because he is an Estonian like myself.
He composes from the Heart,he is a great contemporary composer!
Having heard both this SACD and works like Tabula Rasa, Fratres and his third symphony I heartily agree with Neeme Järvi's opinion of Arvo Pärt's music.
Technically, this recording made in the spacious acoustics of a Toronto church, is quite different from the very dry, very close, but squeaky clean, pure DSD recordings form LSO LIVE that I have enjoyed earlier this week.
Much as I prefer the more atmospheric church acoustic in music like this, I also slightly miss the
absolute tonal and timbral accuracy of the the LSO LIVE recordings.
There is an ease and rightness to them that is not quite there on this SACD.
But even if the string sound lacks the ultimate velvety quality of the best of pure DSD or analogue,
the sound quality is clearly much better than any ordinary RBCD release from Naxos. This is indeed music not to be missed by anyone interested in great music.
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