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Esenvalds: Passion & Resurrection Import


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Audio CD, Import, March 8, 2011
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$17.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Esenvalds: Passion & Resurrection + Esenvalds: Northern Lights - Choral Music + Beyond all Mortal Dreams
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Editorial Reviews

Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds Passion & Resurrection for strings, choir and soloists is a powerful meditation on the story of Christ s crucifixion and resurrection. Eschewing the single narrative
perspective that characterizes the great Passion settings of the past, the composer has assembled an interlocking mosaic of texts from the gospels, from Byzantine and Roman liturgies and from the Old Testament. Stephen Layton s commitment to new Baltic music is well-known and he has a deep understanding of the musical language of the area as reflected by performances of great integrity and passion. This recording is particularly splendid, featuring not only the matchless Polyphony and Britten Sinfonia but also Carolyn Sampson, crowning the performance with her extraordinary singing.

1. Part I (Passion and Resurrection)
2. Part II
3. Part III
4. Part IV
5. Evening
6. Night Prayer
7. A drop in the ocean
8. Legend of the walled-in woman
9. Long Road

Product Details

  • Performer: Carolyn Sampson
  • Orchestra: Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Composer: Eriks Esenvalds
  • Audio CD (March 8, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B004K4T6CA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,123 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Chironomer on May 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Breathtaking. Simply breathtaking. "A Drop in the Ocean" was the only selection on this album I had heard before ordering it. Having been tremendously moved by that performance--and having great confidence that Stephen Layton and company would make a great recording--I decided to buy the album to become acquainted with more of Esenvalds's music. After listening to the album several times, I am struck by both the exquisite music and the phenomenal singing by Polyphony. The sensitivity that Layton elicits from his singers communicates the intense emotionality of the music, and the technical perfection of the singers leaves nothing to distract from the gorgeous sounds. The title work, Passion and Resurrection, is a stirring and unique approach to the Passion, meditating on fragments from different sources rather than dealing in narrative. "A Drop in the Ocean" is just as moving as I remembered, and "Legend of the walled-in woman" combines folk-singing with modern harmonies in a fascinating way. The final selection, "Long Road" may be the simplest, but Esenvalds demonstrates that lush, diatonic homophony can sometimes be the most compelling. This album is full of music that may bring tears to the eyes, and the singing is some of the finest to be heard on any recording: more than worth the price of purchase.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Roof on October 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listen to "classical religious" music (Bach,Mozart,Haydn,Poulenc,Vaughn-Williams) all of the time, but this did not seem to be the type of thing that would normally appeal to me. After reading a very convincing review in the American Record Guide, I purchased the CD. I love it and have listened to it several times already. It is truly an eclectic mix of haunting beauty and striking appeal. I hear hints of everything from Tibetan chant to Renaissance polyphony to Gorecki-like melancholy to something that seems to have arrived from the sound track of a Star Trek movie. There is an occasional lapse into cloying, late 20th century church music, but not too much.

There's not a single tune to hum, but the sensation and mood created by the music is magical. I wish I could find more like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SATISFIED CUSTOMER on May 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Esevenvald's approach to the progression from Passion to Resurrection is very intimate, and deep. The texts also impressed me because of its diversity and at the same time integritiy. Great choice!

Highly reccomended purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim A on December 30, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Where to even begin with the near-perfection expressed on this CD? I own dozens of CDs of contemporary choral music from many different ensembles and countries. Lukaszewksi, Part, Gorecki, Praulins, Lauridsen, Tormis and Miskinis, just to name a few. This music by Esenvalds, though, towers above all of them. I am glad to see him coming more and more into the "mainstream" choral culture of the United States after being a relatively unknown here for so long. His music was performed at TMEA convention by Baylor University in 2014, and for the 2015 Convention his "Northern Lights" was selected as part of the programming and hence is now widely known at the High School level throughout much of Texas.

The two most profound aspects of Esenvalds' music are the individuality of each piece and the spiritual/emotional power he allows the poetry to convey. For so many modern composers today, they find their "niche" style of writing and then produce large amounts of literature in that voice, all sounding fairly similar. This is not a criticism, as I love the exquisite beauty found in the works of Whitacre and Mealor and Rutter, and will continue to listen to their literature, but with Esenvalds, each work has its own completely unique language and style, and the texts he sets seem to drive the emotional and harmonic realization of each number.

This album, for example, which is just a fraction of Esenvalds' current output, features an incredibly varied set of works.

"Passion and Resurrection," a four-movement extended work, begins the opening movement in pure homophony reminiscent of Allegri's timeless "Miserere" setting, and gradually unfolds it with dissonance in the string parts as his selection of texts moves towards the violence of the crucifixion.
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