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Sacred Works


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Audio CD, February 23, 2010
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Sacred Works + Sacred Songs + Silent Songs
Price for all three: $50.59

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Product Details

  • Performer: Kiev Chamber Choir
  • Conductor: Mykola Hobdych
  • Audio CD (February 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM New Series
  • ASIN: B002Q4RLE6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,648 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Liturgical Chants
2. Two Spiritual Songs
3. Two Spiritual Chants
4. Two Psalms of David
5. Diptych
6. Alleluia

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

"Hypnotic and startingly different, this music has cult potential" -- The Guardian (UK)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Roof on January 19, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For those of you who, like me, have come to love modern, and I mean truly modern, choral music, this CD should provide a most blissful and satisfying listening experience. Make no mistake, the music on this CD is like nothing I have ever heard, and I've heard it all. That said, I would like to reassure all potential listeners that this faire is immensely accessible and immediately beautiful. At once strange, familiar, lovely and tonal, this music seems composed of finely drawn tiles of beautifully harmonized melodic strands, which flow together to form an ethereal mosaic of great musical beauty and spiritual wonder.

I know that sounds a bit overblown, but I really love the music on this CD. 21st century music in every way, this faire should appeal to those of us who have come to love the music of Whitacre, Lauridsen, Gjeilo, Vasks, Esenwalds, Miskinis, Mealor, and Clausen (among others), though it is not quite the same. This music is less structured, almost infinite in its vision, yet easily at home with listeners who love music of that genre. At times, it comes across as a bit single-minded, possibly monotonous; and yet, when it ends, I invariably turn it back to the beginning and listen to it again. It's almost like bathing in a musical version of universal peace and serenity.

In my view, Ukrainian composer Valentine Silvestrov has imbued this music with all of the feelings and sensations we would like to carry with us into our spiritual eternity: joy, melancholy, happiness, sadness, cognizance, awe, and love. It's all there in lovely, highly expressive musical images. Occasionally, I hear short references to Bach, Schubert, and Rachmaninov; but always in a dreamy, 21st century, near-caricature sort of way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, born in 1937 describes his music as 'the world singing of itself'. This collection of a cappella sacred songs were recorded in the Cathedral of the Dormition, Kiev, have a unique beauty, politically out of fashion in the Soviet era but now finding free expression among "holy minimalists" such as Arvo Pärt. His 'Liturgical Chants', hymns, psalms and an 'Alleluia' were composed in 2005/2006 and recall an almost disembodied quality, hypnotic and haunting. Silvestrov's interest in the choir came comparatively late. Partly due to conductor Mykola Hobdych's persistent encouragement, he immersed himself more deeply in the choral world and began to study old Russian litanies. Once he had started reading them, he was so fascinated that he wrote some 40 minutes of music within two weeks. 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.

The works contained on this recording are as follows: Liturgical chants (2005) Litany, Four spiritual songs - Christmas Song, Dithyrambic Song, Cherubic Song, Alleluia, Bless, O Lord, O Holy God, The Creed, Gloria, Hymn of the Cherubs, The Beatitudes, Ave Maria, Two spiritual songs (2006) Alleluia, Ave Maria, Two spiritual chants (2006) A Mercy of Peace, To Thee we Sing, Two Psalms of David (2006) Fret not thyself because of the ungodly (Psalm 37), O Praise God in His Sanctuary (Psalm 150), Diptych (1995) The Lord's Prayer, Testament (from the poems of T.H. Shevchenko), Alleluia (2006) Evening, Morning, and Night.

Kiev Chamber Choir is conducted by Mykola Hobdych, the person responsible fo the composition of many of these works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danusha V. Goska on September 23, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I love this CD. It is one of my favorites.

It consists of voices singing, no instruments. It is clear that they are singing in a Slavic language, and that sound -- the distinct sound of a Slavic language -- is soothing to me, as my parents spoke Polish and Slovak at home. In many pieces, the primary voice you hear is a male baritone, with higher female voices in the background. In others, female voices predominate.

Listening to this CD is like the aural version of watching clouds, tinted pastel by sunset, slowly scud across a blue sky. They shift, morph, shred, grow, decrease, pause for seconds, and move on, assuming unexpected shapes. Maybe that is a bunny, maybe that is a map of ancient Spain -- maybe the voices are rejoicing; maybe they are mourning; maybe they are achieving some transcendent spiritual state no, no -- that wasn't a bunny at all. It's changing shape again. You return to your dreams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Hyland on October 28, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am not religious and did not buy this for its religious connections.
I just really loved the sound and music. It had an effect on me like when I first heard gregorian chants, but this is not at all Gregorian. It is smoother, more choral but also very exotic with just enough Eastern influence to be exotic but not too exotic. It is also a contemporary choral work and has interesting moments where it sounds modern.
The second track, the first Spiritual Song, is particularly beautiful but very short! The album has 23 tracks but most are pretty short. The longest is the first track. I often just skip it to move along to the body of the work.
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