Magazine article Gramophone

Rautavaara: Missa a Cappella

Magazine article Gramophone

Rautavaara: Missa a Cappella

Article excerpt

Rautavaara

Missa a cappella. Psalm of Invocation. Evening Hymn. Missa duodecanonica. Ave Maria, gratia plena. Canticum Mariae Virginis. Our Joyful'st Feast. Die erste Elegie

Latvian Radio Choir / Sigvards Klava

Ondine (F) ODE1223-2 (64' * DDD * T/t)

The Latvians sing the Finn's newest choral work

The Missa a cappella (2011) is Rautavaara's most recent choral work of any size yet is built around his Credo from 1972. Yet there is no stylistic incongruity between the movements, which sound coeval, their different means part of the basic conception. The Latvian Radio Choir provide a polished account, catching the idiom nicely, although there are moments of discomfort in the Sanctus's solo passages.

The Missa duodecanonica (1963) is strictly serial-canonic, its three tiny movements over in 215 seconds, whereas the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir took just 129 but sound rushed; they are consistently swifter than the Latvians in each work listed below. It is sung so beguilingly here that it does not sound dodecaphonic; nor does Ave Maria, gratia plena, a reworking of the male-only Ave Maria (1957). More radical textures initiate Canticum Mariae Virginis (1978), as if orbiting Ligeti's Lux aeterna before transiting quickly into different musical space. …

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