DISCOVERY OF THE MONTH’ APRIL 2011:
I’m indebted to Stephen Sutton of Divine Art for suggesting that I listen to this recording, another of their successful forays into the Baltic states. (See the very different Five-Fifteen recording from Estonia, a wonderful recreation of 1930s dance-band style which I reviewed in November 2010).
Humphrey Smith awarded four-and-a-half stars in 1999 which seems to me about right, though I don’t share his reservation about the use of operatic voices: the soprano Gintaré Skeryté is particularly impressive. The music is not especially dramatic, but it is often impassioned as the text meditates on the Stations of the Cross, displayed around the walls of Roman Catholic and many Anglican churches. That text (in Russian), by Regina Derieva, comes from the Uniate tradition, spanning the Orthodox and Catholic traditions, as represented at papal ceremonies by the deacon of the Greek rite.
Unfortunately none of the download or streaming sources provides anything in the way of notes, much less texts. With the CD costing little more, direct from Divine Art you may prefer to listen first via the Naxos Music Library and order the physical disc when you are as impressed as I’m sure you will be.