Rafael Music Notes

The disc ends with Artyomov’s setting (1994, rev. 2012) of the Hymn of the Order of St. John, Malta. Barely three minutes long, Ave, Crux Alba is the most immediately impressive work on these two CDs. Artyomov has created a strong and noble melody for the chorus, and dressed it in splendid orchestral garb. “Wrong” notes and harmonies intensify the emotional impact. In concert, this would get a standing ovation. It wouldn’t be bad at the end of the Hollywood movie, either. The chorus is solid as a rock.

—Rafael de Acha