This is a sometimes pleasing exercise in meshing the
gears of Nova Celtica with the Christian pop, heavy rock, rap and Windmill
Hill New Age. The singers are rock steady with all the rich tone of
an outstandingly solid and artistically perceptive male voice choir.
The Celtic element shadows the work of Capercaillie
and River Dance. This is an eclectic mix and the start of Rorando
Coeli seems to take us close to Howells' Take Him Earth before
insurgents from 1970s commercial pop take over. The guitar riffs in
Ave Color  made me wonder if we were in the power of a certain
'Pinball Wizard'. Qui Creavit is consciously medieval then time
travels to the Tudor court before driving a coach and horses through
the hall with a seventies synth. The Detroit synthesised automata drum-beat
over which Pangue Lingua is sung is less impressive - all too
regular and unvaried although the moment of evocation of rustic uillean
pipes is an attraction. Works such as this would fit with satin ease
into the young embrace of evangelical congregations worldwide provided
they have a tolerance for sung latin texts. Otherwise I was reminded
of the Christian cantatas that spilled from the Scandinavian countries
in the 1970s.
Arvids Klisans, the person credited with the French
Horn, is the same player who spins such a characterful melodic line
in Jurjanu Andrejs Barcarola [Latviesu Klasikas Dargumi UPE CLASSICS
750404001726]. This collection was reviewed
elsewhere on this site.
The Choir which was founded in 1950 is closely associated
with the Emil Darzins Music School. It has represented Latvia across
the world. The choristers regularly participate in services, recordings
and concerts in the Dom, Riga, and across Latvia. They have made seven
On this evidence this is a choir of world calibre.
If you get a chance to hear them do not miss the opportunity such is
their precision, golden tone and attack. I would very much like to hear
them in some more classically orientated repertoire.
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