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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



UGIS PRAULINS 
ODI ET AMO - music composed and arranged for Boys and Men's choir

Odi et Amo
Fiat Lux
Eden
Quare fremuerunt gentes
I beata trinitas
Rorando coeli
Ad dianam
Ave, color vini clari
Qui creavit coelum
Pange lingua
Chorus novae ierusalem
Ave Maris Stella
Libera Me (In memoriam Imants Praulins (1924-94))

Riga Dome Boys' Choir/Martins Klisans

Armands Alksnis (guitars)
Arnolds Karklis (acoustic guitar)
Mara Kalnina (vocals)
Aigars Godins (vocals)
Edgars Janovs (vocals)
Arvids Klisans (French horn)
Martins Klisans (vocals)

rec GEM Studio, Riga, March 1999
UPE RECORDING COMPANY UPE CD 010 [51.48]
Baltic Shop

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 [8] 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 CDs.

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.

Rob Barnett

 

 

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