|Founder: Len Mullenger|
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|CHRISTMAS IN LATVIA
Christmas in Latgalea
Christ is Born
Star, Night and Miracle
This Sacred Night
Aija Pelše (soprano); Antra Bigača (mezzo-soprano); Ivars Cinkuss (baritone); Jānis Markovs (baritone); Aivars Klingenbergs (bagpipes)a; New York Latvian Concert Choir; Sonore Choir, Riga; Chamber Orchestra of the Latvian National Orchestra;
Recorded: Riga Recording Studio, January 1996
NYLCC 001 [77:17]
Quite recently I reviewed a Christmas disc from the same source Christmas by the Amber Sea. Here is another fairly unusual one coupling five recent Christmas cantatas composed by Latvian composers for the New York Latvian Concert Choir. Ilze Akerberga’s Winter Cantata was included in Christmas by the Amber Sea and another cantata by her opens the present selection. Though still fairly direct and simple in aims and means, Christmas in Latgale is more overtly folk-inflected. (Incidentally, Latgale is a province of Latvia and some of the texts set by the composer are by a writer from Latgale.) This is particularly evident in some passages in which the solo voices are accompanied by the bagpipe’s drone, and in others in which the singing is clearly redolent of folk song. This, as the other pieces in this release, is tuneful, colourful and quite straightforward, which does not exclude some heartfelt emotions and some simple joyfulness on Christmas Eve.
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