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Damijan MOČNIK (b. 1967)
Verbum supernum prodiens (1997)a
Prošnja (1998)b
Benedictus Dominus (2000)c
Magnificat (1998)d
Christus est natus (1999)e
Blagri (1998)f
Evhe (1997)g
Regina caeli (2000)h
Acclamatio (1995)i
Ecce sacerdos magnus (2000)j
Missa in organi benedictione (1999)k
Doxologia (1999)l
Kralj (1996)m
Marta Močnik (soprano)d; Marcos Fink (bass baritone)c; Dalibor Miklavčič (organ); Tone Potočnik (organ);World Youth Choir ’99 (Gary Graden, director)ae; Andrej Vavken Women’s Church Choir (Damijan Močnik, director)bfim; De Profundis Chamber Choir (Branca Potočnik Krajnik, director)gh; Ave Chamber Choir (Andraž Hauptman, director)j; Chorus N’omen (Tomaž Faganel, director)k
Recorded : Different venues in Ljubljana, 1999-2000
CARUS 83.159 [68:29]

 

Still in his mid-thirties, Slovenian-born Damijan Močnik, who is also a choir conductor, has a sizeable output of choral music to his credit, of which the present release provides a fairly comprehensive survey. These settings draw on a variety of sources, Latin, Slovenian (Prošnja, Blagri [The Beatitudes] and Kralj) and Greek (Evhe). All of them display Močnik’s expertise in choral writing gained from his conducting activity. The music, as a whole, is fairly straightforward and directly communicative, although I suspect that it must not always be easy to sing; and is mostly modally inflected with further influences from orthodox chant and folk music, but never crudely so. The folk influence is rather more evident through allusions than direct quotes.

Most pieces here are fairly short, setting various sacred texts either for mixed chorus or female voices, although some of them actually exist in different versions. Two pieces, however, stand out, if only for their rather unusual setting: Benedictus Dominus (for solo baritone) and Magnificat (for solo soprano), both magnificently sung here.

At twenty minutes, Missa in organi benedictione of 1999 is by far the most substantial work here, and a major Mass setting. It appropriately enough has an important, often demanding organ part. The setting, as a whole, is in turn simple and homophonic, contrapuntal and fiercely energetic, moving along with conviction and passion.

As can be derived from the details above, these recordings by several choirs have been made in different venues in or nearby Ljubljana, but the recorded sound is quite fine throughout, whereas all performances are superbly committed and technically assured.

In short, here is a composer new to me of whom I would definitely like to hear more, and particularly some (or all) of his choral-orchestral works which CARUS might be persuaded to record soon. This release is well worth looking for.

 

Hubert Culot

 



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