Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Prťalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallť
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Calliope TSOUPAKI (b. 1963)
St Luke Passion (2008)
Marcel Beekman (tenor); Ioannis Arvanitis (Byzantine singer); Raneen Hanna (Eastern singer); Members of the Egidius Kwartet; Members of the Ioannis Arvanitis Byzantine Choir; Nieuw Ensemble/Ed Spanjaard
rec. live, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t Ij, Amsterdam, 5 June 2008
Texts and translation
ET’CETERA KTC1402 [76:40]

Experience Classicsonline


From Schütz onwards Christ’s Passion has triggered the imagination of many composers. Contemporary figures remain undaunted by the prospect of a Passion setting. One thinks of Frank Martin, Penderecki, Gubaidulina, Pärt and MacMillan. Some present-day composers such as Osvaldo Golijov approached the Passion with their own feelings and this often means reaching to their deepest cultural or multi-cultural roots. This is obviously the case with Calliope Tsoupaki who was born in Greece but has for quite a few years been resident in the Netherlands. Her St Luke Passion is strongly imbued with her Orthodox background. Her setting, however, is noticeably different from what one has come to expect. The ‘story-telling’ of the Passion is reserved for the long final section Pathos in which it is delivered quickly without undue fuss.
 
The work falls into four sections of which the last is by far the longest and the most developed. The first section Hymnos sets words by Romanos the Melodist (6th century AD). It functions as a huge portal to the work. In the dramatic Aria that follows Christ foretells his death describing the terrors that will precede his resurrection (words from St Luke’s Gospel). This section is entirely sung by the tenor. There follows a third section Threnos that for some reason is not included here. The final section Pathos opens with the Lord’s Prayer sung by the tenor and goes on to recount the Passion story from the Last Supper, the night in the Mount of Olives, Judas’ betrayal to Christ’s trial and Golgotha. The Lord’s Prayer is preceded by a long introduction consisting mainly of accompanied micro-tonally inflected wordless vocalises by the female Eastern singer. The Passion is then quickly delivered through rapid exchanges between Christ (tenor) and the Evangelist (Byzantine singer), sometimes over drones from the men’s voices. However, another hymn by Romanos (“My soul, my soul, rise up”) is interpolated before Judas’ betrayal. Christ’s last breath is echoed by a long solo played by the ney leading to the final blessing followed by florid, yet restrained Alleluias. This final section is then repeated with more emphasis on the Alleluias bringing the work to a peaceful close.
 
As already mentioned earlier in this review Tsoupaki draws on her Orthodox background and much of the music brings the Orthodox tradition to mind. It also goes much further than that in blending Eastern Orthodox tradition with Western musical tradition by the use of unusual instruments of eastern origin such as the ney (a sort of primitive oboe), a kemençe (a bowed stringed instrument) and a qanum (a plucked instrument). These are echoed by the winds and strings of the ensemble but also by the guitar, mandolin and the harp in the ensemble. The voices, too, belong to both worlds since we have a tenor and a Byzantine singer as well as a female Eastern singer whose part mostly consists of wordless micro-tonally inflected vocalises. There is then an ‘Occidental’ trio of men’s voices and a trio of ‘Byzantine’ voices. One might think that all this might eventually come up as mere exoticism but this is emphatically not the case. These various elements blend perfectly to achieve the composer’s universal vision of Christ’s Passion. The composer describes her work as an icon, not a painting. “It must reflect the power of what it represents. You cannot do this with sentimentality.” Drama, indeed, is not absent but acquires a ritual character achieved through restrained, though strong expressivity. Tsoupaki’s St Luke Passion is clearly a deeply sincere and deeply felt piece of music that cannot fail to impress.
 
This recording made during the first performance of the work during the 2008 Holland Festival is excellent by any count. Strong and committed singing and playing make the best of this most endearing work that clearly deserves to be heard but that is likely to remain a one-shot which makes this recording the more welcome. All in all, this is a most worthwhile release although I cannot help but feel a little frustrated that this is not a complete recording.
 
Hubert Culot
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.