One of the most fascinating characteristics of 20th-century classical music is its continuous revival of sacred music. Despite the many new developments that have taken place in our increasingly secular society, modern composers from Alfred Schnittke (1934–1998) to Dimitri Tchesnokov (b.1982) have all been inspired by ancient religious texts to compose music that is spiritual, pure, and above all, remarkably peaceful. This release is a celebration of modern sacred music, and, given how timeless the music sounds, it is astonishing to note that all the pieces were written between 1983 and 2011. Much of it is Russian or East-European in origin, with young Ukrainian composer Dimitri Tchesnokov’s Three Sacred Songs following firmly in the tradition of Alfred Schnittke’s Three Sacred Hymns. More established works such as Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat are also included, but however foreign this new music might sound, the listener remains anchored in the familiar texts, taken from psalms and prayers that have held a place in religious worship for centuries.
French ensemble Les Métaboles, founded four years ago, established a relationship with Tchesnokov when they first performed his music for choir in 2010. Having worked closely with him since, together they have explored other sacred works from Eastern Europe and Russia, and, thanks to his guidance, sing in Russian and Latin with excellent diction and clear focus. They are directed by young conductor Léo Warynski, who, as a highly versatile conductor, has directed opera and orchestral music as well as choral works.
A fascinating programme of sacred choral music by contemporary composers from Russia and the Baltic States.
Throughout all ages the ancient religious texts have inspired composers, each time finding new ways of expressing universal emotions about life and death. This new recording contains sacred choral music by world famous Arvo Pärt (Magnificat), Sviridov, Schnittke, Chesnokov and Miskinis. They search for inner power, in their mysterious, stark melodic lines and open harmonies.
Young French choir Les Métaboles (they exist only 4 years) display an astonishing homogeneity and pureness, intense and serene, the perfect ensemble for these sublime and moving choral works!
Booklet contains liner notes and full sing texts in the original language.
Notes on the works and composers in French and English
Sung texts in Latin, Russian, French and English
Biographies of the choir and conductor in French and English