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Stravinsky - Threni & Requiem Canticles (2016)

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Stravinsky - Threni & Requiem Canticles (2016)

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1.Anthem, "The dove descending breaks the air"

Igor Stravinsky - Threni
3.De elegia prima
4.De elegia tertia: Querimonia
5.De elegia tertia: Sensus Spei
6.De elegia tertia: Solacium
7.De elegia quinta: Oratio Jeremiae Prophetae

Igor Stravinsky - Requiem Canticles
10.Dies irae
11.Tuba mirum
13.Rex tremendae
15.Libera me

Carlo Gesualdo - 3 Sacrae cantiones
17. 3 Sacrae cantiones: No. 1. Da pacem, Domine (arr. I. Stravinsky for choir)

Christina Landshamer (soprano)
Ewa Wolak (contralto)
Maximilian Schmitt (tenor)
Collegium Vocale Gent 
Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Philippe Herreweghe – conductor


All four of the works on this album come from the last part of Stravinsky's career, when he accepted the reigning serialist orthodoxy of the day. As with other music of the period, these have declined in performance frequency (and were never that popular to begin with) since then. Yet they respond well to the rather stark performances of which early music singers are capable, and that's what you get here from the superb Collegium Vocale Ghent and Royal Flemish Philharmonic. Three of the four are serialist; the last is a completion of a motet by Renaissance experimentalist Carlo Gesualdo. Of the two large chorus-and-orchestra pieces, the Requiem Canticles of 1966 probably enjoy more frequent performances as Stravinsky's last major composition. They are short, almost fragmentary settings of requiem texts that bring Webern to mind. The lesser-known work is Threni (1958), a setting of selections from the Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet. This work perhaps comes closer than any other to bringing Stravinsky's late style full circle to the Russian-influenced sound of his early work. Sample the tenor-flügelhorn duet on different versions of the tone row in the "Quomodo sedet," curiously evocative of Orthodox chant. The two small unaccompanied choral pieces are genuine rarities, and they're beautifully sung here. Recommended for lovers of Stravinsky's serialist period, or even just for those who want to sample it. Outhere's engineering work at the De Singel arts center in Antwerp is impressive. ---James Manheim, allmusic.com

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