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Rautavaara: Vigilia - All Nig

Finnish Radio Vocal Soloists Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.73 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

1. Vigilia: Vespers
2. Vigilia: Psalm 103
3. Vigilia: 1st Katisma
4. Vigilia: Psalm of invocation
5. Vigilia: Sticheron of invocation
6. Vigilia: Sticheron to the Mother of God
7. Vigilia: Evening hymn
8. Vigilia: Ekteniya
9. Vigilia: Sicheron of the litany
10. Vigilia: Ekteniya of the litany
11. Vigilia: Sticheron
12. Vigilia: Troparion
13. Vigilia: Troparion of the feast
14. Vigilia: Final blessing
15. Vigilia: Matins
16. Vigilia: Troparion
17. Vigilia: Troparion (2nd)
18. Vigilia: Hymn of praise
19. Vigilia: Troparion of the resurrection
20. Vigilia: Antiphon
See all 34 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description


Occasionally called Finland's resident mystic, Einojuhani Rautavaara is lots more than that. He's a true musical polyglot, and his music runs the gamut from 12-tone to lyrical, to - in this work - just the right ancient tone, with very modern harmonies, rhythms and vocal acrobatics which do not seem out of place. And the overriding sense one gets in this work devoted to St John the Baptist is the same one might feel sitting in an ancient cathedral, smelling incense while robed members of the congregation, choir and clergy file past. It's gorgeous, really, and broken into two 1/2 hour sections it's just right for listening and wondering. And the recording is amazingly rich and present. Try it, you'll like it. Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Coming closer to the world of the divine Jan. 31 2003
Format:Audio CD
I bought Vigilia after hearing an excerpt on a television biography of Rautavaara. The 24 Finnish Radio Chamber Choir singers, along with their 4 fine soloists, give a wonderful performance. The music could be called the modern equivilant of a Bach chorale - it is full of wonderful vocal and harmonic effects which go very well with the words, and when you hear it you feel like your surroundings have dissolved, and there is a single bright light ahead, and you are in the presence of God.
Some of my favourite tracks on the CD: No. 3 "1st Katisma", with its grand "Halleluyah" with stirring harmonies; No. 8 "Ekteniya" which begins with constantly growing chords of diatonic 2nds building to a climax; No. 11 "Sticheron" with soprano chords over a bass drone, and then vice versa; Nos. 14 and 34 "Final Blessing" which close off each section with contemplative and satisfying finish; and especially No. 33 "Troparion of the ressurrection" (containing material heard earlier), which contains a wide variety of effects; the grand melody near the end has a wonderful triumphant flavour.
Overall I strongly recommend this CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Instantly communicative, rich and very rewarding May 13 2000
Format:Audio CD
The Finnish Radio Chamber Choir consists of some of Finland's finest singers, and they have made a strong case in recent years for Rautavaara's sacred music. On this outstanding CD, they present a concerted version of his settings for the Orthodox Vigil and Mattins services. Those of you who know Rachmaninov's similar settings (especially if through the recordings by the Corydon Singers or King's College Choir) will find this disc a must-have: it is a thoroughly engrossing counterpart to those works, albeit in the Finnish language and with all the subtle nuances of the Finnish Orthodox Church. To those who have never before encountered the Orthodox Vigil, this should still provide a most rewarding hour of listening, as Rautavaara reveals the height of his skill as a composer through the medium of unaccompanied vocal music. He clearly understands how the voice works and exploits all sorts of different singing techniques in the music to magical (if sometimes eerie) effect. Particular examples include the use of a female semi-chorus that chants the Hymn to the Mother of God in toneless whispers whilst the male voices drone and a soprano soloist sings the words above them; also, there are several solo passages such as the opening tenor solo which use microtones. Rautavaara even shows the same healthy respect for Orthodox musical traditions as Rachmaninov, Stravinsky and Tavener- specifically, in the inner section of the "Psalm of Invocation," which uses controlled but wild-sounding glissandi for full chorus, thereby 'quoting' an element of Byzantine music.
With 24 singers and four immaculate soloists, Timo Nuoranne conducts the two services with sensitivity and brilliance.
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