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Choir release 'spellbinding' CD as they embark on Baltic adventure

Posted on 01/07/2013

The Choir of Royal Holloway will take part in the Latvian Song Festival, which brings more than 40,000 singers to Riga

Today, the Choir of Royal Holloway officially launches its latest recording Kreek’s Notebook, which sees them joined by the Britten Sinfonia for a rich collection of music from Estonia and Latvia.

Described as a “spellbinding performance” by reviewers, the CD is being released as the Choir embarks on a two-week tour of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

As part of their trip, the singers will join the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra to perform Kreek's Notebook in Tallinn, Estonia, on Sunday 7 July in a concert to be broadcast on Estonian radio. They will also be guests of the Latvian choir BALSIS and take part in the 25th Latvian Song Festival, which brings more than 40,000 singers to Riga. In addition, the Choir will be performing in the cathedrals of Riga and Kaunas and giving the opening concert of the Viljandi Early Music Festival in Estonia.

This is the third recording of Baltic music on the Hyperion Records label by Royal Holloway’s critically acclaimed choir. 

The CD’s main work is Kreek’s Notebook, in which Tõnu Kõrvits pays homage to Cyrillus Kreek, who was the first composer to research and collect Estonian folk hymns. Many of his arrangements have since become part of the repertory of Estonian choirs.

During the Soviet regime, the singing of these religious songs was forbidden and this cultural genre was all but forgotten. At the end of the 20th century, however, Tõnu Kõrvits was struck by the fresh possibilities and newly-discovered meanings of folk hymns. Alongside this eight-movement piece are works by Latvian composers Peteris Plakidis and Arturs Maskats.



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