Saturday, August 16, 2014

Victoria Poleva - Choral and orchestral works

Victoria Poleva - Choral and orchestral works

Opinions vary on Arvo Pärt and his influence. I've greatly enjoyed singing his choral pieces, and playing his solitary piano work. But I recognise that many people find the sparse writing of his "sacred minimalism" simply dull.

Victoria Poleva, a Ukranian composer born in 1962, has been classed with the sacred minimalist movement, but that's really too simple. For a start, these works reveal a delight in sonority and scale of sound. There's also a very sensual, ecstatic quality to the writing, and a strong sense of rootedness in the orthodox religious choral tradition. These are pretty vast works - "Слово" fields enormous choral and orchestral sounds, and a taxing solo line sung by the anonymous soprano.

And here's where I have to admit I don't know where these recordings originated. Two of them have appeared on Russian bulletin boards not famed for their vigilance in copyright protection. They came my way from a colleague in Germany who in turn got them from someone else. They sound like radio recordings, but have occasional imperfections that suggest that somewhere along the way someone re-encoded them. The orchestra is identified, but not the choir or soloists. And the choral conducting in "Credo" is credited to Bogdan/Bohdan Plish with a question mark. This may be because Plish conducts a choir called "Credo", and had nothing to do with the present recording.

Anyone who has any more information on the artists, recording etc, please comment.

And this doesn't matter as much as the music, which I think deserves a listen. Put it on loudspeakers and terrify your children and pets.

Credo (2009) for mixed choir and symphony orchestra
Symphony No. 3 ("White interment")
National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Sirenko (conductor)
Слово "Word" 2002  (on the text by Symeon the New Theologian for soprano, mixed choir and symphony orchestra)
"ONO" for symphony orchestra 2004
National symphony orchestra of Ukraine, conductor Volodymyr Sirenko
Choir possibly conducted by Bohdan Plish

Download from Mediafire

Poleva's page on Wikipedia

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