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Monday, October 24, 2022

Valentin Silvestrov, Maidan, Kyiv Chamber Choir, Mykola Hobdych, Contemporary Choral Music From the Ukraine


A few years ago I did not really know the Ukraine in itself as an identity, other than some old stamps from my grandfather's collection, a few nice folk choral albums from the earlier LP days and Mussorgsky's "The Great Gate of Kiev!" Now all that has changed due to the tide of events and my coming to know and appreciate some wonderful people from there. Like many over here I follow the tragic wartime unfoldings with concern and dismay. We hail the truly heroic response of those who steadfastly defend their homeland. Slava Ukraini!

And in a timely way we hear a recent release of some deeply carved out a cappella choral music by Maestro Silvestrov, Maidan (ECM New Series 2359). The Kyiv Chamber Choir under Mykola Hobdych gives us spirited and spectacularly sonic readings, filled with great beauty and a rootedness in old Orthodox Chant timbres, deep bass, and long notes as a springboard to the new Modernisms.  An expansiveness marks Silvestrov as a very original contributor to the Contemporary and innovative movement forward we have also in our times in Arvo Part and other luminaries in the new consonance. The music haunts, ever more so with the ECM high-sonics production rigor. Great choir!

In my listens for this one, now four and counting, by hearing number three I was convinced fully and greeted the motifs with the joy of happy recognition. It broadens our appreciation of the composer and his nicely Contemporary and local lyricism. The music plummets deeply, then plumbs the depth and leaves you satisfied and ready to hear again.

Strongly recommended. Some of his very best!

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