Choral music has always been a constant thread throughout the compositional development of Rhona Clarke (b. 1958). The works on this album range over a thirty year period and demonstrate the increasing individuality of her work, though rooted in the choral tradition of Ireland and Britain. Her chamber and instrumental works, in contrast, can reach out in far more extreme modernist styles. From the darkness of Ave Atque Vale to the sheer breathtaking beauty of Pie Jesu or Lullay, my Liking, Clarke shows herself here to be among the most effective, inspired and communicative choral composers of today. The album contains sacred works; from her Requiem which concentrates on the message of redemption and omits the judgemental sections, to Marian Anthems and three Christmas Carols; and also secular songs of love, loss and black comedy.
The Latvian State Choir is the leading professional choir in the Baltic States, and is in high demand internationally having worked recently with the Concertgebouw and London Philharmonic Orchestras (among many) and has recorded for Naxos, Harmonia Mundi, Warner and other top labels. This is the choir’s debut album for Métier.
This is a program of the most wonderful choral music of today, which will have wide appeal.