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Polish composer and organist Dariusz Przybylski turned 30 last year. A former student of Wolfgang Rihm, Przybylski has written in all the available genres (including opera). These CDs are the result of his residency with the Berlin-based Soloistenensemble Phønix16, sixteen expert singers rather like our own Exaudi, whose virtuosity is breathtaking. The major piece is Przybylski’s Passio of 2013, written for the group, in which the composer takes the familiar words from chapters 18 and 19 of St John’s Gospel and interpolates other texts associated with the Easter liturgy, such as the Stabat Mater, the Passiontide hymn ‘Crux Fidelis’ and Psalm 130. Multi-lingual (principally Latin, Polish, German, as well as English, French, Spanish, Italian and Greek) and multi-layered in its textures, the result is hypnotic and engaging. Conductor Timo Kreuser is in total command of his singers in this music, and shapes the Passion setting with great conviction. The other two pieces on the set are good to have, but it’s Passio that draws this listener back.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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