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Liszt’s sacred works epitomize his Roman Catholic roots. The Marian element is represented by an early, tuneful Ave Maria and, in the same idiom, Ave maris stella and Salve Regina. Unusual and effective is Mariengarten, with its appealing text taken from Ecclesiastes: ‘Like a cedar I am risen up in Lebanon, and like a cypress on the mount of Zion…’; scored for SSAT and organ, which lightens the harmonic texture, it is well worth investigation by choirs. Die Seligpreisungen, from Liszt’s oratorio Christus, takes its text from The Beatitudes, and features melodic recitative – eloquently sung by baritone Felix Heuser – answered by the chorus. Psalm 137 for SSAA chorus, soprano, violin, harp and organ is a sorrowful and elegiac setting, with the writing for soprano, violin and harp particularly adding to the dark character of the work. Kammerchor I Vocalisti give a balanced and sympathetic performance throughout.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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