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Estonian music opens up a different dimension into the sacred, and the music of Galina Grigorjeva is no exception. Its roots stretch back to the Orthodox tradition, but with a unique, contemporary twist. Dramatic yet serene, complex yet transparent, serene yet impassioned, Grigorjeva’s music is packed with subtle contradictions rooted in a Russian folklore tradition, such as in Svjatki, setting six folk texts linked to Christmas and featuring excellent unidentified soloists and the virtuosic Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. In Salve Regina, the interplay of voices and string quartet produces an individual resonance, which is masterly. Conrad Steinmann’s performance of Lament is dazzling as he extracts extraordinary effects from the recorder that are diverse and haunting. This is a disc to return to again and again, as there is so much to explore.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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