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Define ‘soulful’ singing? Not so easy to pin down, but now at least you could simply play someone this Estonian choir’s new CD of mostly first-time recordings, and you’d have a pretty clear idea what was meant. This year marks Toivo Tulev’s 50th birthday. His recent path, up to the astonishing Magnificat of 2013 has been less about music-as-technique and all about music as spiritual journey. The Latvian Radio Choir are featured on four pieces, bracketing the disc with the glorious Suvine Vihm (‘Summer Rain’) and the long, closing Magnificat, which restores something of the giddy excitement that belongs (surely? Mary has just been acknowledged as the future Mother of God) to that Marian text, but which usually gets buried in solemnity. By contrast, there is the weightless Tanto gentile, a modal/ microtonal piece written for Putniņš and the LRC, and the starkly declamatory Flow My Tears. A truly remarkable recording, and yes, soulfully done.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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