Friday, 23 December 2016

Paul Constantinescu - The Nativity (Byzantine Christmas Oratorio) (composed 1947, rec. 1977)

Here goes, then - a proper Christmas post.  And in line with my recent obsessions, it's from a 20th-century Romanian composer, but no dense, ear-blasting spectralist writing here; instead, Paul Constantinescu (1909-1963) offered up the apex of his interests in Byzantine chant and Romanian folk melodies, in the 1977 premiere recording of his 1947 Nativity.

I've only had this disc for a few weeks, so won't go into too much detail, but suffice to say if you're looking for an interesting alternative to Handel's Messiah, this one from mid-20th century Romania is wonderful stuff indeed.   
Merry Christmas!

Bonus SGTG stocking-filler: for anyone who'd like a freshly-recorded Messiah, this one (file 1/file 2) was recorded a couple of weeks ago and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday night.

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