Trivium seemed to go down well the other week, so here's the organist's second ECM New Series release, again focusing on just three well-chosen composers. The most striking difference with this album is that he's also joined for two pieces by Sarah Leonard, an English soprano with a particular interest in contemporary classical music, to great effect.
First up is the Górecki work that gives the album its name. O Domina Nostra (1982-1985/90) takes inspiration from the iconography in a Polish monastery, and making stunning use of the deep organ drones set against the developing soprano part. The organist is then featured solo in a vocal-less version of Erik Satie's Messe des Pauvres (1895) and a couple of Darius Milhaud Preludes from 1942, before Sarah Leonard returns for the stunning finale - Gavin Bryars' The Black River (1991), with its text from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Compared to the Trivium album, this collection is much more about subtlety and gradual shifts in atmosphere, making it a fascinating feast for the ears.
mega / zippy