Kjell Habbestad - Et nox in diem versa (2017)

Habbestad

The Latvian Radio Choir

Sigvards Klava

LAWO Classics presents here an entire album devoted to a selection of Kjell Habbestad’s sacred choral works. The music on this release was written over a period of 35 years and ranges from the composer’s opus 1 to opus 90. Textually, the works constitute a cycle of the church year, from the Annunciation to Christmas, and from Lent and Passion Week to Easter and Pentecost. 

The Latvian Radio Choir, one of the world’s leading choirs, performs music from all periods, but has specialised mainly in contemporary music. There is hardly another choir that would be able to master the tonal challenges presented by certain works on this album. Thus the recording session in Riga turned out to be a very special experience both for the composer and the recording company. 

Other contributors to the recording are Oslo Cathedral Choir, conductor Vivanne Sydnes, and Kåre Nordstoga at the organ. The reason for this is that the first three tracks, in the midst of a Latin and English language landscape, present Anglican chants with (New) Norwegian text. As one could not expect the Latvian Radio Choir to take on this task, the Latvian and the Norwegian choir pass the baton back and forth in the three works “Magnificat”, “Nunc Dimittis” and “Benedictus Dominus”. Soloists: Ieva Ezeriete and Agate Burkina, sopranos ("Magnificat"), Gundars Dzilums, baritone ("Nunc Dimittis"), Karlis Rutentals, tenor ("Benedictus Dominus"). 

Composer Kjell Habbestad studied church music and is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music. He has an earlier album of organ music, “Gaudeamus”, on the LAWO Classics label, and other releases are planned. 

The Latvian Radio Choir (LRC) ranks among the top professional chamber choirs in Europe. The repertoire of LRC ranges from Renaissance music to the most sophisticated scores by modern composers.

 

ET NOX IN DIEM VERSA

Everything is a circle, in a way—.

For example, I have always visualized the calendar year as a wheel, where January starts at the very bottom. Then the year climbs upwards on the western side, heading towards July—from 12:00 to 1:00. Thus Midsummer’s Day is north and Christmas south, with the summer and winter solstices approximating the positions of the magnetic poles. (...)

The works on this album are arranged in an order that approximates this circle. The title is taken from a stanza in the Christmas hymn, Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming, stanza 3, the concluding line of which is “And night turned into day” / Et nox in diem versa—.

- Kjell Habbestad, composer

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Sigvards Klava

Sigvards K?ava began working with the Latvian Radio Choir in 1987 and was appointed its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director in 1992. As one of Latvia’s most prolific choral conductors, Sigvards K?ava has collaborated with every leading choir and orchestra in the country to perform the great works in the standard repertoire, in addition to conducting most premieres of new choral works by Latvian composers. He has recorded over 20 CDs with the Latvian Radio Choir. Sigvards K?ava has also been Chief Conductor at a number of Latvian and Nordic song festivals. He is a co-founder of the Latvian new music festival ARENA and remains a member of its artistic board. He teaches young conductors at the Choral Department of the Latvian Academy of Music and at the Choral College of the Riga Lutheran Cathedral. Sigvards K?ava has received the Latvian Great Music Award and the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers Award.

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Kjell Habbestad - Et nox in diem versa (2017)

Habbestad

The Latvian Radio Choir

Editing: Vegard Landaas
Mastering Engineer: Thomas Wolden
Producer: Vegard Landaas
Recording Engineer: Thomas Wolden
Recording location: ST. JOHN’S CHURCH, RIGA, 25–29 JANUARY 2016

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LWC1136: Kjell Habbestad - Et nox in diem versa
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Tracks.
1.
Cantica, op. 1 - I. Magnificat, op. 1a
Habbestad
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2.
Cantica, op. 1 - II. Nunc dimittis, op. 1b
Habbestad
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3.
Cantica, op. 1 - III. Benedictus Dominus, op. 1c
Habbestad
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4.
Nox praecessit, op. 19 - I. Nox praecessit
Habbestad
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5.
Nox praecessit, op. 19 - II. Transite per portas
Habbestad
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6.
Nox praecessit, op. 19 - III. Sion non dissolvantor manus tuae
Habbestad
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7.
You who knelt in darkness quaking, from op. 90
Habbestad
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8.
Psalmi, op. 70 - I. Ego clamavi, op. 56
Habbestad
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9.
Psalmi, op. 70 - II. Cantate domino, op. 70
Habbestad
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10.
Psalmi, op. 70 - III. Iubilate Deo, op. 68
Habbestad
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11.
God?s son has made me free, op. 72
Habbestad
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