The first recording from the Spanish label Neu Records features choral works by the composer Bernat Vivancos (born in Barcelona in 1973), sung by the world renowned Latvian Radio Choir under the direction of Sigvards Klava. To quote Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen’s booklet notes, “Vivancos’ music is like a city of angels: blissful sounds populated by saintly spirits hiding between the notes as birds in a tree”.
An exquisite double album, Blanc comprises nine of Vivancos’ most evocative choral pieces, reflecting an aesthetic approach that the composer began to develop during stays in Paris and Oslo. It’s music of rich sonority, texture and colour, where research into spectral inspired harmonies, Western traditional modal music, and a constant interest to create a new and seductive dimension all converge, and where being transported by the sound itself is one of the main attractions.
Contemplation and transcendence, always present in his music, are captured in works of great beauty such as Nigra Sum, in which female voices elucidate the blackness of the Black Madonna venerated in the Shrine of Montserrat - Vivancos is music director of Montserrat Boys Choir.
The Latvian Radio Choir, founded in 1940, has been led by Sigvards Klava and Kaspars Putnins since 1992. Its repertoire embraces the Renaissance era and contemporary music,
and it has made more than 40 discs for labels like Ondine, Naïve, BIS and Gavin Bryars Records. In 2012, ECM New Series released the choir’s recording of Arvo Pärt’s Adam’s Lament (with Sinfonietta Riga) to great acclaim.