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Alfred Schnittke
Psalms of Repentance

Alfred Schnittke
Tõnu Kaljuste conductor
 
Psalms of Repentance I-XII

Recorded February 1996
ECM New Series 1583
 
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Superlative performances of Schnittke's most personal music: the composer's soul seems to be laid bare in the "Psalms of Repentance". These choral pieces, based upon 15th century poems and written to commemorate 1,000 years of Christianity in Russia, reveal none of the sardonic distancing or irony that is often characteristic of Schnittke's work. This is music from the heart, of direct emotional expression. The work takes on a special poignancy in the light of Schnittke's death in August 1998, and the Psalms can also be heard as threnody for him.