Hymns and Prayers combines three works from disparate eras whose moods fit together in a pleasingly astringent manner. Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer’s “Eight Hymns” is a series of quiet miniatures, spare piano forms haunted by high string and vibes tones, forming tranquil, contemplative sound-mobiles redolent of the late filmmaker’s unhurried grace; and Giya Kancheli’s “Silent Prayer” has a similarly meditative cast. The modern pieces are separated by César Franck’s “Piano Quintet in F-Minor”, the lachrymose tone of which works surprisingly well in the context.
Andy Gill, The Independent
As with much of Kancheli’s recent music, the work is slow, hypnotic and expansive, but manages through the ethereal beauty of its textures to sustain one’s interest over a time span of nearly half an hour.
Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine
Voilà donc la première discographique, de ‘Eight Hymns’ du compositeur, pianiste, contrebassiste et improvisateur hongrois Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer. Fine et méditative, sa partition tisse un entrelacs de cordes entre les trois instrumentistes solos: violon, piano et vibraphone. La sonorité cristalline de ce dernier rehausse le caractère volontiers plaintif de ces Hymnes à la douceur veloutée. Une partition à découvrir, dont la proximité avec Silent Prayer, de Giya Kancheli, est un atout.
Franck Mallet, Classica
This is a typically unusual ECM disc, and I would especially urge those with an angst for contemporary music to try it. The Franck is a rich but deeply rewarding filling to what might seem a ‘modern’ sandwich, but the outer works are special and memorable – at times jaw-droppingly beautiful, and always performed with infectious conviction by the musicians of Kremerata Baltica.
Dominy Clements, Musicweb International Classical Reviews>/i>
This is the kind of CD that, were it to be played by enough people at the same time, could well create a cosmic vibration suitable for realigning the planets and undoing global warming.
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times