American Record Guide
KOSTIAINEN: Triduum Paschale Kaisa Ranta, Minja Niiranen, s; Jeni Packalen, mz; Simo Makinen, t ; Tapani Plathan, b; Musica Choir; Jyvaskyla Sinfonia, St Michel Strings/ Ville Matvejeff—Alba 455 [2CD] 103 minutes
Triduum Paschale is the magnum opus of Pekka Kostiainen (b 1944), the Finnish composer who composed it a couple of decades ago to ring in the 3rd Millennium. Its three sections recall the agonies and ecstasies of Holy Week. Missa Viridium expresses the gloomy forebodings of Maundy Thursday. Passio re-enacts St Luke’s account of the crucifixion, and the Missa Paschalis celebrates the miracle of the resurrection. Each leg of the journey inspired admirable writing from the composer. There is a graceful and fragrant Sanctus-Benedictus for the soloists in the liturgy for Maundy Thursday. Pilate’s exchange with the crowd in the Passion (Evankeliumi 1) is a percussive, syncopated, downright nasty affair guaranteed to get your attention. The Easter highlight is a Gloria that alternates between brassy outbursts of joy and a radiant hymn that might remind you of `The First Noel’ from another time of year. If there are other musical destinations you’d rather visit on an Easter Vigil, no one would blame you, what with the Bach Passions and Messiah already sitting on your shelf. But if you’d fancy hearing those momentous events brought to musical life in a new voice, you would do well to seek this out. The playing, singing, and recording are superb.
American Records Guide July/August 2021