Poland, 2019, modern classical / chamber music

BastardaArs moriendi

The name of this album is taken from 15th-century Latin texts about how to die well within the precepts of the Christian religion, especially considering the horrors of mass death in times of plague. I wonder if this album is meant, in some small part, to be an auditory companion to one’s hour of death. The music is beautiful, a little haunting and strange, and feels like it’s stalking you, like it’s walking slowly, yet deliberately and inexorably, toward you with each pulse of the cello. I’m surprised at how subdued the greeting for the Queen of Heaven is, though. I would’ve expected more… joy. Well, I guess when one is dying, there are other things on your mind. This recording is all very minimal (for the most part—except for the wonderful braying of the contrabass clarinet) and full of nuance.

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