Here is new music that should appeal to a wide audience. Lydia Kakabadse has a melodic gift, and is able to present an interesting meld of musical traditions into immediately appealing music.
Kakabadse’s musical heritage comes from her Russian/Georgian father and her Greek/Austrian mother, and from her Greek/Russian Orthodox faith. She was born and raised in Cheshire, so the English choral tradition is part of this appealing mix. The music included in this CD is direct and clear, but with exotic overtones, sounding like Orthodox chants or Vaughan Williams’ G Minor Mass one minute, and Carl Orff or 1940s Hollywood fantasy the next. The music is often serious but never bleak, and the mood is often broken by a sprightly tune, like a ray of sunshine in a dark church. The singing by the Alumni of the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, under the direction of Graham Ross, is outstanding. They’re helped out by an excellent instrumental group, and some expert sound engineering.
This disc is highly recommended; I look forward to more music from this fascinating composer.