Regularly named as one of the best choirs in the world, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir are on blindingly good form in their latest release.

Schnittke
The centrepiece is Schnittke’s monumental Choir Concerto – a work from the mid-1980s, the peak of the composer’s magpie polystylism that saw him colliding styles from different eras into generous, wide-ranging works. A recurring spiritual focus also finds expression in music that draws heavily on the 19th-century tradition of Russian Orthodox music as well as on a liturgical form whose roots extend back even further.

Competing influences swirl and dance and, ultimately, find resolution here, and what’s striking about this account is the extent to which we hear that. The choir find the heavy, velvet weight of a Russian Orthodox choir, sopranos covering their tone and dissolving into the softly muted blend. Harmonic shifts in the static outer movements have the impact of tectonic shiftings under the musical landscape. But against the depth and weight and darkness jut shards of...