CD review: Schnittke/Pärt
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under Kaspars Putnins creates Alfred Schnittke's 12 Penitential Psalms compelling and spellbinding. The choral sound is completely pure, effortlessly easy even in the heights. (...) The numerous solo parts let you hear what excellent voices are added to this overall sound. (...) Nunc Dimittis by Arvo Pärt flows quietly dark and mysterious, until "Lumen ad relevationem gentium",when it turns into the most radiant C sharp major. The choir remains soundable and not overdriven in the powerful fortissimo: top class of choir culture. This choir belongs in this formation to the best in the world.
www.klassik-heute.de, Rainer W. Janka, 02.02.2018
CD review: Schnittke & Pärt
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is a lyrical giant, with a dark basic sound, which very much appeals to the ensemble at Schnittke and also at Pärt. (...) Dynamically a huge palette is to be experienced, from the most delicate, extremely fine sounds to the eruptive break-out. As a collective the formation makes an impression in a wonderfully soft forte at the peak of Pärt's Magnificat or in some perfectly pointed Decrescendo. The voicing is fabulous. Not so many ensembles are as relaxed and controlled as the Estonians.
www.klassik.com.de, Dr. Matthias Lange, 03.02.2018
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir at Milton Court London
Even when Arvo Pärt's rising or melodic melodic lines cumulatively outstayed their welcome, we could always bask in the choir's perfect intonation, dazzling clean tone and unanimity of attack. Every vocal strand had depth, not least the basses, who rooted the textures with a rounded solidity.(...) I would be happy to hear Kaspars Putnins's choir sing more of Veljo Tormis's music.
The Times, Geoff Brown, 01.02.2018
Kaspars Putnins and EPCC in New York celebrated
Under Kaspars Putnins' direction, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir sang with a shimmering, warm blend of voices and easy mastery (...) and present and illuminated in the range of piano to mezzoforte.
New York Classical Review, George Grella, 02.02.2017
CD: Galina Grigorjeva: Nature Morte
This new album from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir reinforces their position as one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles. Paul Hillier directs them through a deeply satisfying survey of music by the Ukrainian-born Estonian composer Galina Grigorjeva (Ondine Records).
www.gramophone.co.uk, Malcom Riley, 01.04.2016
Familiar yet strange, archaic but modern, these deeply felt choral pieces by Galina Grigorjeva are brought radiantly to life in this magnificent recording.If you are unfamiliar with the music of the Estonian composer, these beautiful new recordings will come as a revelation. But then if you did know her music, you’d have bought this album already – it’s that good. With a sound world that in places seems to contemplate the immensity of the cosmos, it’s an engrossing and richly rewarding experience, and it’s brought radiantly to life on this album with fine solo performances and immaculate ensemble work under Paul Hillier.
Primephonic, Kevin Painting, 27.04.2016
Meditative lament, spiritual brilliance
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is an outstanding advocate of Pärt’s music. Characterized by purity, transparency and homogeneity. (...) Bright shining sopranos and sonorous grounding bassos exemplary matching with altos and tenors. The male voices are especially challenged and impress with their delicate Mezza Voce-register. Unisonous succeed as intriguing as large-scale climaxes.
Heilbronner Stimme, 27.03.2015
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is an outstanding advocate of Pärt's music. Purity, transparency and homogeneity characterize the ensemble. (...) The sopranos shine clear, the basses ground sonorous, alti and tenors tenors sing immaculately. The male voices are challenged and delight with their delicate register of mezza voce. Unisono passages work out as intriguingly as large-scale cumulations.
Heilbronner Stimme, Theophil Hammer, 27.03.2015
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Salt Lake City
The EPCC is one of the absolute premiere choirs in the world, and their performance was intense, full of power yet also with amazing nuances.(…) The centre piece was "Carlo" by Australian composer Brett Dean. The choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Tonu Kaljuste created dynamics from pppp to ffff and the music constantly shifted in direction, yet all the while creating its own logic over the arc of the composition. This performance was one of the highlights of the entire American Choral Directors Conference in Salt Lake City. I could listen to these folks FOREVER.
Paul Carey, Komponist, 03.03.2015
Brahms' "A German Requiem" (version for two pianos)
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is in a very good shape and shows its entire ability at the very beginning of the new season. The high notes were shining, the chords clear, the choir's timbre balanced with a beautiful sound; the tutti was powerful, the piano breathtaking.
Sirp, Mart Jaanson, 03.10.2014
Haunting of elves and chants of fairies
The whole Shakespearean staff operated in the imagination of the listener to mischief, wonderfully played by the orchestra, held taut in tempo and presented with tonal delicacy, from the overture on the chorus of elves with the fabulous Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, of which one would have liked to hear more.
Frankfurter Neue Presse, Michael Dellith, 03.07.2014
CD Erkki-Sven Tüür: Awakening
When the bolder, more stylistically emancipated perspectives of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s recent music meet the direct, almost vibrato-less timbres of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the results are more than musically impressive: they are spiritually stirring. Tüür’s ability to transmute if not base metal into gold then at the least the familiar into the magical is immediately evident, as the grandest piece on this disc, Awakening, begins with inchoate swirls that turn the tired old “tuning-up” gesture into a real tuning-in. The Wanderer’s Evening Song, another deeply felt piece, composed for and dedicated to the EPCC, is performed with luminous precision.
CD Vivit! Choral works by Max Reger and Rudolf Tobias
Max Reger in particular offers the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir a productive scope and activites the abundant qualities of the ensemble. It’s a matured and splendid choir with great registers, … powerful, in perfect domination of dynamics and with a convincing balance. The ensemble evolves marvellously, with an applaudable legato culture. … The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber choir once more presents itself as an outstandingly profiled ensemble.
Mendelssohn and Kreek: Psalms
The Baltic states have produced some very fine choirs, and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is one of the finest of all. The Mendelssohn pieces receive outstanding performances from this marvellous choir. We need not concern with such matters as intonation, balance and blend, so accomplished is the singing. Listen to the subtle way Daniel Reuss ensures that the radiance written into the music at the phrase "Sende Dein Licht" appears only gradually, thereby increasing its dramatic effect. The psalms by Cyrillus Kreek are fascinating and extremely beautiful music. It is perfectly conceived for choir. The Estonians are totally at home in the idiom. In any event, hearing this choir in almost any repertoire tends to have the same effect as hearing the music of Cyrillus Kreek – once you have experienced it you immediately start to look for more.
Musicweb International Classical Reviews, 07/2012