Franz Liszt

Via Crucis

Arvo Pärt

Sacred Choral Works

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Kalle Randalu, piano
Kaspars Putnins, conductor



Sleeve notes in English.

Lyrics in original languages and in English translation.


Soloists in Via Crucis are:

Pilatus — Aarne Talvik (Station I)

Jesus — Olari Viikholm (Station II, VIII, XII)

Ülle Tuisk, Maarja Helstein, Joosep Trumm, Rainer Vilu (Vexilla Regis)

Annika Lõhmus, Miina Pärn, Cätly Talvik (Station III, VII, IX, XII)

Marianne Pärna (Station XIV)



September 2019

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1337-2


Track listing

CD 64:57
Arvo Pärt (1935)
1 Solfeggio (1963) 3:28
2 Summa (1977) 6:21
3 Zwei Beter (1998) 5:25
4 The Woman with the Alabaster Box (1997) 5:57
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Via crucis, S.53, The Fourteen Stations of the Cross 43:08
5 Vexilla regis 4:23
6 Station I: Jesus wird zum Tode verdammt | Jesus is condemned to death 1:22
7 Station II : Jesus trägt sein Kreuz | Jesus takes up the Cross 2:21
8 Station III: Jesus fällt zum ersten Mal | Jesus falls the first time 1:26
9 Station IV: Jesus begegnet seiner heiligen Mutter | Jesus meets his Blessed Mother 2:15
10 Station V: Simon von Kyrene hilft Jesus das Kreuz tragen | Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross 3:09
11 Station VI: Sancta Veronica | St. Veronica 2:29
12 Station VII: Jesus fällt zum zweiten Mal | Jesus falls the second time 1:26
13 Station VIII: Die Frauen von Jerusalem | The women of Jerusalem weep for Jesus 3:05
14 Station IX: Jesus fällt zum dritten Mal | Jesus falls the third time 1:32
15 Station X: Jesus wird entkleidet | Jesus is stripped of his clothes 1:46
16 Station XI: Jesus wird ans Kreuz geschlagen | Jesus is nailed to the Cross 0:58
17 Station XII: Jesus stirbt am Kreuze | Jesus dies on the Cross 7:41
18 Station XIII: Jesus wird vom Kreuz genommen | Jesus is taken down from the Cross 3:50
19 Station XIV: Jesus wird ins Grab gelegt | Jesus is laid in the tomb 5:25

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Complete description

This release by the award-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under the direction of its artistic director and chief conductor Kaspars Putniņš includes Franz Liszt’s (1881–1886) mystery-filled religious vocal work Via Crucis as well as four enigmatic and spiritual choral works by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b. 1935).


Liszt’s Via Crucis is one of his religious masterpieces and represents his late modern and somewhat austere style. Liszt joined the Franciscan Order in Rome in 1865 and remained as a devout Catholic until the end of his life. Through the process Liszt became deeply interested in the Gregorian chant and the works of Palestrina. His stay in Rome inside the Vatican walls inspired him to write several religious works, including the Via Crucis. During Liszt’s lifetime, and even today, his religious works were somewhat neglected: Via Crucis was completed in 1879 but not premiered until 1929. The version in this recording is for choir and piano and features Kalle Randalu, one of Estonia’s internationally most well-known pianists.


This album also includes Arvo Pärt’s first choral work, Solfeggio, from the 1960s, which is already looking towards his later style. Pärt has described his Summa from 1977 as his “most strict and enigmatic work” in his series of works in his now famous tintinnabuli style. The two other choral works are based on biblical narratives from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.


The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (the EPCC) is one of the best-known Estonian music ensembles in the world. The choir was founded in 1981 by Tõnu Kaljuste, who was its artistic director and chief conductor for twenty years. The repertoire of the choir extends from baroque to the music of the 21st century, with a special focus on the work of Estonian composers, such as Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, Galina Grigorjeva, Tõnu Kõrvits and introducing their output to the world. The choir has won the Grammy Award twice and has received 15 Grammy nominations. Other awards include the Gramophone Award, the Diapason d’Or, and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.


Kalle Randalu studied at the Tallinn Conservatoire with Prof. Bruno Lukk and the Moscow Conservatoire with Prof. Lev Vlassenko. Randalu is a prize-winner of renowned international piano competitions, including First Prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich (1985). His repertoire comprises over 50 piano concertos and a large number of solo and chamber works. Randalu’s discography consists of over 50 recordings, including a cycle of Paul Hindemith’s complete sonatas which received both Cannes Classical award and ECHO Award. Since 1997 he has been a professor at the Karlsruhe University of Music. In 1987 Randalu was named National Artist of Estonia.


Kaspars Putniņš started as an artistic director and chief conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in the season 2014/2015. He has been the conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir since 1992. He regularly appears as a guest conductor with leading European choirs such as RIAS Kammerchor, NDR Chor, Collegium Vocale Gent, the Swedish Radio Choir and others.  Kaspars Putniņš is the recipient of the Latvian Music Grand Prix (1998), the Latvian Council of Ministers Award for Achievements in Culture and Science (2000) and the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, 4th Class, by the Estonian President (2019).