The tragic fate of Italian poet Cesare Pavese has found rich expression in Sei la Luce e il Mattino , (You are Light and Morning) a cycle for choir and orchestra by Estonian composer, Tõnu Kõrvits. While Kõrvits generally claims some stylistic affinity with his compatriots, Pärt, Tüür and Tormis, in this particular instance Mahler casts rather a long shadow over this romantic exploration of love and longing, life and death. In matters of texture and harmony, and the blending of choir and orchestra, there are certain resonances with Kõrvits’ near contemporary, Roxanna Panufnik.

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Cast in 11 sections, Sei la Luce sets eight of Pavese’s poems; six in Italian, two in English. Pavese, who sadly took his own life when just 41,...