While finishing up Björk, I listened to a slew of CDs at the office yesterday. The winner was Baltic Voices, a Harmonia Mundi compilation of modern sacred music from the Baltic Sea region. The composers are Urmas Sisask, Toivo Tulev, Per Nørgård, Galina Grigorjeva, and Alfred Schnittke; the luminous chorus is the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, under Paul Hillier. The influence of Arvo Pärt is strong but not inescapable. Grigorjeva, in particular, is a composer I’d like to hear more of; her On Leaving ruminates in the grand Russian Orthodox tradition. Other CD’s I’ll deal with in ultra-gnomic Christgau style. Daniel S. Godfrey, String Quartets (Koch): rare wedding of flawless craft and flowing lyricism. Haydn, The Seasons (Harmonia Mundi): René Jacobs spews out another eccentric but persuasive recording. Get his semi-definitive Figaro first. Anna Netrebko, Sempre Libera (DG): the girl can sing. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters (Universal): ditto. Vivaldi, Concertos for the Emperor (Harmonia Mundi): Andrew Manze’s playing in the scalding finale of the C-minor sounds exactly as scary as Vivaldi’s was said to have been.