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Sacred Treasures V: From A Russian Cathedral
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2. Our Father (N. Kedrov, Sr.)
3. Ektenia of Fervent Supplication (N. Frunza)
4. Grant This, O Lord (Sergei Rachmaninov)
5. Bless the Lord, Praise the Lord, Amen (Archbishop Ionafan)
6. The Sound of Spirit-Choral Epilogue (Georgia Kelly)
7. Holy God (Georgiy Sviridov)
8. To Thee We Sing (Dobri Christov)
9. Ektenia (Sergei Rachmaninov)
10. Dominus Vobiscum (Urmas Sisask)
11. O Gentle Light (17th Century Traditional)
12. To Thee We Sing (P. Tchaikovsky)
13. It Is Truly Meet (harmonized by M. Konstantinov)
14. Shen Khar Venakhi (Traditional Polyphony)
15. Praise the Lord, Amen (Archbishop Ionafan)
16. Amen, Alleluia (Sergei Rachmaninov)
Sacred Treasures V: From A Russian Cathedral features mainly 20th century and contemporary composers. There are several selections from "Liturgy of Peace" by Archbishop lonafan (Yeletskyh) of Kiev in which the eastern "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom" is sung to the melodies of Western Gregorian chants, creating a musical synthesis of the two traditions. Nikolai Kedrov Sr.'s famous setting of "The Lord's Prayer" is sung by the Eva Quartet in traditional Bulgarian women's folk style. They appear again in "To Thee We Sing" by Dobri Christov, Bulgaria's greatest sacred music composer. The "Ektenia" by N. Frunza is an exquisite example of the Slavonic style in which a single angelic voice floats above a dense carpet of a cappella voices. "The Sound of Spirit" by American composer Georgia Kelly is not from the Orthodox tradition, yet is similar in structure and feeling to the Ektenia. Kiev's Credo Chamber Choir gives a passionate rendition of "Holy God" by Russia's Georgiy Sviridov. Three hymns from Rachmaninov's version of the "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom" and one from Tchaikovsky's version, along with "O Gentle Light," are powerful examples of singing by Russia's massive mixed choirs. Estonian Urmas Sisask's spectacular "Dominus Vobiscum," though not Orthodox, reveals the influence of Orthodox chant. "It is Truly Meet" is one of many pieces by composers who left the USSR and continued to create abroad. "Shen Khar Venakhi" is a lovely 12th century Georgian hymn in honor of the Mother of God. The numerous repetitions of "Amen," "Alleluia" and "Gospodi pomilui" ("Lord have mercy") throughout the compilation create a unifying theme. All the pieces and performances are infused with a solemn and deeply devotional quality. The singing is spacious and warm, creating an atmosphere of holiness and benediction. The intention was to weave hymns and verses into a seamless tapestry in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and the individual elements of the compilation become movements in a choral symphony of timeless beauty. Ellen Holmes, Producer
Sacred Treasures V certainly follows in the tradition of the previous compilation recordings of Russian choral music & chant (ST I and III). Each is a compilation around a specifc thems, the latest aiming to evoke the liturgical sound and movement during a worship service, under the dome and surrounded by icons. The hymn selection offers a good cross section of the hymnology of the Divine Liturgy, and the choirs that have been selected perfrom superbly, and while varied, all share a common sound quality that weaves together to provide an integrated listening experinece. The sound is full and rich, simultaneously spacious and uplifting, creating the desired effect: that of holiness in the cathedral, the place of worship. For those who loved Sacred Treasure I and III, this will be an addition sure to please.
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