"There is nothing like entering a church on a Saturday, standing in the semi-darkness with the scent of incense wafting through the air, lost in deep contemplation searching for an answer to those perennial questions, wherefore, when, whither and why?"
These words, from one of Tchaikovsky's own letters, sum up the spirit behind the glorious Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op 41. The work is steeped in the Orthodox tradition, the choral writing provides that sense of transparency and simplicity demanded by the text, and the resulting ambience is rich in the manner familiar to Western listeners from works such as Rachmaninov's Vespers.
This recording also includes ten choruses to texts many of which are taken from the Liturgy. The first nine were published together in 1885, while the tenth, An angel crying, was lost shortly after its first performance in 1887 and only rediscovered thirteen years after the composer's death.
'I would go so far as to say that this recording carries more musical conviction than any of its rivals' (Classic CD)
I. Allihn in FonoForum 5/98: "Die Corydon Singers, die
die russische Sprache und ihre Lautbildung fabelhaft
beherrschen, haben unter Matthew Best eine sehr über-
zeugende Interpretation erarbeitet. Russisch-orthodoxe
Kirchenmusik, wie sie charakteristischer nicht sein