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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released July 30, 2021 | Chandos

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The Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute strives to present Russian Orthodox choral music in its highest possible form, uniting deep spirituality, a profound love for the rich traditions of Orthodox Christian singing, and an uncompromising standard of musical professionalism rooted in the great traditions of Russian choral composers. The 725-year-old Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign is one of the most ancient icons of the Russian Orthodox Church. This holy relic is linked with many important events in Russian history: repelling the invasions of the Tatars, the liberation of the Russian nation from the Polish-Lithuanian incursion in 1612, and the victory over Napoleon during the Patriotic War of 1812. The 2019 PaTRAM Institute Recording Project was to record the sacred works of Alexander Gretchaninoff, but as the project was in development, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, had granted his special permission and blessing to allow the 725-year-old wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign to travel with the PaTRAM Choir to the recording location in Saratov, Russia. The timing of the recording also coincided with the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. In honour of this event, the repertoire was changed to a compendium of sacred masterpieces by various composers, glorifying the Most Holy Lady Theotokos. The album brings together singers from five countries, including an unprecedented nine octavists, to form the fifty-six-member international PaTRAM Institute Male Choir. © Chandos
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Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | Reference Recordings

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The tradition of original polyphonic composition in the Russian Orthodox Church has been only intermittently apparent to the wider world. Its high point came in the years before the Russian Revolution of 1917, and it is from those years that these works by Pavel Chesnokov come (no exact dates are given, but Chesnokov, under political pressure, stopped writing sacred music after the Revolution). The selections come from the All-Night Vigil, Op. 44 (also known as the Vesper Mass), and the Vespers portion of Works and Arrangements, Op. 9, two of the composer's last sacred works; conductor Vladimir Gorbik, in his useful notes, states that since a primary audience for the album will be listeners in the U.S., he decided to divorce the program from liturgical requirements. It's a reasonable choice, since the reverential nature of the performances comes through in force. Some of the texts (you can sample "Blessed Art Thou, O Lord") were set by Rachmaninov in his slightly later All-Night Vigil, and comparing those could be a way to get a handle on Chesnokov's style, which makes only sparing use of ponderous basso profundo sounds but involves denser polyphony. The most distinctive feature of the album is that it involves a collaboration among three different male choirs; although the graphics (at least in the U.S. release) bill it as a performance by the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir (the PaTRAM Institute is the Patriarch Tikhon Russian American Music Institute), there are also singers from two Russian choirs, in Moscow and Saratov, and Gorbik himself is Russian. Those familiar with this tradition of singing will enjoy picking out the various influences, but any listener will find the sound richly textured. This release, recorded in Russia in 2016, was nominated for the 2018 Grammy award for Best Choral Performance. Reference Recordings deserves special note for splendid engineering in music that easily turns to sonic mush. © TiVo
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 1, 2021 | Chandos

Booklet