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Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Baikov, Karakuts, Gerasimova
Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is a standard Russian Orthodox liturgical text; Rachmaninov used it for the earlier of his two great sacred choral works (the other is the Vespers, or "All-Night Vigil"). This work of sy...  more »

      
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All Artists: Baikov, Karakuts, Gerasimova, Minin, Moscow Chamber Choir
Title: Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Moscow Studio
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 9/13/2005
Genre: Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 723721174552

Synopsis

Album Description
The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is a standard Russian Orthodox liturgical text; Rachmaninov used it for the earlier of his two great sacred choral works (the other is the Vespers, or "All-Night Vigil"). This work of symphonic proportions was composed in less than three weeks. After it was completed, Rachmaninov wrote to a friend that he had been carried away by the project and that it had been a long time since he had written music with such pleasure. Vladimir Minin was born in St. Petersburg in 1929, where he received his early musical training singing in the boys? choir. Minin went on to direct choirs throughout the former Soviet Union before founding the Moscow Chamber Choir in the early 1970s. With strong ties to various contemporary composers, Minin and his singers have premiered many works and have performed a wide range of repertory. In 2000, the choir recorded Rachmaninov?s The Bells and Taneyev?s cantata St. John of Damascus with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon. The Moscow Chamber Choir can also be heard on a disc of Russian orchestral favorites in this series.

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CD Reviews

Worship Music that NEVER Goes Out of Style
Warren Kelly | Southern Ohio | 01/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The term 'liturgy' can be confusing to some, so a brief definition and explanation. While the term normally describes any set formal worship procedure (as in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer), in the Orthodox Church it refers specifically to the eucharistic rite (which the Roman Catholic Church would call simply 'Mass').

St. John Chrysostom was called to be bishop of Constantinople in 398. He was known for his eloquence ('Chrysostom' means "golden-mouth"), and his extant sermons and commentaries are still widely used by Christians in all denominations. Unfortunately, many of his works have been misunderstood in modern times by those who would call him an anti-Semite.

Rachmaninov composed this choral work, his first of three choral pieces, in 1910. Up until then, the best-known choral interpretation of Chrysostom's Liturgy was Tchaikovsky's 1878 work, which the Russian church actually condemned as being too "frivolous." Rachmaninov intended his work to be performed in church, though he did not use any actual verbage from Chrysostom's liturgy in the actual work. Unfortunately, the church was unimpressed with Rachmaninov's work, though they considered it "wonderful ... but with such music it would be difficult to pray; it is not church music."

I would have to disagree with that assesment. The choral work in this recording is masterful, and the tone is deeply reflective and worshipful. "Come, Let Us Worship" absolutely soars, ecouraging the listener to join in worship. The bass singing the "Augmented Litany" gave me chills. The performance is powerful -- something that is often unfortunately lacking in modern worship. The fact that the work is performed in Church Slavonic heightens the historic feel to the piece -- the church historian in me loved that as much as the music fan in me enjoyed the beauty of the piece.

Our modern idea of worship music has devolved. We have gone from the majesty of this Liturgy to 'praise choruses.' We've gone from unaccompanied choral singing to praise and worship bands. Music is certainly a matter of taste, but after listening to this CD I found myself longing for worship music that is far richer than three verses, a chorus, and a guitar solo. I recommend this CD, but be careful -- it may change how you look at your own worship experience."
Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
J. Atkins | Greatest Satan on Earth | 08/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As with the Vespers, there are magnificent melodic pieces within this choral work. It is beautifully performed, deeply emotional."