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Sacred Treasures: Choral Masterworks from Russia
Anonymous, Sergey Rachmaninov, Dimitry Bortnyansky
Sacred Treasures: Choral Masterworks from Russia
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

Although this collection intends to transport the soul, it has a tremendously potent low-end depth to it that earns high marks indeed in the worlds of vocal and liturgical music. Dmitri Bortniansky's "Hymn of the Cherubim"...  more »

      
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Amazon.com's Best of 1998
Although this collection intends to transport the soul, it has a tremendously potent low-end depth to it that earns high marks indeed in the worlds of vocal and liturgical music. Dmitri Bortniansky's "Hymn of the Cherubim" is performed with a gracefulness that gets a warming fatness from the production, as does Alexander Gretchaninov's "I Have Chosen the Blissful," which travels with a ringing resonance. In a year of fine choral works--check out Sequentia's Hildegard cycle box, 900 Years or Arvo Pärt's Kanon Pokajanen for a "something old, something new" mix--this collection is highly valued for its sonic integrity and its excellent anthological mix. --Andrew Bartlett

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Compare These 3
John D. Dooley | Southern California United States | 04/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are 3 different CD's about Russian Choir "A Cappella" music which can be discussed & reveal a certain enjoyment to different people with different needs or means:"Ikon" sung by the Holst Singers on Hyperion is the middle ground that gives a well balance & beautiful music from an English choir group. If you did not know they were English, you would think of them as Russian. Most songs are Russian classics from Sviridov, Gretchaninov, Kalinnikov, & Tchaikovsky with modern versions from Part, Gorecki, & Nystedt. The highlight is from the female sopranos which give an angelic & awl inspiring spiritual uplift that must not be missed."Sacred Treasures" sung by several groups including The Russian State Symphony Cappelle, The Leningrad State Academic Choir, The Bulgarian National Choir, & a few other groups on Hearts of Space give the most authentic Russian that to English ears may sound slow & uneventful. Yet to a person that knows Russian, this CD will cause the most goose bumps due to its rightful intensity with music from Rachmaninov, Bortniansky, Kedrov, Gertchaninov, Tchaikovsky, Christov, Turchaninov, & Lvovski."Ancient Echoes" sung by the Chorovaya Akademia on RCA Victor may give the best first impression due to its well made production that will give a serious work out to any professional stereo system, yet with further study will reveal an over dramatized style that may get in the way. Songs from the composers Sheretiev, Nikolsky, Golovanov, Strokin, Bortnyansky, Grechaninov, Riutol, Tchaikovsky, & Chesnokov.If your into Russian "A Cappella" music, give these 3 CD's a try & decided for yourself."
Sacred Treasures: Choral Masterworks from Russia
John D. Dooley | 01/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Enveloping, uplifting, soaring, angelic music that lends a sense of serene ecstasy to one's activities. This is the sound of worship in the Holy Orthodox Church. What a joy to be able to have such great choirs and such great expression of the sacred in one's own home."
A Soviet version of Russian music
Carmi Turchick | 05/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I admit to some strong bias here, having sung on the recording of Tchaikovsky's Liturgy available here from the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York. I was in that choir for five years, and our conductor's view of how to properly interpret Russian music became my own.

Because of Stalin's efforts to cleanse the country of the influence of religion, many musicians and composers were sent to Siberia. They were replaced with those from peasant backgrounds. The result was a huge change in how classical Russian music was performed, becoming less subtle, more interested in brute power and flash.

This recording features a massive and powerful choir. But the listener mostly hears a series of vowel sounds, with the consonants lost in the shuffle. Dynamic range is not as large as it could be. Phrasing is largely absent and we hear a steady wall of sound instead. Precision of rhythm is spotty, what consonants we do hear are frequently smeared. Pitch and richness of tone are good, but on high notes, inevitably given the size of the choir, some members strain.

Having performed and recorded Tchaikovsky's Liturgy I am very familiar with the piece. But listening to this recording of excerpts from it I sometimes barely recognized it as the same work. Tchaikovsky gives us great artistry, frequently crecendos and decrecendos on a single phrase. Each choral voice comes and goes like a wave, not all together like a tsunami in all but a few places. The balance of voices is constantly moving.

I encourage you to listen to the samples available here of the Russian Chamber Chorus's recording of Tchaikovsky's Liturgy, compare the same pieces. This recording is more a Vegas neon version of this great artwork than the fine art it deserves to be shown as. James Oestreich, the New York Times critic, put the Russian Chamber Chorus recording at #4 on his top ten list of classical releases for 2001, and said that if you had not heard it "You only think you know Tchaikovsky."

I hope you give the real Russian classical tradition a listen. It deserves your time, and it will pay you back with a huge amount of pleasure."