Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Refined, reverential, and yet specially charged in its sincere, soulful human expression--not to mention its gorgeous choral sonority--this may be the finest performance on disc of Rachmaninov's unique setting of the hymns, psalms, prayers, and litanies that make up the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The Latvian Radio Choir not only possesses the rich-colored tone (those altos!) and substantial vocal range (those basses!) to convincingly sing the expressive and texturally varied numbers in this hour-long version of the work, but also leaves no question as to its collective,
deeply felt understanding of the meaning of the texts and of the overall service itself.
Throughout the Second and Third Antiphons, for instance, you can't help but just be caught up in the sheer beauty of the music and in the responsiveness of the ensemble to conductor Sigvards Klava's nuances of phrasing and dynamics. How can you not be moved and impressed by the lovely sound, perfect blend, and vibrant timbre in the Communion Verse "Hvalite Gospoda"? Yes, this is not just a functional liturgical work, but a masterpiece of high artistic quality as well. The recording in Riga's Dome Cathedral allows Rachmaninov's sensuous melodies and gripping harmonies plenty of room to blossom while preserving top-to-bottom balance and clear detail of each vocal line. Essential!
Works on This Recording
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, for chorus, Op. 31 by Sergey Rachmaninov
Günders Dzilums (),
Karlis Rütentals ()
Written: 1910; Russia
Venue: Riga Dom Cathedral
Length: 43 Minutes 32 Secs.
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