Notes and Editorial Reviews
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Matthew Best, cond; Corydon Singers
HELIOS 55318 (77:39
Text and Translation)
Originally Hyperion 66703 (18:4), this disc was a neat solution to the problem of presenting the rambling
on disc. It had been preceded by two recordings that could be called complete, since each resisted the temptation to abbreviate the litanies, but they offered poor timing on two discs. More
typically we had severely cut versions that were just as poorly timed for a single disc, though maybe good enough for an LP. This disc was not only well filled, but the performance was as good as any non-Slavic ensemble had offered. The venue provided a reverberant acoustic, the transliterated texts appeared in English as well, and the notes were informative.
If this was good value at full price, it’s a bargain on Helios. In the meantime, there have been other single-disc versions, all shorter than this one, and several other booklets have also provided transliterated texts (and one even included the Cyrillic text with it). In a summation of 10 versions (20:4), Best was the only single-disc version to include all the movements, if not full-length litanies. Since that summation, I know of no new recordings, so this remains the first choice and an outstanding bargain. Specialists may want to hear what some of the two-disc versions offer for the extra cost.
FANFARE: J. F. Weber
Works on This Recording
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Peter Scorer (Voice)
Written: 1910; Russia
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