The choral music of the Russian Orthodox Church has a history that extends back to the ancient monastic chants of the Byzantine empire, over a thousand years ago.
In Russia, the music of the Orthodox church evolved into some of the purest and most beautiful music ever written for the unaccompanied human voice. The Russian sacred service, sung in the old high Slavonic language and called "The Divine Liturgy," is designed to set the soul soaring beyond earthly cares.
The solemn bells, flickering candles, golden icons, and deep reverberation of the Russian cathedrals create the context; the profound basses, the angelic sopranos, and the exquisite harmonies of the large mixed choruses — all make this one of the most soul stirring forms of 'sacred spacemusic' in existence.
This extraordinary collection of Orthodox hymns and prayers from guest producer ELLEN HOLMES highlights a timeless Russian tradition of faith and devotion. Featured composers are some of the great all-stars of Russian liturgical music: familiar names like RACHMANINOV and TCHAIKOVSKY, church composers like TURCHANINOV, KEDROV, BORTNIANSKY, and the great Bulgarian composer DOBRI CHRISTOV.
This program is the "perfected" 1998 version of our first program of Russian sacred music produced by Ellen Holmes in 1987, and is part of our 25th anniversary retrospective series.