Gyorgy Sviridov (1915-98) saw himself as part of the thousand-year continuum of Russian culture, giving its resonance full expression in the monumental choral cycle Hymns and Prayers, written over a ten-year period from 1987 to 1997; he completed it only weeks before he died. Extraordinarily beautiful and profoundly moving, Hymns and Prayers is perhaps the most important Russian choral composition since the liturgies of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. At this time of tension between Russia and Ukraine, here a Ukrainian choir sings a Russian masterpiece.
Credo Chamber Choir, cond. Bogdan Plish; Ivanna Bondaruk, soprano; Yuliya Zuveya, mezzo soprano; Roman (Podlubnyak), celibate deacon, tenor; Roman Pachashynsky, tenor; Nazar Yakobenchuk, baritone; Tarasiy (Mudrak), archdeacon, bass;
From the Old Testament https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0123/03.mp3
The Nativity of Christ https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0123/06.mp3
Christ’s Life on Earth https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0123/11.mp3
After the Resurrection https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0123/17.mp3
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Catalogue No: TOCC0123EAN/UPC: 5060113441232Release Date: 01.12.2014Composer: Georgy Sviridov Artists: Bogdan Plish, Credo Chamber Choir, Ivanna Bondaruk, Nazar Yakobenchuk, Roman Pachashynsky, Tarasiy (Mudrak), Yuliya Zuveya
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Emerson Mauricio de Oliveira :
quod visum placet
Steve Arloff :
‘When I say magical I mean it in the true sense of the word for I don’t know many other composers whose music can really make my spine tingle quite like his. … this is a style of music that can be and is enjoyed by believers and atheists alike (I speak as one such). While the word ‘otherworldly’ may be overused it seems to me to be totally appropriate in music like this that seems to float above like an almost alien presence but one that produces a sense of inner calm that purges all the cares of the world from the listener. Less is definitely more in that the absence of any instrumental accompaniment makes for a much stronger and more powerful effect. The frequent device of having the lowest voices open a passage and then having the highest come in or vice versa makes for incredibly powerful contrasts and when Sviridov has a single soprano voice rise above them all it is truly spell-binding. It is a measure of the quality of writing that even if after each piece one is tempted to think nothing can compare to what you’ve just heard the next piece will prove to be equally impactful. … even when the whole choir sings as an ensemble there is a special feel to it which marks out this tradition as being in considerable contrast to the choral singing we in Britain, for example, are more used to hearing. In addition for me there is more than a touch of melancholia about it which I find extremely attractive and I get the feeling that the voices are not just praising God but that there is a kind of shared experience embodied within the music that is immediately understood by the native listener. A particular favourite of mine is track 7 Having beheld a strange nativity which has some wonderfully evocative bass singing. Religious or not one can hardly fail to be moved by the combination of Sviridov’s extremely powerful music and the amazing sounds of this Ukrainian choir, from the crystalline clarity of its sopranos to the thrillingly sonorous timbres of its basses which make for an unforgettable experience. It comes as no surprise to learn that it has won several major choral singing competitions throughout Europe, all of which were thoroughly deserved. … This thrilling first recording is a real joy to experience. There is nothing more to be said; this music must be heard rather than read about!’ –Music Web International, October 2016
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