Russian Orthodox: Choral Music

In this video

A history of Russian Orthodox sacred music from the ‘Moscow Baroque’ to the present day, including many rare and long unavailable recordings.

Artists: Various Artists

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During the past century Russian Orthodox vocal music has experienced two periods of rebirth. The first, which began in the last years of the 19th century, consisted of a return to the popular sources of religious chant in the znamenny chant tradition passed down from its origins in ancient Byzantine chant and maintained by churches and choirs across Russia until the 17th century, when rulers such as Catherine the Great began to look westwards for cultural identity. Composers such as Kastalsky, Chesnokov and Grechaninov repudiated the Italian and French influences which had shaped the work of Classical and Romantic-era composers such as the Sacred Concertos of Bortniansky. repudiated the Italian and French influences which had shaped the work of Classical and Romantic-era composers such as the Sacred Concertos of Bortniansky.

This renaissance was foreshadowed by Tchaikovsky’s setting of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in 1878 – in its time a controversial work, rejected by the Church – and reached its zenith with the two sacred cycles by Rachmaninoff: another setting of the Liturgy and then his religious masterpiece, the Vespers (All Night Vigil) of 1915. Once more suppressed by the 1917 Revolution, an authentic strain of Russian sacred music had to wait until the era of glasnost in the late 1980s and early 90s
Composer: Dmitry Bortniansky, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Artemy Vedel, 17 Alexander Gretchaninov, Pavel Chesnokov and more

Tracklist: Track list in the comments

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