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To understand and partake of the 'Sacred Spirit of Russia' requires one, first and foremost, to experience the beauty and splendour of the Russian Orthodox liturgy, which has been an integral part of the Eastern Slav identity for over 1000 years. The sacred music of the New Russian Choral School features sublime settings of the liturgy that draw on a rich history of Orthodox chants and native traditions, creating music of unprecedented colour and textural richness. Following the lead of Tchaikovsky, composers such as Kastalsky, Gretchaninov, Chesnokov, Rachmaninov and a host of others have left us a treasure-trove of musical delights. Craig Hella Johnson and the 35-strong Conspirare (featuring the astounding basso profundo Glenn Miller) present a glorious sampling of some of the finest works in this genre including Martynov's mesmerising 'Beatitudes' for three sopranos and choir and Kedrov's setting of the Lord's Prayer. Conspirare's esteemed language coach is the editor of Musica Russica, Vladimir Morosan who has also written the booklet notes. The only 'inauthentic' part of this SACD recording for hm USA is the spot-on intonation.
EDITOR S CHOICE Conspirare are at their richest and most carefully blended here ... the forward brightness of the upper voices creates thrilling friction against their darker tones. This music has waited a long time for a champion, and Conspirare do it proud. --Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone
Basso profundo Glenn Miller s ability to reach the lowest notes is almost freakishly delightful ... this is quite an achievement for a non-Russian ensemble, and there are no chinks in Conspirare s armour related either to technique or to style ... Conspirare s versatility is astonishing ... ethereally beautiful sound. --Raymond S. Tuttle, IRR May 2014
Utterly exquisite. This recording has opened a whole new world of beautiful music to me. Nothing in the same genre has matched this first CD though. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Emily Taylor