Andrey Zaboronok, the conductor of
the Bolshoi Theatre Children’s Choir, wrote the arrangement of the first
track in this album-the traditional Russian folksong,
Monotonously Jingles the Little Bell.
was a student of both Tchaikovsky and Taneyev as he studied at the Moscow
Conservatoire. In 1910, he became director of the Synodal Choir where he
focused mainly on the ancient
Znamennyi Chant. In this album, In Thy Kingdom and
Our Father are from his work, Liturgy of St. John of Chrysostom.. Christ Has Risen is from the Easter Cycle and Beautiful Easter
is from a manuscript of 1598 discovered in the Supralsky Monastry. The name Stikhira (a written line) is originally a Greek word.
Pavel Chesnokov is one of the most outstanding
choral music composers of his generation. He
studied under Alexander Katalsky and Sergei Taneyev at the Moscow Synodal
College. He produced an immense amount of both religious and choral music,
writing more than 500 choral works as well as music for lyrics of Russian
poets and arrangements of Russian songs. In this album,
Come, Let Us Entreat Joseph
is from the All Night Vigil,
Op.9.No.9 and Let
Us, Mystically Representing the Cherubim
is from the Liturgy, Op.16.
Valery Sariyev, present-day Moscow composer,
has written The Lord our God, Prayer of Macarius the Great as
a modern liturgical work where the prayer is, first and foremost, intended to
be performed in concert instead of the church. This custom was first
initiated by Bortnyansky’s spiritual concerti in the 1790s.
Dmitri Bortnyansky was born in Ukraine and began
his musical education at the St. Petersburg Court Choir. Later he studied
composition under the Italian musician, Galuppi, and spent several years in
Italy where he wrote his first operas and sacred choral works. The creator
of about one hundred a capella choral concertos, Bortnyansky set a
unique musical trend. He also wrote a number of single-movement works
including Cherubimic Hymns of which Many Years has been
included in this album.
began his studies at the Moscow Conservatoire under Arensky and Taneyev and
later continued at the conservatoire in St. Petersburg under Rimsky-Korsakov.
Grechaninov wrote the opera, Dobrynya Nikitich, based on Russian epic
songs and performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1903. He worked to bring
elements of modern symphonic and operatic features into his compositions.
Grechaninov is known for his church music and choral music for children.
Included in this album is
Songs for Children,
choral compositions are undoubtedly an important contribution to the Russian
church musical literature. In his arrangements, a loving and delicate
attitude to old church tunes is especially moving. Inspired by his students
when he began his tenure at the Maryinski Women’s Institute in 1894, he
composed Six Choruses for Women’s or Children’s Voices, Op.15. In this album
we have included Night and The
Angel from this work.
Anatoly Liadov was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov
who was member of “The Mighty Handful” (“Moguchaya Kuchka”), a group of young
nationalist composers including Balakirev (the leader), Cesar Cui, Borodin
and Mussorgsky. Greatly influenced by the “The Five,” Liadov became best
known for his piano and orchestral miniatures. In 1899 he produced the choral
collection of Ten Russian Folksongs, Op.45 for female chorus. In this album
included are My Little
and The Lord Ascended to Heaven.
Cesar Cui, though not a first-rate
composer, considered himself joint-leader of “The Mighty Handful” and the
group critic. Most of his compositions were of choral miniatures for mixed
voices. He wrote more than 60 of such works and included in this album is the
lovely choral miniature Everywhere Snow.
Piotr Tchaikovsky was the initiator of a
revival of the choral music tradition in the 1870s through the formation of
the “Moscow School.”
Neurotic and deeply sensitive, Tchaikovsky led an often tortured life yet,
through his emotionally-charged music, emerged a genius that created some of
the most beautiful melodies. In 1891, Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write
three a cappella choruses. The first, included in this album,
Without Time or Season
was for women’s voices and dedicated to the I.A. Melnikov’s Free Choral
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was not only a composer,
but also a naval officer who produced an amazing amount of compositions and
orchestrations. A great Russian musician, he was also a loyal friend. After
the deaths of Mussorgsky and Borodin, it was Rimsky-Korsakov who both
completed and publicized their works.
The Golden Cloud Slept,
Op.13 No.2, is the second part of two three-part choruses for women’s voices
composed in 1875.
Viktor Kalinnikov, perhaps overshadowed by his
more recognized elder brother, Vasily Kalinnikov, composed mainly choral
music. Kalinnikov used Russian folksong intonations which might explain the
popularity of his pictorial miniatures such as
rocked the world with his startling dynamic music and became acknowledged as
one of the greatest of the 20th century composers. Before
emigrating from Russia in 1917, he completed The Saucer, Four Russian
Songs for Women’s Voices. In this album are included two of them,
Near the Church of our Saviour in Chigisy
Valery Kalistratov, present-day Russian composer, has written the picturesque modern
Russian folksong, Tania-Taniusha.
Johan Brahms, cautious and shy by
nature, was able only through his music to express his warmth of heart and
sincerity as amply illustrated in his Ave Maria
which closes this