Ikon, Vol. 1 – Sacred Choral Music from Eastern Europe

Ikon, Vol. 1 – Sacred Choral Music from Eastern Europe

Holst Singers, Stephen Layton (conductor)


James Bowman regards this disc as the most inspiring he has recently recorded; and the Managing Director of Musica Russica writes: 'I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project ... I hope this will not be the last recording of Russian music by the excellent Holst Singers!'

The tradition of Russian choral music stands today as rich and diverse as at any time in its long history, and this recording brings movements from the Liturgies by Tchaikovsky and Gretchaninov together with seven beautiful pieces by Georgy Sviridov, including three Sacred Choruses which he successfully steered through Communist prohibition under the guise of incidental music for the theatre.

As an appendix, works by Górecki, Pärt and Nystedt show how the Orthodox tradition has affected neighbouring countries (Poland, Estonia and Sweden, respectively); Immortal Bach is a particularly evocative work—a 'free' exploration of Bach's chorale 'Komm, süsser Tod'.

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