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Most Christian liturgies are strongly associated with singing, but none are defined by the intoned human voice quite like those of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The ‘spoken’ word is entirely absent from the Russian liturgy, lacking as it does the element of spiritual theatre endowed by the solemn chants of the Znamenny, Kievan and oth-er chant traditions. No surprise then,
that there should be a wealth of choral music associated with this liturgy, dating back to the 16th Century and evolving more-or-less uninterrupted until the sudden decline in the Church’s fortunes which accompanied the Bolshevik Rebellion in 1917.

Russian choral music has been a feature in Tenebrae’s concert performances since the choir’s inception, and this exquisite collection includes some little-known gems, rarely heard outside Russia, as well as some familiar favour-ites from this vast area of choral repertoire.


Sergei Rachmaninov Priidite, poklonimsia from All-Night Vigil
Sergei Rachmaninov Velikaya Yektenia from Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
Sergei Rachmaninov Heruvimskaya pesn from Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
Sergei Rachmaninov Nïne otpushchayeshï from All-Night Vigil
Nikolay Golovanov Heruvimskaya pesn
Viktor Kalinnikov Svete tihiy
Mikhail Glinka Heruvimskaya pesn
Pavel Chesnokov Svete tihiy
Nikolay Golovanov Otche nash

– Interval –

Pavel Chesnokov Tebe poyem
Sergei Rachmaninov Prositelnaya Yektenia from Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
Alexander Gretchaninov Nïne silï nebesïya
Pavel Chesnokov Heruvimskaya pesn
Alexander Sheremetiev Nïne silï nebesïya
Sergei Rachmaninov Bogoroditse Devo from All-Night Vigil
Sergei Rachmaninov Blazhen muzh from All-Night Vigil
Nikolay Golovanov Slava Ottsu (Yedinorodnï)
Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky Legend (The Crown of Roses)
Nikolay Kedrov Otche nash
Sergei Rachmaninov Vzbrannoy voyevode from All-Night Vigil