GEORGI SVIRIDOV (1915-1998): Hymns and Prayers.
Catalogue Number: 01Q049
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0123
Description: This beautiful sequence of liturgical music was Sviridov's final musical statement. Drawn to the human voice throughout his long and distinguished career, he became increasingly concerned with the rich traditions of Russian choral music, and the neglect of this important feature of old Russian culture, toward the end of his life. Taking its cue from Orthodox church music, Sviridov's harmonically gorgeous idiom is thoroughly tonal, based on rich chordal harmony rather than intricate, text-obscuring counterpoint, solemn and spiritually elevating in mood. The choral writing is full of subtle ingenuity, 'orchestrated' through the emphasis of certain registers or divisions of voices to highlight aspects of the text. Solo voices from the ensemble represent individual characters' words in the texts, where appropriate ; background harmonies may be produced by one section of the choir while another has the primary, foreground material, and the writing has an unmistakably Russian sound, with the deepest bass register used routinely, which would be a risky move in a choral tradition that doesn't take basso profundissimo singing for granted. Absolutely lovely, eloquent and deeply moving. Russian (Cyrillic)-English texts. Credo Chamber Choir; Bogdan Plish.