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Cn009mc CHESNOKOV ~ Cherubic Hymn (Heruvimskaya pesn’) op. 7, No. 1 ttbb $1.95
This is one of Chesnokov’s most beautiful settings of the Cherubic Hymn, arranged for men’s voices by the composer himself. While this is a relatively early work (the original edition indicates the date of composition—1897), it already shows the twenty-year-old composer to be a sensitive master of choral sonority. The freely composed setting uses no pre-existing chant melodies: indeed the melodic leaps of a third and fourth would not be found in a typical Russian chant, which tends to move step-wise. Some melodic motives, however, are clearly derived from chant and folk song.
(The original mixed-chorus version of this piece, cat. No. Cn009, appears on Conspirare’s Grammy-winning CD, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, cat. No. C122.)
Cn058mc CHESNOKOV ~ Lord, Now Lettest Thou (Nïne otpushchayeshï) ttbb $1.95
Chesnokov arranged this piece for men’s chorus from his own original version for mixed voices. In this setting of the Canticle of St. Symeon he skillfully weaves a contrapuntal texture from a Kievan Chant melody (mistakenly identified as “znamenny”), which was later also used by Rachmaninoff in his All-Night Vigil.
Gl-PU(mc) GLAZUNOV ~ In the Flesh Thou Didst Fall Asleep (Plotiyu usnuv) ttbb $1.95
One of the few known choral works by Glazunov, “In the Flesh Thou Didst Fall Asleep” is the Exaposteilarion (or Hymn of Light), sung at the end of the Paschal Kanon at the Orthodox Matins of Easter. For his setting Glazunov used a well-known melody of Russian “Greek” Chant, drawn from the traditional unison chant book of the Russian Orthodox Church. In his simple arrangement Glazunov shows himself to be a master of counterpoint, in the tradition of Rimsky-Korsakov and Taneyev.
To002mc TOLSTIAKOV~ Blessed Is the Man (Blazhen muzh) ttbb $2.45
Although he lived a long life, Nikolai Tolstiakov’s (1883–1958) was one of the tragic victims of the Communist Revolution in his native Russia. A promising young composer and conductor with the Moscow Synodal Choir, he was appointed to the faculty of the Moscow Synodal School, his alma mater, in 1913. But when the School (renamed the People’s Choral Academy after the revolution) was closed, he suffered a nervous breakdown and retired from all musical activity. “Blessed is the man” is his opus 1, No. 2, originally written for mixed chorus, arranged in this edition for men’s chorus by his colleague Pavel Chesnokov. The setting of verses from Psalms 1, 2, and 3, employs a muscular Russian “Greek” Chant melody, and shows Tolstiakov to be a master of choral orchestration, like his mentor Alexander Kastalsky.
—Notes by Vladimir Morosan
Table of Contents
|1||Pavel Chesnokov||Cherubic Hymn|
|2||Pavel Chesnokov||Lord, Now Lettest Thou|
|3||Alexander Glazunov||In the Flesh Thou Didst Fall Asleep|
|4||Nikolai Tolstiakov||Blessed Is the Man|