Byzantine Chant is alive and well in Russia largely through the efforts of the Choir of the Valaam Monastery Brethren, their former director, Hierodeacon Gherman (Ryabtsev) and their present director, Hieromonk David (Legeyda). Although some chants on this CD are from the Georgian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Russian znamenny repertoire, the manner of performance and the overall sonority show rather clearly that these, along with the Greek Byzantine melodies (sung here in Church Slavonic) are all “children of the same mother.” The chanting, delivered in a pure, straight tone, allows the voices to achieve a high degree of blend (singing “in one voice”), while the presence of the ison or drone, imparts a timeless quality to the music. This is serene, dispassionate “music OF worship,” which, by its very simplicity, draws the worshipper’s spirit and inner senses into the text, not “music AT worship” designed to move the listener’s outward senses or emotions. Recorded in 2010, this is CD is an excellent introduction to this extraordinary ensemble for those who may have missed their earlier recordings (now largely unavailable, or available only sporadically). The beautiful booklet contains text translations and a brief article about the singing, in English and in French. --V. M. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS: The cover photo of this CD is IDENTICAL to that of "Northern Athos" (Severnïy Afon), our catalog D106, recorded in 1999, which has returned into limited availability. The musical material on these two CDs, though sung by the same ensemble, is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT.