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"Perfection" is not a word that should be easily and lightly bestowed upon things in this world. But it's difficult to find enough superlatives to describe the singing of the Sisters of the Novotikhvinsky Monastery (Ekaterinburg, Russia) on this CD. Clear and pure voices sing with flawless tuning and ensemble, weaving melodies that are alternately haunting and joyful (depending on whether they're Lenten or Paschal). Underlying the melody is a subtly sung "ison" -- the drone, which in ancient liturgical musical theory symbolizes "eternity." Listening to this CD (and its companion, E17, "The Great Multansk Polyeleios") one truly loses track of whether one is on earth or in heaven, getting a foretaste of that "heavenly eternity" that the best liturgical music is intended to evoke and reflect. The titles and brief notes are in Russian only. (English titles can be found on the Musica Russica website: www.musicarussica.com.)--V.M.