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From East to West

Various Chants and Composers

Svetilen Ensemble
Dmitriy Garkavi
55:23
G029
2015
MP3 Price: $9.99

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The Russian folk music ensemble Svetilen makes its return to the Musica Russica catalog with four discs, which are are only available for downloading, under license from the artists. Like their counterparts, the famed Sirin Ensemble (see our cat. Nos. H094 and H097), Svetilen (named after the “Hymn of Light” sung at the end of the Russian Orthodox Matins service) explores the folk roots of sacred singing in Russia, particularly as represented by “spiritual verses” and carols that were sung outside of liturgical services in pre-modern Russian society. A number of these spiritual verses, as collected and re-worked by the ensemble's director Dmitry Garkavi, form the bulk of the material on their CDs. Some of these songs are somber and penitential while others bring joyful delight to the ears. Some tracks are accompanied by traditional Russian folk instruments, such as the hurdy-gurdy and the gusli. (The downloads include the accompanying tray cards and booklets, which contain titles in English and Russian). This is the most “atmospheric” of Svetilen’s CDs, perhaps because it is recorded in a much more resonant acoustic than the other albums. The resulting sound is fuller and not as razor-clear as on the other recordings, but it allows the ensemble’s magical sound to be heard in a new and different light. 

These rare CDs are a must-have for lovers of traditional Russian music and culture in some of its most distinctive and original manifestations.

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TRACK LISTING

No. Composer Title Sheet Music Time Buy
1 From East To West 4:28
2 O Ye Doves 2:19
3 Parable 3:47
4 Glorious Prophet of Gilead 1:51
5 Psalm 103: Bless the Lord, O my soul 1:47
6 A Cloud Was Rising 3:33
7 To The Tsar Forever Glorious 5:24
8 Woe Is Me 5:28
9 Be Joyful, Peter 1:48
10 Three Nuns Were Making Their Way 3:41
11 Shepherds 2:36
12 Awake Thou Slumbering One 4:08
13 And The Soul Like A White Swan 4:53
14 The Quiet Light 2:32
15 So Help Me God 5:25
16 Up High, Above The Holy Russ 1:43

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