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This setting of Vladimir Martynov’s acclaimed Beatitudes (recorded by Conspirare on their Grammy-winning CD, The Sacred Spirit of Russia) is offered in an arrangement for treble voices by Elena Sharkova.
Martynov (b. 1946) is a Moscow composer who began with post-modernist avant garde and experimental music and later shifted his attention to the chant of the Russian Orthodox Church. His magical setting of the Beatitudes is simplicity itself: two soprano soloists (later joined by a third, singing a descant) alternately sing the words from the Sermon on the Mount to a folk-like pentatonic melody over a timeless ostinato of barely shifting chords hummed by the chorus. Only in the last verse is the music (along with the listeners’ attention) given a new direction—heavenward. The coda, repeated ad libitum, leaves the hearer transfixed and transformed at having experienced something timeless, eternal, and definitely not of this world.
Also available for mixed voices with Slavonic text, cat. No. CMR011, and English translation, cat. No. OMP-CMR011E.