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