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Alexander Kastalsky

Blessed is the man

Blazhen muzh

Moscow Dormition Cathedral Chant
Op. 26b
All-Night Vigil, Vespers
SATB (div)
Church Slavonic
11
2013
Ks035
Musica Russica
Price: $2.45
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A brilliant pre-cursor to Rachmaninoff's setting of this text in his All-Night Vigil, tapping into the ancient chant melody of the Moscow Dormition Cathedral, nearly as ancient as Moscow itself.  Part of Kastalsky’s numerous hymn settings for the All-Night Vigil, this piece stems from the Church’s ancient practice of sung psalms as the basic building blocks of worship. The psalm verses are sung to an energetic, muscular melody, alternating with the refrain “Alleluia.” In this setting, dating from 1900, Kastalsky shows himself to be a master of choral color, varying sonorities and textures in a manner that would later be taken up and expanded upon by Rachmaninoff and other Russian composers of the early 20th century.

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