1. Bless the Lord, O My Soul – 2:21
2. Blessed Is the Man – 3:29
3. Lord, I Have Cried – 3:02
4. Saturday Prokimenon – 1:35
5. Vouchsafe, O Lord – 1:59
6. Lord, Now Lettest Thou – 2:24
7. Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos – 2:37
8. From My Youth – 1:35
9. To Thee, The Victorious Leader – 1:20
10. Many Years to Thee, Master – 1:42
11. Trisagion – 2:19
12. A Mercy of Peace (Anaphora) – 6:38
13. We Praise Thee – 2:45
14. Let God Arise – 4:53
In our time, when Russian and Western politicians snipe at one another and stoke the fires of suspicion, 30 of the finest Orthodox choral singers from Russia, the US, and Canada, assembled for 4 days in the splendid acoustics of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, PA, under the leadership of Vladimir Gorbik, one of the finest choral conductors active in Russia today, to record beautiful sacred music – no small logistical feat in itself! This CD – the result of their unprecedented collaboration – raises Orthodox liturgical singing in both English and Church Slavonic to new levels of excellence!
The program, which includes Orthodox liturgical works of composers from both continents, is similar to the one featured on the Patriarch Tikhon Choir’s premier tour in the Fall of 2013 – highly acclaimed New York performance in a review by the New York Times. The repertoire is distinctive and varied, yet deeply traditional and churchly. The selection of hymns, from the characteristic genres of the All-Night Vigil and the Divine Liturgy, includes both traditional chant arrangements and more complex compositions by a variety of prominent composers. The sonority of the Patriarch Tikhon Choir lies squarely within the best traditions of the liturgical choral art, a remarkable achievement, considering that singers from entirely different cultural roots had to overcome multiple linguistic barriers, and achieve a blended, homogeneous sound. The final challenge was not simply to give a beautiful rendition of good music, but also to sing in a prayerful manner – a most elusive task, which the singers fulfilled admirably.
The main objective of the Patriarch Tikhon Choir is to transmit the choral singing traditions of Russian Orthodoxy and establish them in North America. This CD is testament to the fact that this process has indeed begun and will bear fruit, thanks to the efforts and vision of the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute (PaTRAM), the sponsoring organization behind this effort (patraminstitute.org). The extensive booklet, in Russian and English, with full texts and translations, will add to every listener’s enjoyment of this fine CD.