Тебе Поем (Tebe-Pojem – We sing to you) An overview of Russian sacred choral music
The Choir of the Moscow Regional Philharmony, with its impressive, exemplary interpretations, spans a fascinating arc through the history of Russia’s sacred choral music from around 1800 to the present day. A splendid compilation of highlights and choral works that are still far too little known in the West and whose discovery is worthwhile.
For six centuries the music of the Russian Orthodox Church was a haven of tradition and stability. Since the Grand Prince Vladimir Christianized Russia in 988 and introduced the Byzantine liturgy, only the monodic chants (Snamennyj rasspev), which had been taken over together with the church rites, were heard there. During this period, church chant remained the only genre in the entire Russian musical culture that was based on a certain theoretical set of rules and could be written. The types and forms of the chants were very varied, ranging from the strict sages to the splendidly ornamented hymns; their creators remained anonymous – the creation of the Snamennyi chants was traditionally the result of a collective creative process.
In today’s Russia, sacred music has once again become a much-noticed and popular genre. Whether modern or traditional, whether for church service or concert stage, whether a modest church choir movement or a monumental liturgical cycle – there are no limits to the creative power of the composers. The thousand-year history of Russian sacred music continues. This CD is an eloquent testimony to this comprehensive history.