Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sacred Songs of Russia

This CD by Gloriae Dei Cantores is one of the best selling of the choir’s 45-some recordings and I can see why. The combination of this choir’s gorgeous voices with the majestic music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Sviridov make for a powerful recording.

The voices of Gloriae Dei Cantores (Singers to the Glory of God) have been nourishing my soul for some time now and I’m thrilled that I will finally be hearing them in person as their upcoming tour brings them to New York Oct. 7. (Full details of the tour are included in my Sept. 17 posting.)

The range of offerings on this CD, first released in 1990, are a blessing -- from solemn with Sviridov’s “Liubov’ Sviataya” (Sacred Love), to glorious with Chesnokov’s “Hvalite Imia Ghospodne” (Praise the Name of the Lord). The 19 selections represent the rich styles of centuries of Russian church music and are clearly close to the hearts -- and mission -- of this choir, which has toured Russia three times.

During its first tour, in 1990, Gloriae Dei Cantores brought sacred Russian choral music to the concert halls of Moscow and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) for the first time since the Russian Revolution. The choir also sang parts of the Russian Orthodox liturgy with the Russian people in their worship services.

When the group returned in 1992, after the fall of Communism, it was among the first western artistic groups to tour Siberia.

The 40-voice choir, based on Cape Cod, seeks to “promote peace and understanding among peoples of different nations and cultures.” Under the direction of Elizabeth C. Patterson, Gloriae Dei Cantores has toured 23 countries in Europe and North America, with a particular mission to Eastern Europe. The choir is skilled in sacred choral music of all historical periods and styles and has been critically acclaimed as a master of the Gregorian chant.

For more information about Gloriae Dei Cantores, visit

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