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Passion Week Op. 58 Hybrid SACD

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Product Details

  • Performer: Bruffy; Kansas City Chorale
  • Composer: Grechaninov Alexandr Tikhonov
  • Audio CD (April 3 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Chn
  • ASIN: B000N39HC6
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,575 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Behold The Bridegroom
2. I See Thy Bridal Chamber
3. In Thy Kingdom
4. Gladsome Light
5. Let My Prayer Be Set Forth
6. Now The Powers Of Heaven
7. At Thy Mystical Supper
8. The Wise Thief
9. Thou Who Clothest Thyself
10. The Lord Is God...The Noble Joseph
11. Weep Not For Me, O Mother
12. As Many Of You...Arise, O God
13. Let All Mortal Flesh

Product Description

Sept jours de la Passion pour chœur a cappella / Phoenix Bach Choir - Kansas City Chorale - Dir. Charles Bruffy

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa046060c) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0691084) out of 5 stars Ravishing A Cappella Choral Singing of a Russian Liturgical Masterpiece May 24 2007
By J Scott Morrison - Published on
Format: Audio CD
For starters, this CD contains some of the finest a cappella singing I've ever heard. Its sumptuous choral tone must be heard to be believed. It is done by two professional choirs from seemingly unlikely places, the combined Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Bach Choir. I have raved about their prior recordings both separately and in combination but this release possibly tops anything they've done, at least in terms of ineffably beautiful a cappella choral sound. The Grechaninov 'Passion Week' is a setting of thirteen pieces with texts in Church Slavonic meant to be sung individually over the period of Passion Week, the days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. (And, frankly, I would suggest that listeners ration their listening to one or two sections of the work at a time, in order to experience the unique effect of each individual piece, although there is something to be said for listening to the whole thing -- 74-plus minutes -- to experience its almost hypnotizing cumulative effect.) The Russian Orthodox Church has a tradition of morning and evening services during Passion Week when the passion week's events are recalled almost in 'real time.' The music itself is generally slow, meditative, largely monophonic and almost trance-like. It must be incredibly difficult to sing. One can only imagine the kind of breath support required. One notices that the usual number of singers in these two choirs has been supplemented by several additional basses, no surprise considering the long legato lines required of that section. Their low C's and even B's resound like the tolling of great bells throughout the work. One could almost surmise, if one didn't know, that this was the singing of a Russian choir, so noted for their deep basses, except that the blending and rounding of the choral tone is so very much more subtle than is generally heard from Russian choruses. The work is entirely choral, but there are occasional soprano, tenor and baritone solos which consist mostly of chants sung against the main body of massed sound.

Aleksandr Tikhonovich Grechaninov (1864-1956) was a few years older than Sergey Rachmaninov and his sacred music is in many ways similar in style to that of the better-known composer. Grechaninov's 'Passion Week' was written in 1912, shortly before Rachmaninov wrote his well-known 'Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom' which has also been recorded by the Kansas City Chorale in a lauded release which unfortunately is not easily available these days but worth seeking out. After the Revolution Grechaninov emigrated from the Soviet Union and eventually wound up in the US where he became a citizen. He continued, even after leaving Russia, to write music for emigré congregations of the Russian church although he also began writing liturgical works for the Roman Catholic Church as well. His sacred music is what he is best known for, although he also wrote operas, songs and orchestral works.

There is no question that Charles Bruffy, the conductor of both the Phoenix Bach Choir and the Kansas City Chorale, is one of the most talented choirmasters currently working anywhere in the world. He may very well be the US analog to Eric Ericson of Sweden or Laurence Equilbey of France. Certainly his choruses' style is more European than English, and it is to the English Chandos label's credit that they have added these two Bruffy-directed choirs to their roster. One looks forward to any and all future releases from these marvelous groups.

This is a hybrid SACD disc which means it can be played on both a regular CD player or on SACD equipment. In either format the sound is rich, warm and true.

The previous release of the combined Phoenix Bach Choir and the Kansas City Chorale, featuring mainly the Mass for Double Choir by Frank Martin, is here: Eternal Rest - Phoenix Bach Choir, Kansas City Chorale

Scott Morrison
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa07adab0) out of 5 stars Not only good, but award-winning Feb. 10 2008
By C. Shields - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Other reviewers have done very well in conveying how fantastic this recording is. I just wanted to mention that the appreciation is shared on an awards level: This album won a Grammy, for classical engineering. The sound is fantastic, the voices are superb and the music is top of the line. Even if you're just testing the waters of this genre of music, this is a fantastic place to begin. Congratulations to all the artists involved in this album, and thanks for the fantastic album.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa061b63c) out of 5 stars Fabulous! But buy it direct from the Chorale. Dec 20 2007
By John Cochran - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful recording. One tip: You can purchase it more cheaply directly from the Chorale ... Go to [...]
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa04af450) out of 5 stars Russian Choral Music at its Finest Dec 23 2008
By Eric S. Kim - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm an agnostic, but I love to listen to choral church music. Russian church music is what I admire the most. There's Rachmaninov's "Vespers", Tchaikovsky's "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom", and now this: Grechaninov's "Seven Days of Passion", a.k.a. "Passion Week." This is truly a spiritual experience; it's so passionate and lyrical. The Pheonix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale really help, too. Their sound is pure and their diction perfect. Charles Bruffy brings it all together to bring a 74-minute choral piece to life. This is one CD that I'll fully cherish for years to come. A+
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa061e1a4) out of 5 stars Refreshingly Traditional Russian Liturgical Music July 29 2007
By Donald S. Miller - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is almost a perfect album for fans of Russian choral music. Apparently forgotten for nearly a century, Passion Week is remarkable for its beautiful sounds and delightful bits of innovation. If the Soviets had allowed this style to evolve, Grechaninov would undoubtedly have been hailed as a national treasure.