Sergei Rachmaninov
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom

Latvian Radio Choir
Sigvards Klava, conductor




Hybrid SACD (SACD Surround 5.0 / SACD Stereo / CD Stereo - playable on all SACD and CD players); booklet with liner notes in English and German, and the sung text in the original Church Slavonic and in English


April 2010

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1151-5


Track listing

Disc 59.06
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31 (1910)
1 Blessing 0:39
2 First Antiphon: Bless the Lord, O My Soul 3:40
3 Second Antiphon: Glory to the Father… Only Begotten Son 3:10
4 Third Antiphon: In Thy Kingdom 5:18
5 Little Entrance: Come, Let Us Worship 1:44
6 O Lord, Save – Trisagion: Holy God 2:40
7 Cherubic Hymn 5:05
8 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 0:54
9 Creed 8:13
10 A Mercy of Peace 7:02
11 We Hymn Thee 2:55
12 Hymn to the Mother of God 3:06
13 Lord’s Prayer 4:25
14 Communion Verse 2:14
15 We Have Seen the True Light 1:27
16 Let Our Mouths Be Filled 4:39
17 Blessed Be the Name of the Lord 0:41
18 Many Years 1:04

Also recommended...

Awards '10/10'

Press review

This may be the finest performance on disc of Rachmaninov's (...) Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The Latvian Radio Choir not only possesses the rich-colored tone (those altos!) and substantial vocal range (those basses!) (...), but also leaves no question as to its collective, deeply felt understanding of the meaning of the texts and of the overall service itself.
David Hurwitz,, May 2011, Artistic Quality 10 / Sound Quality 10

Ondine julkaisi erittäin onnistuneen levytyksen Rahmaninovin kauniista, vaativasta ja silti perinteitä kunnioittavasta Liturgiasta. (...) Ammattimaisen kuoron ylivertainen tekniikka luo tulkintaan rentoutta, ja se taas mahdollistaa musiikille olennaisen hartauden.

Kare Eskola, YLE Radio 1, 4.11.2010

The Latvian Radio Choir's singing is sensuously beautiful: the tone Slavic, but more refined and better blended than some of that provenance. The choir boasts rich-toned basses capable of sustaining the low B♭ in the Credo. The performance is both devotional and thrillingly dynamic. Pacing is subtly varied to underline the text, often creating, as at the beginning of "In Thy Kingdom," a breath-catching sense of time suspended. The balances achieved by Kļava and his chorus of 25 are ideal; the exquisite rising of the pure-voiced soprano soloist from the chorus in "We Hymn Thee" is but one of many examples. The pitch and diction are exemplary, whether the voices have been tapered to a mere thread of tone or are ringing in the great dome of the Riga Cathedral. The two liturgical soloists are excellent in their truncated roles. The Latvian Radio recording is stunning, creating a palpable sense of the chorus in a large reverberant space with no loss of focus or clarity.
Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare Magazine

The Latvian Radio Choir sing with the kind of hushed reverence and understanding one would expect, given Latvi's connections with Russia and the Orthodox Church. It also sings with a sound that is distinctly "right," as well as with great technical polish. This is a performance I can recommend confidently in spite of the competition. A decided plus is the multichannel recording, which truthfully captures the vast, reverberant spaces of the (Lutheran) Dome Cathedral in Riga.
Lee Passarella, Audiophile Audition, June 26, 2010

Soinniltaan suurenmoinen Latvian radiokuoro tavoittaa upeasti ortodoksimystiikan tunnelmat.
Lauri Kilpiö, Suomen kuvalehti, 23.7.2010

The Latvian Choir are as close to the (Russian) source as you could wish for, and this is a reading that ticks all the boxes for authenticity (...). This recording is made in very fine SACD audio (...) but even in stereo, the sound is rich and enveloping.
Gavin Dixon, MusicWeb-International, June 10, 2010

Complete description

Sergei Rachmaninov's setting of the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom - Eastern Christianity's common Eucharistic service liturgy - is regarded as one of the great cornerstones of 20th-century sacred music. This work of symphonic proportions was composed in the summer of 1910, in less than three weeks. After its completion, Rachmaninov wrote to a friend that he had been carried away by the project and that it had been a long time since he had written music with such pleasure. The outcome was judged by contemporary church officials as "...absolutely wonderful, even too beautiful... it is not church music."

This a cappella choral work is performed by one of the foremost choruses in the world, the Latvian Radio Choir, under the direction of Sigvards Klava. The soloist roles are sung by Kārlis Rūtentāls (tenor; celebrant priest) and Gundars Dziļums (bass; deacon). The recording was made at the Riga Dome Cathedral in March/April 2008.

Audiophiles owning a SACD player will be stunned by the surround effect of this CD/SACD hybrid recording.