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The Divine Liturgy (works from the Russian Orthodox tradition)
The Don Cossacks Soloists/Wanja Hlibka

Maximowitsch, M. Lovorsky, Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowsky, Alexandre Gretschaninow, Kastalsky, Fatejev, Dimitrij Bortnjanskij, the Kiev Melodies.

K&K 72 [live concert recording June 2000, Maulbronn Monastery, c. 60 min]

The Maulbronn Monastery recordings should be enjoyed in conjunction with K&K's evocative website, where you can find numerous photos and sound clips of the concerts on their mostly well-documented CDs; Musical Pointers has reviewed and recommended several oratorio performances.

The Don Cossacks Soloists choir is introduced as "the legitimate successor to the famous Don Cossacks Choir" and one can accept these performances as authentic. The sound is rich and sonorous and we found the record more engaging and compelling listening than anticipated.

Information is however sparse in this particular event, with no texts supplied with the CD or on the website - but perhaps it matters not? The liturgical music is mostly slow (enlivened by rapid repetitions on track 3, Lovorsky) but it is generally not easy to distinguish individual idioms by Bortnjanskij, Tschaikowsky, Gretschaninov et al.

The K&K website is well worth exploring, and you will be able to play several whole tracks on line.

© Peter Grahame Woolf