As Far as the East is From the West: New Orthodox Choral Music
by Gennady Lapaev and Kurt Sander
October 3, 2011
This groundbreaking recording brings together the music of two living composers – Gennady Lapaev of Russia, and Kurt Sander of the United States. The project was inspired by the events of the reunification of mother Russia with her émigré parishes abroad in 2007. Consequently, this CD marks several firsts – the first time a Russian and an American composer have collaborated to produce a joint recording of their own works, the premiere recordings of a number of Lapaev and Sander compositions, and the first disc put forth by a living ROCOR composer.
Lapaev’s work as conductor, composer, and publisher of Russian liturgical music has brought him wide recognition in the Orthodox church. His music has captured the attention of conductors throughout the world who are drawn to his writing. His body of work is stylistically varied, from chant-like textures of monastic simplicity to imaginative sonorities that exploit extended harmonies rarely heard in Russian Orthodox liturgical music.
Sander, a convert to the Orthodox faith and a fervent advocate for the living tradition of Orthodox liturgical music, currently holds the position of chair and professor of composition at Northern Kentucky University. He also teaches music theory and musicianship at the Summer School of Liturgical Music at Holy Trinity Seminary (Jordanville, New York), as well as conducts the choir at St George the Great Martyr Russian Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. His music as been described as “combining fresh sound with roots steeped in tradition.” Sander’s compositions are not adaptations or arrangements, but rather organic creations that draw from the inherent beauty of the language of the liturgical hymns he uses, whether it be English or Slavonic.
The music of the CD came together under the creative direction of Peter Jermihov, a conductor with a long list of professional accolades, who led a 36-voice choir consisting of church musicians from across North America, including parishes in Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Bloomington, and Cincinnati. Joining the church singers were university students and professional vocalists. Soloists include Protodeacon Vadim Gan and Irina Mozyleva. Much hard work and dedication on the part of the singers and the conductor went into the recording process, resulting in a sound that has been described as “exquisite,” “moving,” and “exciting.”
This recording by our monastic choir includes all the hymns of Paschal Matins, including the Paschal Canon in its entirety, and a few of the special hymns from the Paschal Divine Liturgy. In addition to Russian chant, the CD also includes chant of Byzantine and Georgian origin. Chanted in English.
Hermitage of the Holy Cross Monastic Choir
English, 53 minutes
In 1980 Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. In this recording, the Seminary choir chose fifteen various chants that are typical of the daily liturgical life of the monastery. In an additional track, one hears the bells of the monastery peal forth. Sung in Church Slavonic.
Copyright Holy Trinity Publications
Воспоим Святителя Христова Иоанна
This recording by the Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary Choir contains several hymns from the vigil service to St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco as well as selected hymns from the Divine Liturgy, Holy Week and Pascha. Sung in Church Slavonic.
Conductor: Hiermonk Roman (Krassovsky)
Copyright Holy Trinity Publications
Here, pronounced clearly and calmly, are the basic daily prayers said by all Orthodox Christians of the Russian Tradition. We hope that this recording will help those who, through a multitude of worldly cares and responsibilities, are sometimes tempted to skip their daily prayers. Text taken from the Jordanville Prayerbook of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Hermitage of the Holy Cross
English, 27 minutes