Album: Rodion Shchedrin, The Sealed Angel (Wergo)

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The Independent Culture

First performed in 1988, Shchedrin's so-called "Russian Liturgy" was smuggled into the communist cultural landscape under the guise of a Nikolai Leskov story about the transcendent power of art.

It was written for a mixed chorus with two boys' voices and svirel (shepherd's pipe), an instrument whose bucolic intimations are well realised here by Dita Krenberga's flute, while the subtle textures of Shchedrin's liturgy are perfectly rendered by the Latvian State Choir in the sonorous surroundings of Eberbach Monastery. The amazing polyphonic discord at the epiphanic moment of the revelation of Judas's betrayal is stunning.

DOWNLOAD THIS Truly, Angel of God, let your tears flow; The disciples were illumined; Let my prayer be an atonement