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Cat. No. CHSA 5044 Price: £11.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHSA 5044 - Grechaninov: Passion Week
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Available From: 01 March 2007
Reviews

If I had heard this album knowing nothing of the performers, I would smile, nod sagely and say, ‘They’re Russian of course’. Phoenix Arizona and Kansas City would not have registered for a second on my choral radar, but their respective Bach Choir and Chorale will do from now on. Their combined professional forces do full justice to Gretchaninov’s 13 eloquently simple Passion Week pieces, matching the basso profundo richness of the best Russian choirs with refined tuning and impeccably unanimous ensemble. Vocal weight here brings a welcome lustre to the sound without any loss of focus, a quality upheld by Chandos in its excellent surround-sound recording
Classic FM Magazine

Luxuriant textures, sumptuous harmonies, mouth-watering melodies, all beautifully conveyed with ravishing choral tone; this is a simply gorgeous disc.
International Record Review

Gretchaninov’s Passion Week is a companion cycle to his better known All-night Vigil, and it is wonderful to hear it complete. The superlatives have already piled up against Charles Bruffy’s name, and deservedly so. There can only be one reason for a label to release repertoire they already had in their catalogue, and that is that the new performance is so striking. The massed forces of the Phoenix Bach Choir and the Kansas City Chorale (both are professional Groups) make a formidable choral machine, one which seems to produce an unending wave of smoothly blended sound. Furthermore, this music, which can sound static in the wrong hands, has an underlying flexibility of motion under Bruffy’s direction, particularly as it reaches the ecstatic Resurrection tableux.
BBC Music Magazine 'Choice'

Only those with cloth ears and no soul will fail to be transported and uplifted. Thoroughly recommended.
The Organ

Key to this music is the sonorous depth of the basses, which the Phoenix Bach Choir and Kansas City Chorale successfully field throughout these 13 anthems. The choral blend – more soft-edged than you might get with Russian choirs – is an expressive vehicle for a work that instils a state of meditation on Easter’s implications.
The Telegraph

It’s ravishingly sung by two American choirs, both specialists in unaccompanied choral music. On occasion, you miss the shades of meaning and burnished vowel sounds of Russian speakers, but it’s a glorious disc, and highly recommended.
The Guardian

A milestone in Russian choral music delivered in thrilling style.
Gramophone

Only those with cloth ears and no soul will fail to be transported and uplifted. Thoroughly recommended.
The Organ

The sound is exemplary, resonant yet clear in all parts – in stereo. In surround sound, you get all that from every side, plus the impression of an excellent seat in a vast cathedral. The three soloists emerge from the vocal textures, rather than superimposing themselves upon it after the matter of an opera singer with accompanying chorus. With full texts in the original Cyrillic Russian, German, French and English, this is a delight.
Fanfare

It’s a stunner in all respects
American Record Guide

This is one of the finest a cappella choral recordings I’ve ever heard.
International Record Review on CHSA 5045 Eternal Rest

Reviews from Eternal Rest:
For beauty of tone, they can match these illustrious forebears and the warm Chandos sound suits them to perfection… future instalments will be well worth hearing.

Gramophone on CHSA 5045 Eternal Rest

If I had heard this album knowing nothing about its performers, I would smile, nod sagely and say, ‘They’re Russian of course’…. Their combined professional forces do full justice to Gretchaninov’s 13 eloquent simple Passion Week pieces, matching the basso profundo richness of the best Russian choirs with refined tuning and impeccably unanimous ensemble. Vocal weight here brings a welcome lustre to the sound without any loss of focus, a quality upheld by Chandos in its excellent surround-sound recording.
Classic FM Magazine

 

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