Schnittke - Penitential Psalms, 3 Sacred Hymns
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Label: Harmonia Mundi
Cat No: HMC902225
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 4th March 2016
In the autumn of 1983, at the Moscow premiere of the Faust Cantata, Polyansky had asked Schnittke to write a new a cappella piece for his ensemble, a request that was initially declined. It was only after repeated urging that Schnittke relented, and the very next day after this renewed plea, he thrust into the surprised conductor’s hand the manuscript of three choral movements setting prayers used in Russian Orthodox devotions – not without berating Polyansky, tongue-in-cheek, as a ‘dreadful fellow’ for his tenacity. In comparison with the Penitential Psalms, the Three Sacred Hymns are more strongly rooted in the Romantic tradition of Russian sacred music, such as Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil.
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