Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




Ikon II
Nickolay GOLOVANOV (1891-1958)
Our Father Op. 9 No. 3 [3:41]
Pavel CHESNOKOV (1877-1944)
Salvation is created Op. 25, No 5 [2:47]
Let my prayer arise Op 24 No 6 [6:09]
Let thy good spirit Op. 25 No 10 [2:13]
Bless the Lord, O my soul [2:42]
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous Op. 25 No 6 [2:07]
All of creation rejoices in you Op. 15 No 11 [3:39]
We have no other help Op. 25 No 8 [2:11]
Aleksandr GRECHANINOV (1864-1956)
Of thy mystical supper Op. 58 No 7 [5:09]
Konstantin SHVEDOV (1886-1954)
The Cherubic Hymn Op. 13 [4:49]
The Thrice-Holy Op. 7 [3:14]
Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Come, let us worship - from Op. 41 [2:15]
Victor KALINNIKOV (1870-1927)
Come, let us worship Op 11 [1:04]
We hymn thee Op. 7 [1:31]
Rejoice, O Virgin Op. 17 [1:10]
We hymn thee Op. 2 [1:49]
Nikolay TOLSTIAKOV (1883-1958)
Bless the Lord, O my soul Op 1, No 1 [3:16]
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Our Father Op. 22 No 7 [2:01]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Rejoice, O Virgin Op. 37 No 6 [3:09]
Mili BALAKIREV (1837-1910)
Let all mortal flesh keep silence [5:17]
Aleksandr KASTALSKY (1856-1926)
Radiant Light Op. 73 [2:51]
César CUI (1835-1918)
Song of the Most Holy Theotokos (Magnificat) [8:17]
Holst Singers/Stephen Layton
rec. 8-11 January, 2010, All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London DDD
Russian texts (transliterated) and English translations included
Sound Samples
HYPERION CDA67756 [71:35]

Experience Classicsonline

This is follow-up to the same artists’ excellent and stimulating disc entitled Ikon (CDA66928). A long time has elapsed since that first CD, which was made as far back as 1996, and which I acquired at the time. The content of the first programme was rather different from what’s on offer this time around. The original recital included pieces by Tchaikovsky and a couple by Grechaninov but for the most part more modern composers such as Georgy Sviridov (b. 1915), Arvo Pärt and Henryk Górecki took the compositional honours. This time Stephen Layton has chosen a good deal of music by composers who were linked to Moscow’s Synodal School of Church Singing and whose musical output was primarily - and in some cases exclusively - liturgical. He’s interspersed their music with liturgical pieces by some of the major Russian composers, best known for their secular output.
The offerings by Rachmaninov - a well-known excerpt from his All Night Vigil - and Tchaikovsky will be familiar to many collectors. For the rest, however, I suspect that few people other than specialist collectors - and members of the Orthodox Church - will know this music. It’s fascinating to hear liturgical works by composers such as Rimsky - his setting of The Lord’s Prayer is simple, direct and touching. And what a contrast between this sincere small-scale piece and the vibrantly colourful orchestral scores of his to which we’re so accustomed! Cui’s Magnificat, which closes the programme, is a fascinating work. The music is elaborate and dramatic by comparison with much of the remainder of the programme. Ivan Moody suggests in his most interesting notes that the piece has more of the concert hall than the church about it. It’s an ambitious and impressive composition.
I freely confess that I’ve not even heard of several of the composers represented here, let alone heard their music. I have come across Grechaninov’s music before, most notably his moving Passion Week (review). Here, Layton and his choir offer his Of thy mystical supper, a very beautiful setting of the communion hymn for Holy Thursday. This is very devotional music and the Holst Singers do it really well, their performance culminating in rapt singing of the repeated word ‘Aliluiya’ at the end.
Pavel Chesnokov is represented by several pieces. The melodic interest in Let my prayer arise is given to an alto solo - in this performance all the altos of the choir sing the line. Layton’s altos respond with fervent singing while the rest of the choir surround their line with dark-hued choral textures. All of the Chesnokov pieces in this programme are beautifully crafted and receive polished performances.
It may be objected that an English choir can’t match the Slavonic timbres but I must say that the Holst Singers do a very convincing job throughout, It’s some forty years since I acquired a smattering of Russian - now largely forgotten - so I can’t claim any real degree of expertise with the language but it sounds to me as if their Russian pronunciation is good. There can be no complaints about the tone they produce - still less about the sheer quality of the singing. And while no doubt a Russian choir would produce even more authentic-sounding performances - though perhaps not so skilled and sensitive - I don’t feel in the slightest short-changed by the singing on offer here. To see what I mean sample Kalinnikov’s Rejoice, O Virgin (‘Bogoroditse Devo’) and hear how the choir’s deep, tolling bass voices underpin the choral textures magnificently.
The most celebrated piece on the programme is Rachmaninov’s wonderful setting of the selfsame text. Layton and his singers deliver a wonderful, rapt account of this music, which they build to a majestic climax.
This is largely music that’s off the beaten track as far as most Western collectors will be concerned. But, unfamiliar as it may be it’s also very rewarding to hear. The quality of the music is high and the quality of the performances is, if anything, higher still. Stephen Layton has obviously prepared his fine choir superbly for this assignment and they deliver superb, sonorous and idiomatic performances. The Hyperion engineers have played a full part by capturing the singing in atmospheric, clear sound.
John Quinn












































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.