The Kyiv Patriarchate, established in 1992, was denounced by Moscow and the schism between the two Orthodox churches has become part of the geopolitical confrontation between Russia and Ukraine since 2014. Warlike, incendiary speeches made by Moscow Patriarch Kyrill, some made before Russia’s annexation of the Ukraine, have only increased tensions.
Much of the anger stems from the fact that the Ukraine has its own culture, language, and tradition that is distinguishable from that of Russia.
The present recording, made by the leading Ukrainian choir outside of the nation (based in Neu-Ulm, Bavaria) and led by one of Ukraine’s leading choral conductors, showcases masterpieces from the Ukrainian sacred choral canon. All of the composers in this anthology were born in Ukraine.
“This disc is not just a program of Orthodox hymnody, but also a gesture of resistance; although it was originally issued in 1989, long before the current Russian aggression towards Ukraine, it is being reissued now along with a clear statement of intent and of opposition to the Russian patriarchate (“All composers here were born in Ukraine”). So how’s the music? Glorious, with that particular intensity of delivery and density of harmony that typifies sacred music in the Orthodox tradition. Featured composers include Dmytry Bortniansky, Artemy Vedel, and Mykola Lysenko.”Rick Anderson, CdHotList