My inbox this morning contains a not altogether negligible number of emails from readers who, like me, admire Russian chant…and wonder why the rest of the world fails to see the beauty in this ancient music that strikes us as so entirely self-evident.
As one reader explains:
I strongly agree with you on Russian Orthodox chant music. I also agree that others seem to hear very little in it. It’s like bagpipe music or Elvis songs in Latin, you either love it or hate it. I’m only allowed to play it when my wife is out of the house.
And this, from another reader, for anyone who would like to pursue his education in these matters:
If you are looking for the best recordings of authentic Russian liturgical chant, I recommend the Moscow Patriarchal Choir under Anatoly Gridorenko, on the Opus 111 label. They do everything from the earliest monadic kriuk chant to the lesser and great Znamenny, to sixteenth and seventeenth century polyphomic chant.
The kriuk and the Znamenny. Where else, I ask you, but on this Corner?