MOSCOW: August 9, 2008
The The First Disc of the Series "Hymnody of the Russian Diaspora" Issued in Russia
The Series "Hymnody of the Russian Diaspora" is historical in character; the hymns recorded therein are exclusively works of Russian emigre composers. The composers, who escaped Russia after the events of 1917, did not bury in the ground the talent given them by God, but, on the contrary, amid the difficult conditions of exile not only preserved it, but even increased it. The composition and harmonization of the hymns of the Russian Church became for them one of the means of expressing their love for God, their faithfulness to the Orthodox Church, and their service to the Russia which was to come.
The composers of the Russian Diaspora represent not so much a particular school as a definite trend in Church music. An ideal of Church musicians who continued the traditions of the research into and the reworking of the Church's chants was formulated, as well as the experience of free composition in the best traditions of the Russian ecclesiastical music of the early 20th century.
The series "Hymnody of the Russian Diaspora" was originally produced in San Francisco. Since the restoration of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, it is now being issued again, this time in Russia, by the Publications Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. Thanks to the unity of the two parts of the Church of Russia—those in the homeland and abroad—the time has come for the development of cooperation for the glory of God and the Church of Russia. The Publications Council has timed the release of the first disc in the series to coincide with the first anniversary of the signing of the "Act of Canonical Communion" (17 May 2008).
Far from all the composers of the Russian Diaspora are represented on the first disc of this series. Archbishop Gabriel (Chepur), Alexander Glazunov, Andrew Ilyashchenko, the Nicholas Kedrovs (pere and fils), Michael Kovalevsky, John Kolchin, Michael Konstantinov and Boris Ledkovsky represent various generations, possessed diverse levels of musical educations, lived in different countries, and were affiliated with various Orthodox jurisdictions. Several of them were composers of wide repute, others died in obscurity; the legacy of the ecclesiastical music of some is vast, others composed only a few Church pieces. Yet all of these composers lived the dream of the coming rebirth of Russia, and its most sublime spiritual traditions.