St. Matthew Passion
Format: COMPACT DISC
Firma Melodiya presents an English version of the oratorio St. Matthew Passion, the most popular composition of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), a composer, theologian and cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church. The composer of this music can be called one of the outstanding figures in the spiritual life of modern Russia. After studying at the Moscow Conservatory, he devoted himself entirely to church ministry, leaving his musical activities for a long time. Having earned Russian and international recognition as a theologian and church writer, ordained a bishop and later a metropolitan, he returned to composing in the 2000s to make it “one of the forms of preaching and ministry”. Metropolitan Hilarion’s works synthesize the eastern and western branches of Christian music, revealing the direct continuity of the Russian classical musical tradition. According to Alexander Sokolov, a professor and president of the Moscow Conservatory Alexander, Metropolitan Hilarion’s music “leads a person to God through knowledge of God, to spiritual through emotional...” and sounds like “a new phenomenon in culture and spirituality”. St. Matthew Passion is a large-scale oratorial piece for soloists, choir and orchestra set to Church Slavonic texts. The premiere that took place in 2007 was a truly global event in scale. In the English version of St. Matthew Passion, the part of the Evangelist is performed by the prominent British religious figure Richard Chartres, who until recently served as Bishop of London and confessor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Renowned Russian singers also take part in the performance (Olga Peretyatko, a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre, and Agunda Kulayeva, Dmitri Korchak, and Nikolai Didenko, all soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre), the Moscow Synodal Choir, successors of the old traditions of Russian choral culture, and the Russian National Orchestra.