Christmas/Holiday

George Fr. Handel · MessiahGeorge Fr. Handel · Messiah
George Frideric Handel:
M E S S I A H
The complete recording of the English Oratorio HWV 56,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Miriam Allan (Soprano), Michael Chance (Countertenor),
Mark Le Brocq (Tenor), Christopher Purves (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra, Maulbronn Chamber Choir.
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 140 Minutes
2 CD
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A rich Messiah of unusually strong Impact

They produced in the hands of conductor Jürgen Budday a rich Messiah of unusually strong impact... aided by fine live engineering in the impressive, sonically clear spaces of Germany's Maulbronn Monastery...
This live German recording of Messiah is based on a manuscript Handel marked up for a performance of the work in Dublin, adding a variety of new dynamic markings and ensemble indications. There's no reason to regard it as quite the definitive version of the work that it is proposed to be by the booklet here; it can equally well be considered an experiment on Handel's part in dealing with the new stylistic currents of his day. For listeners unfamiliar with it, this version carries quite a few surprises. Sampling merely the beginning of the "Hallelujah" chorus, CD 2, track 16, is enough to give the listener an idea of what he or she is getting into as the usually muscular entrance of the choir contracts to a quiet, angelic effect. The work becomes much more varied in texture and a good deal less monumental overall.
It would nevertheless be a shame if this recording were pigeonholed among the Dublin versions, for it has a good deal to offer any Messiah listener. Billed as an uncut, historically informed performance, this recording becomes, in the hands of conductor Jürgen Budday, a nice fusion of the immediate feel of the best historical performances (aided by fine live engineering in the impressive, sonically clear spaces of Germany's Maulbronn Monastery) with a rich, more conventional sound from a good-sized German choir, the Maulbronner Kammerchor.
Budday gives the soloists a chance to stretch out in the recitatives. Collectively the performers capture the different strands of Handel's experience - operatic, English Protestant, solo-oriented, and instrumental - that he brought to bear on this magnificent work, and they produce a rich Messiah of unusually strong impact. The live recording has a few flaws, but they are more than overcome by the edge thus generated. Notes are in German and English, the text is in English.

Review by James Manheim - All Music Guide, allmusic.com

Review

***** Absolutely the finest rendition

I am nearly 60 years old and have heard countless versions of Handel's "Messiah" since I was a boy. Recently I decided to purchase the best recording I could find for MP3 use. Wanting the version most faithful to Handel's baroque style, I easily eliminated most of the recordings I "auditioned" due to the overuse of orchestration, usually performed by unauthentic modern instruments. I also did not want to listen to any more wobbly warbling of soloists who seemed to be more intent on overpowering the listener than on communicating the divine message of the scripture text. Nor did I wish to hear any more sloppy choral performances that muddy the words because of the choir size and poor attack.
I had heard other recordings done with "authentic" or "antique" instruments, some of which are fine, but usually one or two of the soloists have left me disappointed. This version has satisfied every one of my wishes. Where have they been hiding? It is totally delightful, and I have no complaint. I can only hope that more persons will become aware of this recording and add their two bits of comments. If you are one of those persons who enjoys heavy vibrato and heavy orchestration, you might not appreciate this fine Baroque recording. But if you are tired of the same old..... then by all means, give it a try. It is refreshing!

'Monergistic Reader' on Amazon.com

Review

***** Superlative

I've heard many, many versions of "Messiah" in my short 27 years, and this is by far the best. One need only listen to the "Hallelujah Chorus" to appreciate this recording - it is at once intimate and majestic. The restraint that the choir demonstrates in the beginning is remarkable, considering that that chorus is normally an unwieldy, overwhelming, incomprehensible mess. It's not lacking for majesty and bombast, but it's there at appropriate places.

'Dweeb' on Amazon.com

Review

***** A clear, beautiful, authentic Messiah

An absolute gem of a Messiah. Definitely in the stream of the great "authentic" recordings of the work (like Christopher Hogwood's fantastic recording so many years before), this one makes the most of a small orchestra and chorus. The performances are all wonderfully beautiful, from the orchestra and the crystal-clear soloists to the all-male choir. There is an elegant restraint shown in this recording that sets it apart, even amongst some of its contemporaries in the authentic-arrangement camp; This is particularly notable in "Hallelujah". Don't confuse elegance and restraint for dull and boring, however. It is anything but that. This version transports the listener. The sound quality is pristine and, recorded live in concert in a large church, captures the wonderful resonance that atmosphere uniquely provides. This is a lesser-known Messiah that stacks up well against other, more noted performances.

Jacob A. Davis on Amazon.com

George Fr. Handel · SolomonGeorge Fr. Handel · Solomon
George Frideric Handel:
S O L O M O N
The English Oratorio HWV 67,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Nancy Argenta (Soprano), Laurie Reviol (Soprano),
Michael Chance (Countertenor), Julian Podger (Tenor),
Steffen Balbach (Bass), Hanoverian Court Orchestra
and Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 150 Minutes
2 CD
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I assure you that all Oratorios from Maulbronn are first-rate

This CD is the first one that I heard from Maulbronn and I was stunned by the entire performance! It was exciting both vocally and instrumentally; I found it impossible to pause even for sustenance. Jurgen Budday has assembled a great lineup of soloists who projected their respective roles perfectly. For the most part the words of the chorus were understandable and created the proper dramatic tension. Michael Chance as Solomon displayed his usual skill in getting inside the role and the songs. The scene with the 2 harlots who were both claiming the same child was compellingly realistic. So many great songs by Handel on this disc I wouldn't want to have missed it! Since then I have purchased 4 more Oratorios from Maulbronn.
I assure you that they are all first-rate!

George Peabody 'Ariel' on Amazon.com - A voice teacher and early music fan from Carlisle, Pa. USA

Gregorian Chants · Veri Solis RadiusGregorian Chants · Veri Solis Radius
Ensemble Vox Nostra
Veri Solis Radius
Musical networks in medieval Europe
Gregorian chants from the 12th & 13th century,
performed by the Vocal Ensemble Vox Nostra:
Amy Green · Susanne Wilsdorf · Ellen Hünigen
Werner Blau · Burkard Wehner (Musical Director)
A concert recording from the church
of Cistercian Abbey in Eusserthal (Germany)
HD Recording · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
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It is not possible to overstate the importance of this recording

The first word that comes to mind on listening to this CD is haunting. As a procession entering into the abbey church (St. Bernhard, Eusserthal, Rhineland-Palatinate) we initially hear a distant group of singers approaching, as they get louder and fill the space with their resplendent voices we settle into a transcendental journey across ancient medieval Europe. Each of the five singers on this recording is a scholar specialist (musicology, paleography, theology) in this repertoire. They include, Amy Green (USA), Susanne Wilsdorf, Ellen Hünigen, Werner Blau, Burkard Werner (Germany). They gave a concert in the abbey church on September 8, 2013. This CD is a snapshot recorded on site in direct 2-track stereo digital. The sound quality is quite simply amazing. A restored church from what was left of the original ruined abbey Kloster Eusserthal, is widely known in Europe as a great concert acoustic. An ongoing series of performances is presented annually in the former Cistercian monument, near Annweiler am Trifels.
Vox Nostra to quote their notes, "…favors a slow, flowing style of performance in an appropriately restrained tempo. The vocal sound which results is rich in overtones, and fills the entire space; it allows the archaic and pure intervals of this music to be fully appreciated, and ensures that the complex weaving of the voices is clearly audible." This writer would have to qualify their approach and the amazing results as revolutionary and without president or rival. I feel like I have heard medieval chant for the very first time it is so startling and overpowering.
The repertoire is varied and all taken from original manuscripts in Spain, Italy, Scotland, Germany, England and France. The recording ends as it began. The singers exit the abbey church and their voices trail off into the distance into silence. It is not possible to overstate the importance of this new recording on a label that is almost totally unknown here in North America. Insist on listening for yourself Vox Nostra's artistic triumph Veri Solis Radius.

© 2015 Timothy Eaton Memorial Church

J. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of GodJ. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of God
Johann Sebastian Bach
Vom Reiche Gottes
The WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING of the great cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes"
with arias, choruses & chants from 18 Bach Cantatas, compilated by Hans Grischkat,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Heike Heilmann (Soprano), Franz Vitzthum (Altus, Countertenor),
Johannes Mayer (Tenor), Falko Hönisch (Bass),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir, Ensemble il Capriccio
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 78 Minutes
CD
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***** A unique performance... This album is a treasure...

Electrifying live performance of mostly rarely performed J.S. Bach arias, choruses and chants, recorded on location at the 12th century Maulbronn monastery in Germany. The acoustics are beautiful, and the sound quality very convincing. Historical instruments were used for the performance, tuned to the exact pitch Bach would have been familiar with in his lietime. The result is intimate, moving and addictive. Of course it is a 'programme', with famous pieces followed by unusual tracks, but it provides an irresistible feeling of ensemble and wholesomeness.
The delicate Sinfonia opens the CD perfectly, operates magically on your brain and your senses to remove any feeling of oppression from what you cannot control of the outside world, and when the beautifully sung chorus of the same cantata follows, you know you are in for a treat that mixes adherence to the settings of the time and effective modern recording technology.
This album is not 'another Bach' album. It is unique, and it is a treasure.

"Edel" on Amazon.com (Verified purchase of the Audio CD)

J. S. Bach · Mass in B MinorJ. S. Bach · Mass in B Minor
Johann Sebastian Bach
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Performed according to the traditions of the time
by Joanne Lunn (Soprano), Ursula Eittinger (Mezzo-Soprano),
Marcus Ullmann (Tenor), Gotthold Schwarz (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra (Hannoversche Hofkapelle),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 112 Minutes
2 CD
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I am bowled over by the quality... Fantastic!

Yesterday I received the B Minor Mass and I am bowled over by its quality... Fantastic! As always from K&K...

Gerald Fenech on Facebook

Review

This recording is nothing less than superb...

As always this enterprising German company issues beautifully recorded CD sets of choice and eclectic music but it has reverted back to its original oratorio and sacred course with this monumental recording of Bach's sublime B Minor Mass. The recording in the wonderful surroundings of the Maulbronn Monastery is nothing less than superb with ideal balance between chorus and orchestra and with the soloists on pretty much top form throughout. Jürgen Budday conducts with extreme sensitivity throughout and his tempi are extremely well judged especially in the drawn out "Kyrie" and the irrepressible energy of the "Gloria in excelscis Deo" culminating in a "Dona nobis pacem" of almost spine tingling beauty. The chorus sings with knowledgeable integrity whilst all four soloists contribute in their own special way to the performance as a whole with Ursula Eittinger particularly ravishing....

Classical Net

Johannes Brahms · A German RequiemJohannes Brahms · A German Requiem
Johannes Brahms
A German Requiem
Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45
The "London Version" (sung in German)
for 2 soloists, choir and four-hand piano,
arranged by the composer, performed by
Heidi Elisabeth Meier (Soprano), Josef Wagner (Baritone),
Piano Duo GrauSchumacher (Andreas Grau & Götz Schumacher),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 70 Minutes
CD
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A reference recording

Interpretation: ***** (5 out of 5)
Recording Quality: ***** (5 out of 5)
Status: Reference Recording

KULIMU - German Magazine for art, music and literature

Review

Magnificently performed and recorded...

Fine Reduction and Fine Performance
Brahms' own piano reduction of his Requiem. It works wonderfully in this format and this recording is magnificently performed and recorded. This will not replace the orchestra version (and certainly was not meant to) but it allows one to hear the work in a new way...

Bachjscpe on Amazon.com

Review

***** Certainly Five Stars!

Item getting today, 04/13/17. A very interesting interpretation of the famous Brahms German Requiem for piano duo, choir and soloists; the London version, in contrary to the later full orchestral, choir and soloists version. This chamber version makes this work more a delightful and receptable one during this Passion Time.

J. P. M. Smit on Amazon.com, April 13, 2017

Louis Spohr · The Last JudgementLouis Spohr · The Last Judgement
Louis Spohr (1784-1859):
The Last Judgement
The oratorio "Die letzten Dinge"
based on verses from the Holy Scripture
in a complete live recording of the original version from 1826, sung in German,
with Miriam Meyer (Soprano), Ursula Eittinger (Mezzo-Soprano),
Marcus Ullmann (Tenor), Josef Wagner (Bass),
Maulbronn Cantor Choir (Kantorei Maulbronn),
Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 81 Minutes
CD
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5 stars out of 5 stars

Customer Votes on EMusic

Review

Spohr'’s second oratorio concerns both:
the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement

This was Spohr’s second oratorio and was written in Kassel between 1825 and 1826. The libretto, in two parts, was by Johann Friedrich Rochlitz (1769-1842) and concerns both the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement. The overture is a powerful utterance, finely put together, and orchestrated adeptly. The choral entries are often arresting, and the accompanied recitatives show awareness of oratorio antecedents but are sufficiently flexible to convince on their own terms. At its best the work impresses through a felicitous sense of word-setting and layering; the choral responses are indeed sensitively shaped. The fourth movement, with a tenor solo and chorus, calls for a repeated ‘Heilig’ and the chorus’s soft, reverential repetition vests the music with great reflectiveness and elegiac quality. Then too Spohr doesn’t stint the opportunities for some good old-fashioned fugal development. Its employment halts the narrative somewhat but is certainly incisive; that in the seventh section is very definitely reminiscent of Handel. Spohr shows in the Sinfonia introduction to the second part just how well he wrote for orchestral forces and in the Babylonian chorus (No.15) demonstrates a sure instinct for the dramatic crest of a movement. In the concluding fugal Hallelujah section he reprises the kind of Handelian statements he’d earlier established in the first part of the oratorio. There are some Mozartian touches here and there, more stentorian Beethovenian ones too, in addition to the sometimes pervasive Handelian aspect. ...

Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb International - www.musicweb-international.com

Review

Qobuz Hi-Res Audio

Awarded by Qobuz with the "Hi-Res Audio" March 2012.

Qobuz

Review

The listener is engrossed in what is going on from first note to last

This enterprising German label has recently served up some wonderfully crafted chamber and choral performances and this discovery by Spohr is no exception. Apparently 'The Last Judgement' (Die letzten Dinge - 1825/6) was an extremely popular oratorio in its heyday but it unfortunately fell by the wayside and is little heard today. Spohr treats the text with reverence and respect and although the music rarely rises above the mundane, the soloists and Budday ensure that the listener is engrossed in what is going on from first note to last. This is a worthwhile revival from the Spohr canon which deserves much wider currency.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Maulbronn Chamber Choir · Love & SorrowMaulbronn Chamber Choir · Love & Sorrow
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Love & Sorrow
"Liebe & Leid"
An a-cappella-recording with works about love and sorrow
for 4- to 12-part mixed choir
by Robert L. de Pearsall (1795-1856), Robert Schumann (1810-1856),
Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), Sven David Sandström (*1942),
John Tavener (*1944), John Rutter (*1945), Branko Stark (*1954),
David Hill (*1957), Wolfram Buchenberg (*1962),
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (*1963) & Eric Whitacre (*1970)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 75 Minutes
CD
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One of the best German choirs

The Maulbronner Kammerchor, conducted by Jurgen Budday, can serve as a model example of the best that there is in the German style of this art: roundly shaped clear phrases, deliberately designed shadings of dynamics, precise articulation an a homogeneous balance of well-cultured voices. These caracteristics are symptomatic, regardless of whether they are singing a Mendelssohn motet or a modern psalm setting, light in presentation but studded with thoroughly rehearsed effects.

The Jerusalem Post

Review

***** Excellent and highly recommended

This a-cappella-recording contains an interesting collection of historical and contemporary choral works, excellently interpreted by the highly honored Maulbronn Chamber Choir, under the direction of Jürgen Budday. This project is incredibly exciting, contains a lot of new sounds and is absolutely diversified. This release is an absolute recommendation for all lovers of choral music.

'MichaelJG' at Barnes & Noble

Review

What a juicy sound this choir makes at full throttle!

This Liebe & Leid program was recorded at Maulbronn Monastery in Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a very resonant space. It's in those echoes, in fact, that the charm of the release resides. This is a pretty good choir, to be sure; and a joyful noise is made in varied repertoire stretching from Robert Lucas de Pearsall's sumptuous "Great God of Love", to Eric Whitacre's tingly "Nox Aurumque", to Jaako Mantyjarvi's absorbing account of a true-to-life maritime disaster that took place on the Baltic.
What's more exciting, though, than any technical nuance or interpretive wrinkle is the high-octane sound of the Maulbronn singers performing in their very own sacred space. That's the draw, pure and simple. Texts and translations are available and necessary because the reverb cancels out some of the diction. But what a juicy sound this choir makes at full throttle!

Philip Greenfield - American Record Guide, April 2015

Review

Featured on Spotify

This release is featured in the editorial playlist on Spotify​:
COMPOSER WEEKLY: SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRÖM

Spotify Editorial

Mozart · Piano Concertos I · Nos. 17 & 23Mozart · Piano Concertos I · Nos. 17 & 23
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Piano Concertos I
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453
& Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
Christoph Soldan (Piano)
Cappella Istropolitana
Conductor: Pawel Przytocki
Concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterApple MusicAmazon MusicTidaliTunesReview

***** Stunning acoustics

This monastery is world famous. Spectacular decay, luminous sound, superb performances... Try this series and see what you think.

'John K.' on Amazon.com

Review

A wonderful Disc

This wonderful disc recorded in the splendor of the Maulbronn Monastery continues to cement K&K's reputation as a purveyor of quality classical music. Their Mozart piano concerto series has so far been quite exquisite on all counts this time with Christoph Soldan at the piano. KV453 floats along quite merrily, especially in the broad Finale which has the Capella Istropolitana playing like angels, ably directed by Pawel Przytocki. The same goes for KV488, one of the miracles of Mozart's piano concertos which can easily hold its own with former greats in the genre such as Wilhelm Kempff and Géza Anda. My only gripe in this series is the paucity of notes which accompany the issues otherwise both recording and interpretation are of impeccable quality throughout. Those who are collecting this fine series really need not hesitate in any way and should go ahead with purchasing this issue.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net, Copyright 2009

Rossini: Stabat Mater & Gounod: Missa SolemnisRossini: Stabat Mater & Gounod: Missa Solemnis
Double Album
Rossini: Stabat Mater
Gounod: Missa Solemnis
Performed by the Maulbronn Cantor Choir,
Svetlana Strezeva (Soprano), Jolanta Michalska-Taliaferro (Alto),
Willi Stein (Tenor), Nikita Storojev (Bass)
and Members of the SWR-Symphony-Orchestra Baden-Baden & Freiburg
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
DDD · Double Album · c. 130 Minutes
2 CD
EUR 33,00SpotifyDeezerApple MusicAmazon MusicTidaliTunesReview

***** Wonderful

I think this is the most beautiful music composed and performed. Fortunately it comes with a translation of the Latin.

A. H. Eschenfelder on Amazon.com
(Verified purchase of Gounod's Missa Solemnis)

Review

Wonderfully performed

Charles Gounod's first passion was for clerical music and his Messe solonelle de Sain-Cecile is one of his most beautiful works, filled with marvellous melodies. Gioacchino Rossini turned to religious music later in life and his Stabat Mater is almost opera-like with its sweeping melodies and drifting rhythms. Both pieces are wonderfully performed in this concert recording in which the glorious Maulbronn Choir, conducted by Juergen Budday, is joined by soloists Svetlana Strezeva (soprano), Jolanta Michalska-Taliaferro (mezzo soprano), Willi Stein (tenor), Nikita Storojev (bass) and members of the SWR-symphony-orchestra Baden-Baden & Freiburg.

John Pitt, New Classics UK

Review

***** Very Happy

Beautiful recording and so happy I was able to find this for my mother…. At 87 she does not ask for much! But she wanted to hear this.

Daragh Coulter on Amazon.com
(Verified purchase of Gounod's Missa Solemnis)

Review

***** Welcome Home

Just one of those major works that you always adored and never took the time to add to your library. For those of us getting to the more senior side of being senior citizens,my heart bursts with love on hearing the Sanctus. Every time!

'SENIORNERD' on eMusic.com about this recording of Gounod's Missa Solemnis

The Divine Liturgy · Don Cossack ChoirThe Divine Liturgy · Don Cossack Choir
Don Cossack Choir
The Divine Liturgy
An a-cappella-concert by the Don Cossacks Soloists Wanja Hlibka
with works from the Russian Missa by Maximowitsch, M. Lovorsky, Tschaikowsky, Alexandre Gretschaninow, Kastalsky, Fatejev, Dimitrij Bortnjanskij, the Kiev Melody et. al.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 50 Minutes
CD
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Atmospheric, emotional and moving

In this recording of a Maulbronn Monastery choir concert, the Don Cossacks Soloists Wanja Hlibka sing works from the Russian Orthodox tradition by Maximowitsch (Wir verbeugen uns vor Deinem Kreuz), M. Lovorsky, Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowsky (In der Kirche), Alexandre Gretschaninow (Credo), Kastalsky, Fatejev, Dimitrij Bortnjanskij (Tedeum Laudamus) and the Kiev Melodies. The compositions carefully selected for the liturgically conceived Musica Sacra reveal surprising new insights into the high art of sacred Russian music and tradition. The outstanding a cappella ensemble performing here was founded in 1991 by Wanja Hlibka and George Tymczenko, who were both formerly soloists in the acclaimed Don Cossacks Choir until its disbandment in 1979. The Don Cossacks Soloists perform live and without amplification, even in such large venues as the Musikhalle in Hamburg, the Messehalle in Frankfurt or the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. The rich and emotional music of the Russian Orthodox Church is not often heard in the Western world, making this atmospheric and moving CD a wonderful to the beautifully produced Maulbronn Edition.

new-classics.co.uk

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