Shchedrin: The Sealed Angel

Two of Britain’s finest young choirs join forces to give voice to the sublime expressiveness of Rodion Shchedrin’s ‘Russian liturgy’, an astonishing statement of faith composed in the early days of perestroika. Shchedrin’s choral tableaux juxtapose tenderness with bracing sonic impact, and are shadowed throughout by a plangent solo oboe representing the soul of the Russian people.

"Sung with clarity and sensitivity by the two choirs, this beautiful, impressive piece easily bears comparison with works that Shchedrin admires like Rachmaninov's Vespers. The instrumental part for 'shepherd's pipe', usually played by flute, is here taken by oboe, played affectingly by Clare Wills"

"Caught here in fine sound, this is a splendid disc of a multifaceted, many-layered modern masterpiece. The choirs sing splendidly, without producing a Russian sound, yet the composer is aware of the English choral tradition so his music's translation here is fascinating."


"glittering precision…marvellous choral sheen"


"The Sealed Angel is excellently performed here. The combined choirs give a compelling account of this intense and beautiful work: singing with clarity, sensitivity and tremendous conviction"

"the subtle textures of Shchedrin's liturgy are perfectly rendered by the Latvian State Choir in the sonorous surroundings of Eberbach Monastery. The amazing polyphonic discord at the epiphanic moment of the revelation of Judas's betrayal is stunning."

"The music moves from the intimate to the grand and the combined choirs of Gonville and Caius from Cambridge and King's from London under the respective direction of Geoffrey Webber and David Trendell give a splendid performance. Listeners with any interest in contemporary Orthodox music and choral singing that does not follow the same old path will find much to enjoy in this outstanding release."


Release Date: 30 March 2009
Catalogue No: DCD34067
Total playing time: 0:54:42
Recorded on 12-14 July 2008 in Worksop College Chapel
Producer: Paul Baxter
Engineer: Beth Mackay
24-bit digital editing: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Drew Padrutt
Booklet editor: John Fallas
Photography: Paul Baxter & Raymond Parks

Album Booklet

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