Peter Tchaikovsky

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Nine Sacred Choruses

Latvian Radio Choir
Sigvards Klava, conductor



Sleeve notes in English. Lyrics in Russian transliteration and in English translation.


June 2019

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1336-2


Track listing

CD 77:07
Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 41 37:32
1 After first Antiphon: Glory to the Father 3:04
2 After the Little Entrance: Come, Let Us Worship 3:43
3 Cherubic Hymn 6:02
4 The Creed 4:48
5 After the Creed: A Mercy of Peace 4:24
6 After the exclamation ‘Thine own of Thine…’: We Hymn to Thee 2:41
7 After the words ‘Especially for our most holy…’: Hymn to the Mother of God 3:26
8 The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father 3:25
9 The Communion Hymn: Praise the Lord 2:32
10 After the exclamation ‘In the fear of God…’: We have seen the True Light! 3:26
Nine Sacred Choruses 39:35
11 Cherubic Hymn I 6:05
12 Cherubic Hymn II 5:51
13 Cherubic Hymn III 6:01
14 We Hymn to Thee 3:20
15 Hymn to the Mother of God 3:03
16 Our Father 3:16
17 Blessed are They 3:23
18 Hear My Prayer (soloists: Agnese Urka, soprano | Agate Burkina, soprano | Dace Strautmane, alto 3:53
19 Now the Powers of Heaven 4:43

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Complete description

During the last decade, the recordings of sacred vocal works released on Ondine by the Latvian Radio Choir under their director Sigvards Kļava have gathered outstanding reviews and gathered several awards. This impressive cycle of recordings continue with a new album of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s (1840-1893) sacred works.


In 1877, Tchaikovsky wrote in a letter to Nadezhda von Meck: “I often go to the public worship; in my opinion, the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is one of the greatest works of art… Oh, I love all that terribly, it is one of my greatest pleasures.” Tchaikovsky enjoyed attending worship services, visited them regularly and always showed interest in sacred music, especially in the music of the Orthodox Church. Already relatively early in his career, in 1875, he issued “A short textbook of harmony, adapted to the reading of spiritual and musical compositions in Russia”, which in 1881 was approved as a textbook of church singing in theological seminaries and colleges. The same year, Tchaikovsky started editing the works of Dmitry Bortnyansky, a pioneer of sacred Orthodox music. However, he encountered problems with various institutions – the Imperial Chapel, the censorship authorities, as well as some conservative church officials who were more comfortable with smaller-caliber composers to whom they could have more authority when needed. Tchaikovsky wished to reform sacred Orthodox music but at the same to draw inspiration from the traditions of past centuries. Prime example of this is Tchaikovsky’s monumental work in sacred Orthodox music, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 41. The Nine Sacred Choruses were written some years later. This work is not a cycle in the basic meaning of the word, but rather a collection, and another affirmation of Tchaikovsky’s skills as one of the greatest composers of Orthodox sacred music.


The Latvian Radio Choir (LRC) ranks among the top professional chamber choirs in Europe and its refined taste for musical material, fineness of expression and vocal of unbelievably immense compass have charted it as a noted brand on the world map. The repertoire of LRC ranges from the Renaissance music to the most sophisticated scores by modern composers; and it could be described as a sound laboratory – the singers explore their skills by turning to the mysteries of traditional singing, as well as to the art of quartertone and overtone singing and other sound production techniques. The choir has established a new understanding of the possibilities of a human voice; one could also say that the choir is the creator of a new choral paradigm: every singer is a distinct individual with his or her own vocal signature and roles in performances.


Sigvards Kļava is one of the most outstanding Latvian conductors, also a professor of conducting and producer, music director of the Latvian Radio Choir since 1992. As a result of Sigvards Klava’s steady efforts, the Latvian Radio Choir has become an internationally recognized, vocally distinctive collective, where each singer possesses a creative individuality. Under Sigvards’ guidance, the choir has recorded a number of choral works by little known or completely forgotten composers of the past, as well as formed a friendly collaboration with a number of notable Latvian composers. Sigvards Klava is a professor at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music. Klava is a multiple winner of the Latvian Great Music Award.