Taneyev - At the reading of a psalm - Mikhail Pletnev - 2004 (SACD-R, ISO)

Taneyev – At the reading of a psalm – Mikhail Pletnev – 2004 (SACD-R, ISO)

Composer: Sergei Taneyev
Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1 SACD-R
Format: ISO
Bit Depth: 64(2.8 MHz/1 Bit)
Number of channels: 5.0
Label:  Pentatone
Size: 2.61 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes
Server: rapidgator

S. Taneyev – At the reading of a psalm
С. Танеев. Кантата «По прочтении псалма», соч.36

Дирижёр Михаил Плетнёв
Санкт-Петербургская академическая капелла и хор мальчиков хорового училища имени М. И. Глинки

First movement

01. Chorus (Allegro tempestoso)
02. Double chorus (Andante sostenuto)
03. Chorus. Triple fugue (Fuge à 3 soggetti)

Second movement

04. Chorus (Allegro moderato – Fuga. Allegro tenebroso)
05. Quartet (Andante)
06. Quartet and chorus (Adagio ma non troppo)

Third movement

07. Interlude (Allegro appassionato)
08. Aria (Alto solo) (Adagio più tosto largo)
09. Double chorus (Finale) (Adagio pietoso e molto cantabile – Allegro moderato – Allegro molto)

The psalm is No 50 in the King James Bible: ‘The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken’. God appears through a storm to denounce those who believe that sacrifices and burnt offerings are of more value than thanksgiving and prayer. It is a powerful psalm, and it made a deep impression on the Slavophile poet and theologian Alexey Khomyakov, whose 1856 poem At the Reading of a Psalm develops the idea that outward forms of religion are as nothing beside truth, brotherly love and ‘a heart purer than gold’. In turn, Khomyakov’s poem inspired Taneyev, who took it for the cantata he completed in 1915, in the last months of his life.

It is in many ways a summation of Taneyev’s life and work, which should by now have earned an English-language study. N Bazhanov’s book (Taneyev; 1971) published in Soviet anti-religious times, skirts lightly round this cantata, while making airy allusions to Handel and Haydn. Here, Francis Maes’s thoughtful booklet-note prefers to suggest comparisons with Beethoven’s approach to sacred words in the Missa Solemnis, especially Taneyev’s use of fugue as symbol of ‘the superior reason dominating the universe’. The most elaborate of these is the triple fugue that concludes the first of the work’s three parts, a compelling piece which tests chorus and recording engineers (in St Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall) to the limits. Mikhail Pletnev does well to clarify this, and much else in the work, so successfully. The more lyrical, human music includes a fine solo warmly sung by Marianna Tarassova. Taneyev’s strengths are his security of design in the presentation of the poem and his contrapuntal mastery in laying out his material. If this material is seldom of great melodic distinction, the music nonetheless rewards the close listening it demands.

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