COMPOSERS: 17th century Orthodox Church Music
PERFORMER: Pokrov Ensemble/Andrei Malyutin
CATALOGUE NO: 30366 00822
Finally, there may be little new Gregorian chant around, but Carlton has come up with something even duller. Though you’d be hard-put to work it out from the utterly inadequate notes, A Russian Christmas is in fact a highly speculative reconstruction of some of the lost polyphonic music of the late 17th-century Orthodox church, placed in the context of the even duller unison chant that preceded it.
Still, the disc is almost worth the price for the concluding ninety seconds of bell-ringing alone – an extraordinary gamelan-style riff of dotty rhythms and counter chimes, like Quasimodo run amok in St Basil’s.