MusicWeb International’s Marc Rochester has given PaTRAM Institute’s Blessed Art Thou Among Women recording a Recommended distinction!
“Bortnyansky’s simple but effective setting of Beneath Thy Compassion gives us a wonderful taste of a fine choir supported by a powerful profundo bass, while a resonant burst of a genuinely Russian-sounding profundo bass (sung by the rather surprisingly named Glenn Miller) opens Zheludkov’s setting of Do Not Lament Me, O Mother. Emerging from the rich, luxuriant textures of the Magnification for the Icon “Joy of all the Sorrowful” by Nikolai Matveyev (1909-1992) a solo quartet (Alexandra Olsavsky, Lauren McAllister, Daniel Shirley and Michael Hawes) creates a wonderfully ethereal presence, while there is something deliciously angelic about the female voices which open With the Voice of the Archangel by Nikolai Tolstiakov (1883-1958). While much of this music exudes a profoundly prayerful atmosphere, gorgeously soaked up by this outstanding choir, it does occasionally burst into celebratory fire – as with the wonderfully joyous The Angel Cried Out (the angelic voice of soprano Fotina Namumenko glistening in this bright musical sunlight) by Boris Ledkovsky (1894-1975) – and in these moments Jermihov draws some truly brilliant singing from his forces. … The recording itself is dedicated to the memory of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, and includes a favourite hymn of his – In the Flesh Thou Didst Fall Asleep – and his own son, Alexis Lukianov, intoning Chesnokov’s deeply moving Memory Eternal with such a powerful and resonant profundo at its lowest imaginable that I marvel that anybody could possibly make such a wonderful noise so deep down in their register. Frankly, this recording would be worth buying for this magical example of true profundo singing on its own, but, in their own way, every single track (including the opening burst of carillon bells from the St Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral’s bell-ringer, Peter Lukianov) is worth hearing.”—Marc Rochester, MusicWeb International