A second MusicWeb International critic has named PaTRAM Institute’s Teach Me Thy Statutes release their “Recording of the Month”!
“It’s a very common tactic when writing a review so to structure the argument that a verdict on the disc emerges quite naturally – or such is the hope! – in the closing paragraphs. No need for such a device here: this disc is, quite simply a stunner! In making that statement I’m thinking equally of the music, the performances and the superb recorded sound. … I confess that I was pretty much hooked the first time that I played the opening track, ‘Bless the Lord, O My Soul’. I was attracted not just by the beauty of the music but, just as much, by the quality of the singing. At once we hear a seamless legato from the choir and their sound, simply as choral sound per se, gives immense pleasure and satisfaction. The blend is perfectly judged – and never falters – while the singers have an enviable dynamic range. Just to put the icing on the cake, the choir has been recorded in a lovely, resonant acoustic which is ideally suited to the music. Moreover, the engineers have judged the acoustic expertly so that the resonance enriches the sound and acts as a kind of halo round it while never blurring the sound or making it in any way diffuse or unclear. In other words, as a choral recording, it’s pretty much ideal. … I could have picked out examples from every single piece to demonstrate the prowess of this fabulous choir but I hope I’ve given you a flavour and encouraged you to investigate this disc if you are drawn to choral music in general and to Russian Orthodox liturgical music in particular. Standards of choral singing in general are higher today than they’ve ever been but even so it’s not all that often that one experiences choral singing of this calibre. … I hope Reference Recordings will soon give us further opportunities to hear this magnificent choir. For now, though, as I said at the start, this present disc is a stunner.”