This work is a compendium of movements from two of Tchaikovsky’s religious works. It was intended for concert rather than liturgical use. Four are from his Liturgy of St John Chrysostom and the last two are from a collection of nine Liturgical hymns he wrote between 1884 and 1885.
The publication of the Liturgy was beset by difficulty as it had not been authorised by the Imperial Chapel which then tried to suppress it. However,Tchaikovsky sought and received authorisation from the Russian Senate. This enabled later composers to write church music without the scrutiny of the Chapel. One result of this relaxation was the well known setting of the Evening Service by Rachmaninoff which we performed two or three years ago.
This work was judged by some critics at the time to be too “western” in its approach and not true to its Russian roots, especially in its use of Russian chants.
We used the edition from Faber’s Choral Programme Series, ISBN 0571516408.