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Alexander Kastalsky was a seminal figure on the Russian national music scene in the first two decades of the 20th century. As a composer, conductor, folklorist and administrator, by nature inquisitive and innovative, he moved freely among the spheres of church, classical and folk music in a way very much his own.

A student of Tchaikovsky and a mentor to Rachmaninov, Kastalsky became director of the Moscow Synodal School until the Bolshevik regime banned all sacred music.

Alexander KASTALSKY (1856–1926)

Anna Dennis, Soprano • Joseph Beutel, Bass-baritone
Cathedral Choral Society • The Clarion Choir
The Saint Tikhon Choir • Kansas City Chorale
Orchestra of St. Luke’s • Leonard Slatkin

Alexander Kastalsky was a student of Tchaikovsky and a mentor to Rachmaninov, becoming director of the Moscow Synodal School until the Bolshevik regime banned all sacred music, including the extraordinary Requiem for Fallen Brothers which consequently lay forgotten for over a century. The Requiem is a rich and varied mosaic that honours those who perished in the First World War, poignantly combining Orthodox and Gregorian chant with hymns from the allied nations, even including Rock of Ages. This unprecedented and peerless monument to those who made the ultimate sacrifice was acclaimed on its 1917 premiere as a ‘uniquely Russian requiem that… gave musical voice to the tears of many nations’.

Listen to an extract from Hostias
More Requiem recordings
Holocaust Requiem
Poem of Dawn

Serova • Croatian Radio & Television Symphony Orchestra • Guerini
‘Boris Pigovat’s Holocaust Requiem is a music of striking serenity, beauty and depth.’
War Requiem

Russell • Randle • Volle
Scottish Festival Chorus
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
‘[Martyn Brabbins] conveys the electrifying drama of the grander, more extrovert moments.’
Armenian Requiem

Barsoumian • Avakian
Manucharyan • Chernov
Harutyunyan • Bull
VEM String Quartet
Tziatzan Children’s Choir
Lark Master Singers
UCLA Philharmonia • Stulberg
‘Ian Krouse’s sprawling choral masterpiece may one day take its place among the most important examples of the Requiem genre.’
More recordings by Leonard Slatkin of Russian repertoire
‘Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony really knock it out of the park with this superb coupling of Rachmaninoff’s last two orchestral works.’
Symphony No. 1
The Isle of the Dead

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
‘Slatkin fearlessly brings into the focus the symphony’s originality…through a sure grasp of salient detail and a long-term, disciplined notion of the architecture. These are impressive, highly desirable interpretations.’
Songs for Lada
To The New World

Fleer • Kozak • Michigan State University Children’s Choir
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
‘Alla Borzova is yet another discovery for me but well worth it and her other compositions I shall be exploring with relish. The orchestra, choir and soloists clearly enjoy themselves in this recording and the result is a truly different musical experience deserving of high praise.’
MusicWeb International

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