[South Canaan, PA] The Saint Tikhon Choir is pleased to announce the October 23 release of Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the world première recording of a major new choral work of elegance and beauty. The Liturgy is conducted by the composer. Sheehan’s Liturgy will be released on the Cappella Records label and was produced by multi-GRAMMY® Award winner Blanton Alspaugh and the engineering team at Soundmirror. Soundmirror’s outstanding orchestral, solo, opera, and chamber recordings have received more than 100 GRAMMY® nominations and awards, with releases on every major classical label. The recording is now available for pre-order.
The Choir recently recorded a collaboration on Naxos with three other choirs and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Leonard Slatkin, which debuted at #1 on Billboard. They also previously recorded the sacred works of Benedict Sheehan for Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Press.
In his listening notes, Cappella Records executive director Mark Powell writes, “Sheehan’s music seems to transfigure the words of the Liturgy into doors to eternity for those willing to open them, setting the listener—regardless of background—on a musical and spiritual pilgrimage of discovery.” Sheehan’s Liturgy is the first-ever complete setting of the Divine Liturgy by a composer associated with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), and has been called “a new milestone for Orthodoxy in America” by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.
The 2-disc deluxe set features both CD and PureAudio Blu-ray media with high-resolution 2.0 Stereo and 5.0 Surround versions (DSM192K/24bit), recorded in DSD and downloadable to audio servers and devices. The Blu-ray also contains three video performances: two concert selections from the world première performance, and the complete liturgical première sung at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC. The accompanying booklet provides an extensive essay by the composer, the full text of the Divine Liturgy, and beautiful photography. Distributed by Naxos USA.
Composer and conductor Benedict Sheehan is described as “an up-and-coming conductor” (The Oregonian), “a rising star in the choral world” (Catholic Sentinel), and as having “set the bar for Orthodox liturgical music in the English-speaking world” (Orthodox Arts Journal). He is Director of Music at St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery in Pennsylvania, Artistic Director of professional vocal ensemble The Saint Tikhon Choir, and CEO and co-founder of the Artefact Institute, a collective of “culture creators.” Sheehan has become one of the most sought-after clinicians for Orthodox sacred music in America. He has also appeared regularly as a guest conductor with Cappella Romana, leading works from the Slavic tradition, and is in high demand as a composer. His works have been performed by the GRAMMY®-nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble, the GRAMMY®-nominated PaTRAM Institute Singers, Cappella Romana, the William Jewell Choral Scholars, Te Deum, the Pacific Youth Choir, and many others. His “story score” to two classic fairy tales, Once Upon a Time, was released in 2020 by Skylark, and has been called “evocative” (Gramophone), “quite extraordinary” (Limelight), “brilliant” (MetroWest Daily News), and “otherworldly” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). His new carol, Gabriel’s Message, was released in 2020 by The Oxford Choir, conducted by Bob Chilcott. Sheehan’s music is published by Oxford University Press, Artefact Publications, and Musica Russica.
THE SAINT TIKHON CHOIR
The Saint tikhon Choir was founded in 2015 by its artistic director Benedict Sheehan and Abbot Sergius of St. Tikhon’s Monastery. It is the first professional vocal ensemble connected with an Orthodox monastery in America, founded with a mission to foster and build up the American Orthodox choral tradition at the highest artistic level. Its début recording, Till Morn Eternal Breaks: Sacred Choral Music of Benedict Sheehan (2015), was heralded as “delicate and subtle … at other times powerful and opulent … [a] cause for joy and hope” (Orthodox Arts Journal). In 2018, The Saint Tikhon Choir took part in the world première of Alexander Kastalsky’s monumental Requiem for Fallen Brothers, written in 1917 to commemorate the dead of World War I across national borders. This concert took place at Washington’s National Cathedral, performing in collaboration with the Clarion Choir, the Kansas City Chorale, the Cathedral Choral Society, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. The project was heralded as one of the “Top Ten Performances of 2018” (Washington Classical Review) and “an unforgettable performance” (Washington Post). The world première recording of this historic project was released in August of 2020 on the Naxos label, débuting at #1 on Billboard, and hailed in early reviews as “tremendously dignified” (MusicWeb International) and “powerful” (Kansas City Star). Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is The Saint Tikhon Choir’s third recording. On the web at sainttikhonchoir.org