During the past century Russian Orthodox vocal music has experienced two periods of rebirth. The first, which began in the last years of the 19th century, consisted of a return to the popular sources of religious chant in the znamenny chant tradition passed down from its origins in ancient Byzantine chant and maintained by churches and choirs across Russia until the 17th century, when rulers such as Catherine the Great began to look westwards for cultural identity. Composers such as Kastalsky, Chesnokov and Grechaninov repudiated the Italian and French influences which had shaped the work of Classical and Romantic-era composers such as the Sacred Concertos of Bortniansky. repudiated the Italian and French influences which had shaped the work of Classical and Romantic-era composers such as the Sacred Concertos of Bortniansky. This renaissance was foreshadowed by Tchaikovsky?s setting of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in 1878 ? in its time a controversial work, rejected by the Church ? and reached its zenith with the two sacred cycles by Rachmaninoff: another setting of the Liturgy and then his religious masterpiece, the Vespers (All Night Vigil) of 1915. Once more suppressed by the 1917 Revolution, an authentic strain of Russian sacred music had to wait until the era of glasnost in the late 1980s and early 90s Rybin Male Choir could once more be formed to sing and record the repertoire that is their country?s musical inheritance, and most of these recordings date from the early 90s, first released on the ?Saison Russe? imprint for its renewal. Ensembles such as the of the Chant du Monde label, long unavailable and now reissued here for the first time.