GRAMOPHONE EDITOR`S CHOICE - January 2007
“Rachmaninov`s Liturgy is less well known than his Vigil (`Vespers`), but has nevertheless gained in popularity with western choirs as a concert item in recent years, though the double-choir setting of the Lord`s Prayer has always enjoyed a certain renown, often being sung in an English paraphrase. It is far more than a mere sketch for the more famous work, too, though the links are clear – anyone hearing the opening psalm, `Blagoslovi, dushe moya`, for the first time will immediately make the connection.
The Flemish Radio Choir`s rendition is very fine indeed, reverent, well paced and at the same time electrically atmospheric (and also including sufficient of the celebrant`s petitions that it comes across neither as an artificial celebration nor a concert suite) and the magnificent SACD sound is just what such a riveting performance merits. The only criticism is of their very light `l`sound, which truly gives them away as non-Russians.
There is strong competition but, curiously, none is Russian; indeed, the King`s College recording is as unrepentantly and beautifully English as you could wish for. In an ideal world one would have to have all of them, and if you have room on your shelves for one more, do add this new recording to your collection. There is one aspect in which the other three score, however – they include full texts and translations, while for the new disc they must be downloaded.” GRAMOPHONE GOOD CD GUIDE 2010