Russian sacred music constitutes an entirely unique aspect of Russian and world musical culture. The hymns sung at the worship services of the Russian Orthodox Church are lled with profound meaning and supply an inexhaustible source of nourishment for the soul. Among the composers whose musical legacy has become an integral part of the Church’s liturgical life is Pavel Grigor’yevich Chesnokov; his works have always been in demand and well loved by churchgoers.
As a composer, he belongs to the so-called “new direction” of Moscow composers, a school of church composition that arose in the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries within the walls of the Moscow Synodal School of Church Singing. Other composers of this “Moscow School” include Alexander Kastalsky, Alexander Grechaninov, Alexander Chesnokov, Alexander Nikolsky, Victor Kalinnikov, and Nicholas Golovanov. Among its foundational principles were, a focused attention upon historical and traditional chants, together with a search for creative approaches to arranging them polyphonically, and the reexamination of the ways in which the accumulated experience of secular folk and art music could be applied to liturgical singing.