96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Pentatone PTC 5186486 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

You can of course sample tracks at HRA and read the booklet PDF (texts dangerously close to ‘Pseuds’ Corner’ territory) before thinking of buying, which is probably just as well for the compositions of this Russian Orthodox Bishop (Metropolitan), born in 1966. There’s a Concerto grosso and a fugue on B-A-C-H – ‘the sense of the infinite contained in these four notes continues to excite’, we are told – but the rest is vocal: an ultra-conservative Stabat mater, which I admit I quite enjoyed, Songs of Death (after Lorca) and De Profundis, a 24m Psalm settings piece. The Concerto grosso is pure Baroque-pastiche, the fugue like an old Stokowski Bach transcription. While nothing will frighten the horses, it’s depressing to find this sort of sub-Pärt ‘me too’ music, copying its ‘sawing’ motifs and liberal use of tolling bells, being written today. CB

Sound Quality: 65%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded by (Dutch) Polyhymnia International B.V. at the DZZ Studio 5 in Moscow, the engineer’s penchant for SACD and DSD is illustrated by this Pentatone download which is evidently an asymmetrical 96kHz downsample. PM