Until Naxostook up his cause, Alexander Dmitriyevich Kastalsky (1856-1926) was little more than a footnote in the history of Russian music. A student of Tchaikovsky at the Moscow Conservatory, he went on to become a composer primarily of choral music and, especially after the Revolution, a passionate folklorist.

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The booklet announces that Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers “stands as the only large-scale choral-orchestral work written specifically in response to the unprecedented loss of life and devastation brought about by the First World War”. That’s not entirely true,...