Pilgrim’s Star Recordings

Regina Derieva was a Russian poetess, who had moved to the Holy Land with her husband Alexander Deriev, but owing to their Catholic faith, they were not permitted to live freely in Israel (this was long before the Palestinian separation), but lived for many years in virtual house arrest in a Jerusalem monastery, before eventually being permitted to leave, after which they settled in Sweden.

Alexander Deriev began making recordings of sacred and liturgical music for an Israeli label, but eventually left that company and contacted Divine Art with a view to release of certain titles.

Only four CDs resulted, each unique in its own way; the first, “Hail Mary” is a sort of musical rosary, based on repeated chants and prayers, interspersed with Russian sacred choral music and recitations by Regina Derieva of her poem cycle “A Russian Rosary”. Two CDs contain wonderful cantatas by Italian composer Armando Pierucci, a Franciscan Friar working in Jerusalem and set to Derieva’s texts. The fourth, “Franciscan Road” presents the friars of St Saviour’s Monastery in Jerusalem in a programme of chants and hymns from their monastic schedule and has been a popular item worldwide.