Moody, Ivan

Modernism and Orthodox Spirituality in Contemporary Music

International Society Orthodox Church Music; Institute Musicology, Serbian Academy Arts Sciences





This ground-breaking book presents unprecedented perspectives of a fascinating subject—the relationship between the Orthodox Faith and Art, in particular “modern” music of the 20th and 21st centuries—offered by Fr. Ivan Moody, who is a noted composer, conductor, music historian, and an Orthodox priest, and as such, has the special experience required to bridge these two seemingly distant areas. As Adrian Thomas points out in the Foreword, “This book is addressed to both Orthodox communities and musical ones, and each will learn much not only about the other but also about the area of their own discipline.” After an introductory chapter, there are chapters each devoted to musical developments in modern-day Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia, and Finland. The final two chapters offer fresh insight into the work of two composers whose figures loom large on both the Orthodox and the contemporary musical landscape—Arvo Part and John Tavener. In the words of the author himself, “This book discusses what happens when two phenomena, those of musical modernism and the spirituality of the Orthodox Church, meet each other.... Both... have been widely discussed. What has been very little discussed is the possible intersection between the two.” As the book shows, composers from both traditional Orthodox countries and from Western societies have found themselves inspired and challenged, finding “fruitful artistic meeting points between the two poles... of Modernism and the spirituality of the Orthodox Church.” An important book for scholars, musicians, theologians, and students of culture—traditional and modern—throughout the world!

Back cover text:

Modernism and the spirituality of the Orthodox Church may seem to be polar opposites, the one innovating and fragmenting, the other rooted in an unchanging tradition. As this groundbreaking book shows, however, the reality is more complex. Composers from traditionally Orthodox societies such as Greece, Bulgaria, Russia and Serbia have found fruitful artistic meeting points between these two poles, rooting the one and refreshing the other, even in the darkest times of political oppression. In addition, much of the work of such composers as Arvo Paert, Einojuhani Rautavaara and John Taverner has arisen precisely from this meeting point. It is this paradox that is investigated here.

Price: $30.00

Chesnokov, Pavel

The Choir and How to Direct It
Translated from the Russian by John C. Rommereim. Foreword by Kenneth L. Jennings

Musica Russica


lxviii + 266 pp.


Download Table of ContentsDownload Chapter 1.

From Russia's leading choral musician of his day, a unique view into the famed Russian a cappella style. Conceived in the 1910s, completed in 1930 and first published in Russia in 1940, Chesnokov's pioneering treatise on the choral art is both a significant historical document and valuable resource for choral musicians today. One does not usually expect choral treatises to be best-sellers, but in the Soviet Union in 1940, when Pavel Chesnokov's The Choir and How to Direct It first appeared in print, it sold out within a matter of hours. The book's popularity later led to two subsequent Russian editions in 1952 and 1961. Now decades later, this is the first translated publication of the book outside of Russia ever to appear. With deep insight and in great detail, this book reveals how to achieve the ideal a cappella choir sound through ensemble, intonation, and nuance.In addition, readers will learn the steps a conductor must take to achieve true choral artistry thorough analysis and mastery of the score, a systematic approach to rehearsal technique, meaningful conducting gestures, as well as inspired communication and leadership.

"Indeed a welcome addition to the literature on the choral arts!" --Kenneth L. Jennings, Conductor emeritus, St Olaf Choir "John C. Rommereim's translation, with extensive supplementary material, opens a window on the distant and fascinating world of one of the most important figures of pre-revolutionary Russian choral music." --William Weinert, Editor, The American Choral Review

Price: $49.95

Morosan, Vladimir

Choral Performance in Pre-Revolutionary Russia

Musica Russica

Originally published by UMI Research Press, 1986; Musica Russica, 2nd edition, 1994

0-9629460-2-8 (pbk)

396 pp


Download Chapter 3.

If you've bought the music, now you can read the book that tells you how to perform it authentically! Now in its fourth printing, Choral Performance in Pre-Revolutionary Russia stands as the definitive English-language resource on all aspects of Russian choral music. The first three chapters focus on the history and development of choral singing in the land of Rus', from its origins in the form of unison chant, received from Byzantium, through the rise of indigenous Russian polyphony in the Middle Ages, the coming of Western-style polyphony, and the emergence of the modern-day Russian choral tradition, spearheaded by the Imperial Court Chapel and the Moscow Synodal Choir. The subsequent four chapters discuss choral and vocal training, including ideals of choral tone; prominent conductors, such as Vasily Orlov, Nikolai Danilin, Alexander Arkhangelsky, and Pavel Chesnokov; and the stylistic categories of Russian choral music, both sacred and secular. The final chapter takes up the various aspects of performance practice problems in the manner of Robert Donington, citing relevant passages from period sources: included are sections dealing with pitch, rhythm and meter, tempo, articulation, dynamics, syllabic and recitative chant, soloists, pronunciation and diction, performance context, and interpretation.

Price: $24.95

Gardner, Johann von

Russian Church Singing - Volume 1: Orthodox Worship and Hymnography
Translated from the Russian by Vladimir Morosan

St. Vladimir's Seminary Press


196 pp


An essential introduction to the musical aspects of Orthodox Christian worship and liturgy by one of the leading scholars in the 20th century. Describes the structure of Orthodox services, various categories of hymns, and the different styles of performing them. Enumerates the various types of chant used in the Russian Church and gives an outline of the history of church music in Russia.

Price: $25.00

Gardner, Johann von

Russian Church Singing - Volume 2: History from the Origins to the Mid-Seventeenth Century
Translated from the Russian by Vladimir Morosan

St. Vladimir's Seminary Press


396 pp


The present volume is the second installment of Professor Johann von Gardner's monumental work to appear in English translation. The 400-page volume, translated and edited by Dr. Vladimir Morosan, considers the development and practice of liturgical chant in the Russian lands from a variety of aspects: its origins and the various cultural influences upon its formation; extant manuscripts; the evolution of the notation and the problematics of deciphering it into modern-day notes; the forces involved in its performance; its stylistic evolution from exclusively monodic forms to improvised and, eventually, notated polyphony; its earliest known composers and performing ensembles; its aesthetics in relation to the liturgy, the language, and the various problems that arose over the centuries, resulting in the adoption of Westernized stylistic models around the year 1650, which marks the approximate end of the time period covered in this volume. Much of this information is made accessible for the first time to the English reader, and will be of interest both to the specialist and to the general reader, generating a healthy demand for further research and exploration into this fascinating and hitherto unknown field.

Price: $30.00


Pavel Chesnokov; The Choir and How to Direct It

"Indeed a welcome addition to the literature on the choral arts!"

— Kenneth L. Jennings
Conductor emeritus, St Olaf Choir

"John C. Rommereim's translation, with extensive supplementary material, opens a window on the distant and fascinating world of one of the most important figures of pre-revolutionary Russian choral music."

— William Weinert,
The American Choral Review

Vladimir Morosan; Choral Performance in Pre-Revolutionary Russia

"Every conductor who includes Russian choral music in his or her repertoire should find this book interesting and informative."

— Charles Hirt
The Choral Journal

"Recommended for all academic and public libraries."

— Choice