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Various Composers

2013 Packet of Sacred Works for Mixed Chorus (Slavonic) ~ 50% off

All-Night Vigil, Divine Liturgy, Feast Day, Sacred Concerto, Vespers
Mixed
Church Slavonic
11
2013
2013-SAMXSlav
Reg. Price: $26.20 SALE Price: $12.95

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Cn015       Chesnokov ~ Come, Let Us Worship (Priidite, poklonimsia)
Chesnokov captures one of the most solemn moments of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy in this majestic setting of the Entrance Hymn. Effectively mixing choral colors by juxtaposing the men’s voices against the treble voices, the composer builds to a brilliant culmination on the word “Alleluia.”
(Recorded by Conspirare on their CD, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, expected release date: Fall 2013)
 
Cn256       Chesnokov ~ O Fervent Intercessor (Zastupnitse userdnaya)
From Chesnokov’s cycle of Marian hymns, To the Most Holy Sovereign Lady, opus 43, this Troparion to the Kazan Icon of the Virgin Mary embodies the spirit of Russian piety and veneration of the Most Holy Mother of God. Intensely supplicatory and evocative chant-like recitatives alternate with full choral sonorities characteristic of Chesnokov, making this work a potential crown jewel of a choral program.
 
Cn251       Chesnokov ~ O Most Holy Mother of God, Save Us (Presviataya Bogoroditse, spasi nas)
Chesnokov incorporates a traditional Russian Orthodox call-and-response melody in this opening piece of his Marian cycle, To the Most Holy Sovereign Lady, opus 43. The composer packs a powerful emotional impact into this simple appeal, as the vocal lines build, and the textures expand, then contract back to unison. Colorful, emotional choral writing!
 
Cn269       Chesnokov ~ O Most-Sweet and All-Compassionate Jesus (O, presladkiy i vseshchedrïy Iisuse)
This piece is part of the choral cycle In Days of Battle, opus 45, written in the difficult early days of World War I. Chesnokov fashions a sacred concerto from a prayerful appeal to the Lord Jesus, drawn from an ancient prayer dating back to at least the 13th century. With great effect, the composer mixes Russian folk-style polyphony and a modal tonality in the opening phrases with massive block-like harmonies and imitative motives. Emotionally intense, this colorful choral piece represents some of Chesnokov’s finest writing, as the composer was honing his compositional skills as a graduate-level student at the Moscow Conservatory.
 
Cn272       Chesnokov ~ O Mother of God (Mati Bozhïya)
This intense supplicatory prayer to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, is the best-known movement from Chesnokov’s cycle In Days of Battle, op. 45, written during World War I. The evident success of this piece led the composer also to make an arrangement for men’s choir and alto solo, shortly after the publication of the original version for mixed choir. The powerful homophonic chords of the opening, employing rich Romantic harmonies, are followed by an insistent, litany-like repetition of a pleading melody in the top voices with murmured responses of the men’s parts. This is richly emotional music, expressing misfortune and desperation turning into hope and comfort.
 
Il001          Ilyashenko ~ We Should Choose to Love Silence (Liubiti ubo nam)
Andrei Ilyashenko (1884–1954) showed great promise in his earliest sacred pieces, published before the 1917 Revolution, employing a fresh harmonic and contrapuntal approach that certainly distinguished him among his Russian contemporaries of the early 20th century. Forced to flee his homeland, he lived out his life as a music teacher in Belgium. The full scope of his choral musical legacy has yet to be revealed. His sacred concerto for the Nativity of Christ, written in 1922, alternates long chant-like vocal lines of his own invention with bold harmonies in richly scored block chords. The music captures the elements of mystery and majesty that are inherent in the Incarnation of Christ, while the text reflects poetically upon the difficulty experienced by hymnographers to compose music and texts that are sufficiently lofty for praise and true worship.
(Recorded by Conspirare on their CD, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, expected release date: Fall 2013)
 
Ks035       Kastalsky ~ Blessed Is the Man No. 2 (Blazhen muzh)
Part of Kastalsky’s numerous hymn settings for the All-Night Vigil, this piece stems from the Church’s ancient practice of sung psalms as the basic building blocks of worship. The psalm verses are sung to an energetic, muscular melody, alternating with the refrain “Alleluia.” In this setting, dating from 1900, Kastalsky shows himself to be a master of choral color, varying sonorities and textures in a manner that would later be taken up and expanded upon by Rachmaninoff and other Russian composers of the early 20th century.
 
Ks108b     Kastalsky ~ Gladsome Light No. 2b (Svete tikhiy)
This most ancient of Christian hymns, in continuous use by the Orthodox Church since the late third century, inspired four different musical settings by Kastalsky. Combining motives drawn from medieval Russian chants, the composer weaves a contrapuntal tapestry that shines and undulates like the rays of the eternal, gladsome, never-setting Light. With this edition, all of Kastalsky’s settings of this text are now available (catalog nos. Ks107, Ks109, and Ks151), enabling conductors to explore all four and decide which one is their favorite.
 
 Ks123       Kastalsky ~ Great Doxology No. 2 (Slavosloviye velikoye)
Kastalsky’s masterful setting of the Great Doxology (incorporating the “Gloria in excelsis” and additional texts in Orthodox usage) shows the composer’s intense sensitivity to choral color, textual inflection, and fine shades of meaning within the text. While based on motives drawn from znamenny chant, the composer is not bound so much by the cantus firmus as by the expressive declamation of the text, with its numerous contrasts and nuances, spanning prayerful emotions ranging from praise, worship, and exaltation to contrition, repentance, and supplication. Requiring a mastery of the lengthy text (facilitated by a Musica Russica’s Audio Diction Guide), this piece offers choirs and audiences a wealth of satisfaction by virtue of its multi-dimensional depth and beauty.
(Recorded by Conspirare on their CD, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, expected release date: Fall 2013)
 
Ks006       Kastalsky ~ Mercy of Peace,  No. 1 (znamenny chant) (Milost mira)
Very soon after the publication of his early chant arrangements in the late 1890s, Kastalsky was hailed by colleagues and critics as the inaugurator of a new style in Russian sacred choral music. This setting of “A Mercy of Peace”—the Eucharistic Canon from the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, incorporating the Sanctus and Benedictus—shows off Kastalsky’s masterful handling of the chant, as he clothes the ancient znamenny melody in a new polyphonic garment, alternately surrounding it with modal harmonies, treating it imitatively, and developing it motivically. Paying homage to the original anonymous composer(s) of the chant, he preserves the lengthy melismatic passages (fitas) that were used to highlight and beautify specific words in the text and embellishes them further by his own inventive and imaginative counterpoint.
(Recorded by Conspirare on their CD, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, expected release date: Fall 2013)
 
CMR011   Martynov ~ Beatitudes (Blazhennï)
Vladimir Martynov (b. 1946) is a Moscow composer who began with post-modernist avant garde and experimental music and later shifted his attention to the chant of the Russian Orthodox Church. His magical setting of the Beatitudes is simplicity itself: two soprano soloists (later joined by a third, singing a descant) alternately sing the words from the Sermon on the Mount to a folk-like pentatonic melody over a timeless ostinato of barely shifting chords hummed by the chorus. Only in the last verse is the music (along with the listeners’ attention) given a new direction—heavenward. The coda, repeated ad libitum, leaves the hearer transfixed and transformed at having experienced something timeless, eternal, and definitely not of this world.
(Recorded by Conspirare on their CD, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, expected release date: Fall 2013)
 
—Notes by Vladimir Morosan
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Table of Contents

No. Composer Title View PDF Listen
1 Pavel Chesnokov Come, Let Us Worship Pdf_small
2 Pavel Chesnokov Most Holy Mother of God, Save Us Pdf_small
3 Pavel Chesnokov O Fervent Intercessor Pdf_small
4 Pavel Chesnokov O Most-Sweet and All-Compassionate Jesus Pdf_small
5 Pavel Chesnokov O Mother of God Pdf_small
6 Andrei Ilyashenko We Should Choose to Love Silence Pdf_small
7 Alexander Kastalsky Mercy of Peace (No. 1) Pdf_small
8 Alexander Kastalsky Blessed Is the Man Pdf_small
9 Alexander Kastalsky Gladsome Light (No. 2b) Pdf_small
10 Alexander Kastalsky Great Doxology, The (No. 2) Pdf_small
11 Vladimir Martynov Beatitudes Pdf_small

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12

2013-SAMXEnglish

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