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OMP-Hu013E HURKO ~ O Virgin Theotokos, Rejoice (from Vespers) satb $1.95
Roman Hurko is an American-Canadian of Ukrainian descent currently residing in New York City. As a living Eastern Christian composer, his aim is “to create music that is neither modern nor traditional, but that somehow transcends era.” This piece is an adaptation into English made by the composer from his setting in Church Slavonic (cat. No. Hu-V13), originally in his Vespers (cat. No. Hu-V). The relatively simple harmony and texture make the sublime beauty of this piece accessible to choirs of modest size.
OMP-Il002E ILYASHENKO ~ The Mystery of God (Exaposteilarion for Ascension) satb(div) $1.30
Andrei Ilyashenko fled Russia just as he was beginning to establish his reputation as a composer. He was a graduate of the St Petersburg Connservatory, where he was a student of A. Petrov and Maximilian Steinberg. His first sacred pieces were published in 1912. He lived the rest of his life in the emigration mostly in Brussels, composing and teaching music. Ilyashenko’s small known output of choral pieces shows him to be a master of linear writing and counterpoint. His beautiful setting of the Annunciation Exaposteilarion is an example. (Recorded by Archangel Voices on their CD, Panagia: Hymns to the Most Holy Mother of God, cat. No. I-112.)
OMP-VM001 MOROSAN ~ Christ Is Risen (in an American Folk Style) satb $1.30
This setting of the Orthodox Paschal (Easter) Troparion is dedicated to Father Jon Braun, a well-known Orthodox priest and mission planter, who came to the Orthodox Church from the Campus Crusade for Christ. In his quest for music suitable for American Orthodox worship, this missionary-minded pastor would exhort church musicians: “Give us music we can pray with!” implying that some styles of music might be better suited for Orthodox worship in America than others. When the present setting of the Paschal Troparion, based on a pentatonic scale reminiscent of Appalachian folk songs and incorporating the open sonorities of shape-note singing, took shape in the composer’s ear, Father Jon immediately came to mind as the perfect recipient of the dedication. Indeed, a stylistic blending of musical elements that are recognizably “national” and at the same time exhibit tangible “folk” elements seems to resonate in people’s hearts in a manner that is entirely appropriate (and traditional) for Orthodox Christian worship.
Also available in SSA (cat. No. OMP-VM001wc)
OMP-RBS001 SHEEHAN ~ The Beatitudes (on znamenny themes) satb(div) $1.95
Benedict Sheehan’s “Beatitudes” is based on motives of znamenny chant, the earliest form of chant still used in churches of Eastern Slavic origins. The motivic chant structure allows the composer to “sculpt” each musical phrase to match the inflections and rhythms of the English text. Alternating sustained pedals in the men’s and women’s voices, reminiscent of the ison—a traditional musical representation of the changeless Eternal Light of Christ—impart an aura of timelessness to this music. A fitting climax does arrive, nonetheless, on the words “Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad.” This musical setting can be sung both liturgically and as an effective concert piece.
OMP-RBS002 SHEEHAN ~ Holy God satb(div) $1.30
This setting of the ancient Trisagion (Thrice Holy) hymn alternates between the archaic sound of unison chant and four-part harmony, which, nevertheless, maintains an archaic, modal flavor. The variety of color and texture make this work suitable for both liturgical and concert use.
OMP-RBS003 SHEEHAN ~ Cherubic Hymn (“I will receive the cup of salvation”) satb(div) $2.45
The well-known Kievan Communion Hymn melody “I will receive the cup of salvation” serves as the basis for this composition. Taking a lead from some of the best composers of the “new Russian choral school,” Benedict Sheehan treats the cantus firmus in motivic fashion, weaving a varied and changeable polyphonic texture, rather than a simple harmonization. The musical interest generated by the writing makes this a festive liturgical setting as well as an effective concert piece.
OMP-RBS004 SHEEHAN ~ O Vineyard Fair and New (Georgian Wedding Hymn) satb $1.30
This lovely medieval Georgian hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary, attributed to King Demetrius I of Georgia (1093-1156), has no formal place in Orthodox services but has become increasingly popular today as a bride’s processional at the beginning of the wedding service. The music is based on an anonymous medieval Georgian melody—sung primarily by the Altos—typical of the late medieval Georgian Renaissance, and is presented here in a well-known transcription by Georgian composer Zakaria Paliashvili (1871-1933). Benedict Sheehan adapted the music for mixed choir, and also crafted, from a literal English translation of the original Georgian text, a new English text to fit the hymn. Accessible to choirs of all levels. (Recorded by Archangel Voices on their CD, Panagia: Hymns to the Most Holy Mother of God, cat. No. I-112.)
OMP-V1-77E YAICHKOV ~ It Is Truly Meet (“from Mt. Athos”) (Bulgarian Chant) satb(div) $1.95
This English adaptation of Dmitry Yaichkov’s skillful arrangement of a well-known Bulgarian Chant melody demonstrates the composer’s ability to surround a melody with lovely harmony while not impeding its forward flow. Each repeated phrase is tailored subtly to the text and varied ever so slightly to sustain musical interest.
—Notes by Vladimir Morosan
Table of Contents
|1||Roman Hurko||O Virgin Theotokos, Rejoice|
|2||Andrei Ilyashenko||Mystery of God from All Eternity (Annunciation Exapostelarion)|
|3||Vladimir Morosan||Christ Is Risen|
|5||Benedict Sheehan||Holy God|
|6||Benedict Sheehan||Cherubic Hymn|
|7||Benedict Sheehan, arr||O Vineyard Fair and New (Shen khar venakhi)|
|8||Dmitry Yaichkov||It Is Truly Meet (From Mt. Athos)|