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Come, Bless the Lord

Various Chants and Composers

St. Symeon Orthodox Church Choir, Birmingham, Alabama
Alex Fecanin
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Those who were in attendance at the first Divine Liturgy at the recent All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, held in Atlanta, Georgia, in July of 2015, were immensely impressed by the fine quality of the singing at that service. Indeed, instead of a minimally rehearsed pick-up choir made up of council attendees, worshipers heard a well-blended, disciplined parish choir, endowed with fine, young voices, under the direction of a gifted and musically educated conductor. The choir was from St. Symeon the New Theologian Orthodox Church in Birmingham, Alabama, a parish blessed by an abundance of musical talent, which has begun yielding fruit in the recent crop of CDs released by two different ensembles within the parish: the full parish choir (Cat. Nos. I-119 and I-121) and the St. Symeon Orthodox Church Octet (Cat. No. I-122). The present CD features a cross-section of repertoire that is representative of the multi-national patchwork that characterizes Orthodoxy in America—there are selections of znamenny, Byzantine, Serbian, Kievan, and Georgian Chants, arranged by a range of composers from the early to the late twentieth century. Seven of the works are heard in English adaptations for the first time ever; not all of the English text underlay is equally successful, however. The rich and full sound of the choir is enhanced by the fine acoustics of the recording space—the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Vestavia Hills, Alabama: no electronic enhancement of any kind was used. This CD will be greatly enjoyed by all lovers of Orthodox liturgical choral singing, particularly in English; many will be reminded of a bygone era of larger, more sonorous parish choirs, who were capable of singing in wide harmony and with doubling of parts, so characteristic of the best Orthodox choral traditions.—V.M.



No. Composer Title Sheet Music Time Buy
1 Soroka, Rev. I. Come, Bless the Lord 1:40
2 Alexander Kastalsky Blessed is the Man (Znamenny Chant) 3:09
3 Nikolai Bakhmetev Baptismal Prokeimenon (Tone 3) 1:32
4 Archbishop Ionafan Yeletskih Cherubic Hymn (Georgian Chant) 4:08
5 Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery Chant Hypakoe of Pascha (Greek Chant, Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra) 2:18
6 Traditional Rejoice, O Isaiah (Traditional Melody) 1:59
7 Galician Chant Augmented Litany (Galician Melody) 3:51
8 Alexander Gretchaninoff It is Truly Meet 2:09
9 Boris Ledkovsky O Gladsome Light (Kievan Chant) 2:34
10 Trubachov/Rachmaninoff Glory to God in the Highest (Znam) 2:47
11 Byzantine Chant All of Creation (Neo-Byzantine Chant) 2:11
12 N. Resanovic; Serbian Chant Cherubic Hymn (Serbian Chant Tone 2) 4:37
13 Znamenny Chant One Is Holy 0:43
14 Znamenny Chant Steadfast Protectress (Znamenny Chant) [Canon Tone 2] 1:22
15 Boris Ledkovsky Evening Litany 3:36
16 Kievan Chant Hymns to the Trinity from Lenten Matins (Kievan Chant) [Canon Tone 7] 2:48
17 Deacon Sergiy Trubachov Blessed is the Man (Kievan Chant) 3:31
18 Znamenny Chant Today Salvation Has Come to the World (Znamenny Chant) 1:03
19 Deacon Sergiy Trubachov Rejoice, O Virgin 2:05
20 Archbishop Ionafan Yeletskih Praise Ye the Name (Valaam Chant) 3:05

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