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Enriched With Good Hope

Nicolas Craig Custer

Cantiamo Sonoma
Carol Menke
69:29
I-127
2016
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Orthodox Christianity has always integrated itself linguistically and culturally into the fabric of the nation where it is planted. Scripture and sacred liturgical texts have been translated into local languages, and over a period of time, the various liturgical arts—music, iconography, and architecture—have acquired a unique local flavor, while retaining a link with traditional forms and idioms. The Orthodox Church has existed in North America for over two centuries—since the arrival of Russian missionary monks in Alaska in 1794, but only in the latter half of the twentieth century has its music begun to develop a “native” North American idiom, through the creative efforts of such composers as Fr. Sergei Glagolev, Kurt Sander, Benedict Sheehan, and now, Nicolas Craig Custer, whose works are represented on this CD. The thirty works featured here—including a complete Divine Liturgy, are all in English, with the exception of three in Spanish (reflecting the Hispanic heritage of California, where the composer has studied and currently works), and one in Church Slavonic. Custer’s style is grounded in modal, chant-like melodies, at times more reminiscent of Gregorian than Byzantine or Slavic Chant, and is enriched with occasional imitative polyphony, which recalls the Western European Renaissance. In America, these elements certainly seem to have a place, as part of this American-born composer’s “personal style gestated in the classic English, rather than… a translation to our shores of Old World models.” Though speaking its own language, the music at the same time maintains a close relationship with the liturgical text and projects a reverent, lyrico-epic character that in no way distracts from prayer. Having heard and sung several of these selections during Orthodox services, this reviewer can attest to the fact that they are “liturgically appropriate.” Nicolas Custer’s sacred choral music is worthy of being known beyond the confines of St. Seraphim’s Cathedral in Santa Rosa, California, where he has served as choirmaster for many years. Hopefully, this album will contribute to its wider exposure. —V. M.
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TRACK LISTING

No. Composer Title Sheet Music Time Buy
1 Nicolas Craig Custer Enriched With Good Hopes 1:32
2 Nicolas Craig Custer King Of Saints 2:03
3 Nicolas Craig Custer Diptych 1:19
4 Nicolas Craig Custer The Day Of The Lord 2:26
5 Nicolas Craig Custer Cherubic Hymn 3:37
6 Nicolas Craig Custer O House Of David 2:15
7 Nicolas Craig Custer With Him Forever 2:44
8 Nicolas Craig Custer Beban De La Fuente 1:48
9 Nicolas Craig Custer Join Chorus 1:19
10 Nicolas Craig Custer A Mercy Of Peace 4:26
11 Nicolas Craig Custer The Path Of Life 2:17
12 Nicolas Craig Custer Simeon's Song 1:01
13 Nicolas Craig Custer Let God Arise 1:28
14 Nicolas Craig Custer Plotiyu Usnuv 1:11
15 Nicolas Craig Custer En Verdad 1:11
16 Nicolas Craig Custer Christ Is Risen 1:52
17 Nicolas Craig Custer Santo Es El Senor 1:59
18 Nicolas Craig Custer O Righteous Seraphim 1:10
19 Nicolas Craig Custer Hymn To St. Catherine 2:22
20 Nicolas Craig Custer Great Litany 2:45
21 Nicolas Craig Custer Small Entrance 0:38
22 Nicolas Craig Custer Trisagion 1:57
23 Nicolas Craig Custer Triple Litany 1:59
24 Nicolas Craig Custer Great Entrance 2:59
25 Nicolas Craig Custer Anaphora 4:47
26 Nicolas Craig Custer It Is Truly Meet 1:32
27 Nicolas Craig Custer Asking Litany 3:08
28 Nicolas Craig Custer The Lord's Prayer 0:56
29 Nicolas Craig Custer Receive The Body Of Christ 2:23
30 Nicolas Craig Custer Te Deum 6:45