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This richly scored Christmas Kontakion, a text dating back to St. Romanus the Melodist (6th century), is sure to embellish every program of music for the Christmas season. The sumptuous harmonic style employs doublings in the sopranos and tenors — a hallmark of Russian Orthodox chant performance in cathedrals and large parish churches to this day. As Director of the Russian Imperial Chapel from 1796 to 1825 Dmitry Bortniansky was the most influential church musician of his era. Though trained in the Italian compositional style of his epoch, he was the first composer to turn attention to arranging pre-existing liturgical chant melodies for performance by the splendid Imperial Court Chapel Choir, which he raised to such a height of excellence that it was the envy of all Europe.less