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Fr. Apostolos Hill Cycles of Grace: Hymns from the Great Feasts
Artist: Fr. Apostolos Hill
Item number: AB074
Category: Byzantine
Chant Type: Byzantine
Language: English
Label: Liturgica Music
Period: Contemporary
Length: 95'52
Release date: 2005
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Track Listing
You may need RealPlayer or Windows Media Player to listen to the music samples below.
  1. Troparia. Nativity of the Theotokos. Tone 4 MP3  
  2. Kontakion. Nativity of the Theotokos. Tone 4 MP3  
  3. Aposticha of the Exaltation of the Cross. Vespers. Tone 5 MP3  
  4. Troparion of the Exaltation of the Cross. Tone 1 MP3  
  5. Katavasias of the Cross. Tone 8 MP3  
  6. Exapostelarion of the Exaltation of the Cross. Tone 3 MP3  
  7. Troparion of the Entrance of the Theotokos. Tone 4 MP3  
  8. Exapostelarion of the Entrance of the Theotokos. Tone 2 MP3  
  9. Excerpt from the 9th Hour of the Royal Hours of Christmas. Tone 6 MP3  
  10. Kontakion of the Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ. Tone 3 MP3  
  11. Troparion of the Nativity of Christ. Tone 4 MP3  
  12. Katavasias of the Nativity of Christ. Tone 1 MP3  
  13. Glory of the Praises. Matins. Synaxis of the Theotokos. Tone 6 MP3  
  14. Troparion of the Forefeast of the Theophany. Tone 4 MP3  
  15. The Great Blessing of the Waters. Tone 8 MP3  
  16. Troparion of the Theophany. Tone 1 MP3  
  17. Kontakion of the Theophany. Tone 4 MP3  
  18. Doxastikon of the Theophany. Tone 6 MP3  
  19. Troparion of the Synaxis of John the Baptist. Tone 2 MP3  
  20. At the Lity, Theophany MP3  
  21. Troparion (Great Vespers) MP3  
  22. Kontakion, Theophany MP3  
  23. Exapostilarion, Theophany MP3  
  24. Troparion, Annunciation of the Theotokos MP3  
  25. Kontakion, Annunciation of the Theotokos MP3  
  26. Katavasias, Annunciation of the Theotokos MP3  
  27. Doxastikon, Annunciation of the Theotokos MP3  
  28. Come Receive the Light, Orthros of Pascha MP3  
  29. Doxastikon, Orthros of Pascha MP3  
  30. Troparion, Ascension MP3  
  31. Exapostelarion, Ascension MP3  
  32. Troparion, Pentecost MP3  
  33. The Great Prokeimenon MP3  
  34. Before Thy Cross, Pentecost MP3  
  35. Troparion, Transfiguration MP3  
  36. Kontakion, Transfiguration MP3  
  37. Exapostilarion, Transfiguration MP3  
  38. Doxastikon (Matins), Transfiguration MP3  
  39. Troparion, Dormition of Theotokos MP3  
  40. Glory & Now (after Ps. 141), Dormition of Theotokos MP3  
In the Eastern Christian tradition, the cycle of Great Feasts follows the Church's liturgical calendar beginning on September 1 and running through August. It is comprised of twelve fixed and variable Feasts, with Pascha (Easter in the West), the "feast of feasts" around which all the rest are centered. Pascha is the ultimate variable feast, with its date changing each year. Associated with Pascha are the feasts of Palm Sunday, Ascension and Pentecost that precede or follow it by a specific number of days. Thus these Great Feasts tend to be associated together. This recording is comprised of two CDs, and is specifically focused on the Great Feasts of the Lord. Unlike Nativity and Pascha which are also holidays in our culture, and thus both visible and available for all who desire to attend, most of the Major Feasts occur on fixed days in the liturgical year, and are often celebrated on week days, making attendance difficult for many. Thus at one level, this recording makes the hymnology of the Feasts more readily available. At another level, it offers a selection of representative hymns from these Feasts available in English. Includes thorough liner notes, comments from the artist, and complete hymn text in English. Also included is a bonus track: a favorite liturgical hymn of Fr. Hill that is seldom recorded.
ReviewBy: Benjamin Williams
This 2-CD set is Fr. Hill's third recording of Byzantine chant in English, and fills in a missing range of hymnology in recordings in general, and specifically of Byzantine chant in English. The concept of a recording of hymns from the cycle of the Great Feasts is commendable in itself. The selections of representative and "most loved" hymns from these Feasts does a double service: it makes them available in English, and also addresses the teaching role that liturgical hymnology naturally has. Fr. Hill's voice, while still wonderfully clear and with perfect pitch, has matured and it is evident on this recording. His voice has deepened and has become richer, able to convey warmer and deeper nuance, for instance in the Katavasias of the Holy Cross, a beautiful set of hymns sung during Matins (Orthros) of the Feast, while still hitting the thrilling highs, as in To Thee the Champion Leader. As always, he is able to convey the pathos of some hymns (the Exapostelarion of the Holy Cross, reminiscent of (Today is suspended... from Holy Week), the affection of others (Exapostelarion of the Entry of the Theotokos), the reverence of some (Kontakion of the Nativity) and the pure joy of others (the Doxastikon from the Orthros of Pascha). The arrangements presented are typical of those found in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. The quality of the recording and engineering are very high; clean and crisp. The hymns are sung with commitment and affection, and they come through clear as a bell. If you are a fan of Fr. Hill's recordings, you'll want this CD; if you are interested in hearing the Festal hymns sung in English, this is a must have.
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