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He Cometh At Midnight
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1. Vespers Aposticha Idiomela, Mode 2 & 3 [Greek]
2. Compline Kathisma, Mode 4 & Plagal 4 [Greek]
3. Alleluia Mode 4 Plagal (Melismatic & Syllabic versions) [Greek]
4. Behold the Bridegroom, Mode 4 Plagal [Greek & English]
5. Kathisma A: Today the Holy Passion, Mode 1 [Greek]
6. Kathisma B: O Judge, Mode 1 [English]]
7. Kathisma C: The first fruits, Mode 4 Plagal [English]
8. Triodion: Ode One, Mode 2 [Greek & English]
9. Kontakion, Oikos [Greek & English]
10. Triodion: Ode Eight, Mode 2 [Greek & English]
11. Triodion: Ode Nine, Mode 2 [Greek & English]
12. Exaposteilarion: I see Thy bridal, Mode 3 [Greek & English]
13. Praises: Let every breath and Praise Him, Mode 1 [Greek]
14. Praises Idiomela: Mode 1 & Mode 1 Plagal [Greek & English]
15. Doxastikon of Praises, Both now...: Mode 1 & Mode 1 Plagal [Greek]
16. Praises Aposticha Idiomela, Mode 1 Plagal [Greek & English]
17. Praises Aposticha Doxastikon, Mode 4 Plagal [English]
18. "Praise Him," Mode I [English]
All the hymns of the Bridegroom Service (Vespers and Matins) of Holy Monday are included, based on previously unpublished medieval compositions and chanted antiphonally in Greek and English by two choirs. The digipak includes extensive liner notes booklet in English with hymn text in both English and Greek. Also included are notes from the director on the production, a short description of the service in the Eastern Orthodox Holy Week service structure, and writings by St. John of Damascus and St. Ambrose of Milan on the two themes of the service: the withered fig tree and the Patriarch Joseph. The cover illustration is a Nymphios icon commissioned especially for this production, and the interior is illustrated with never before reproduced medieval icon miniatures of the Patriarch Joseph in Egypt.
This is undoubtedly the finest Holy Week recording of the last decade, and is so because of its many stellar attributes. First, the performance is based on extensive manuscript scholarship of never before recorded arrangements by masters of Byzantine chant composition. Second, the performance is absolutely superb: the sound is rich and full; the feeling is reverential and spiritual; the singing and recording quality are top notch. Third, the choice of antiphonally performing the hymnology in both Greek and English not only makes it attractive to a larger audience, but is so well executed that often the listener isn?t consciously aware of which language is being sung. Finally, the liner notes booklet is stunning in terms of content about the service and its themes, and beautiful with its icon illustrations. This is a superlative recording that will become a reference piece. Fr. Apostolos Hill had this to say: "The Bridegroom Services of the first part of Holy Week contain some of the most beautiful and spiritually poignant hymnology in the Orthodox liturgical tradition. And the souls of the pious cannot help but be moved to consider the joy that awaits those who have prepared themselves to meet the Bridegroom of the Church at His appearing. In 'He Cometh At Midnight,' the Romeiko Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Yorgios Bilalis, perfectly captures the haunting beauty of the Byzantine melodies and the sobering texts of such hymns as 'Behold the Bridegroom comes in the midst of the night,' and 'I see Thy Bridal Chamber adorned, O my Savior.' Rendered in Greek and English, this recording, like all of those produced by this splendidly talented ensemble, adheres strictly to the musical legacy of the Orthodox Church yet does so in a way that is fresh and captivating, imparting not just the form of the music but the essence as well, thus uniting the heart and mind of the listener to a deeper contemplation of Him who is the subject of all our hymns."
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