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Early Russian Ecclesiastical Hymns
Male Choir of Moscow Patriarchate; N. Nosov
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1. It is Meet
2. Ton despontin (Znamenny Chant)
3. Great Ektene
4. O Thou the only Begotten Son
5. Through food, the enemy led Adam out of Paradise
6. Come, let us worship
7. When the Jews had sealed down the stone (Znamenny Chant)
8. To Thee, O Theotokos
9. O Holy God
10. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us (Znamenny chant)
12. Cherubical Hymn
13. Ektene of Supplication
14. The Father and the Son (Znamenny chant)
15. The Mercy of Peacy (Znamenny Chant)
16. It is Meet
17. One is holy (Znamenny Chant)
18. Praise ye the Lord from the Heavens (Znamenny Chant)
19. Receive ye the Body of Christ
20. We have seen the true light
21. Let our mouths be filled with Thy praise
22. Small Ektene
23. Blessed be the name of the Lord
The disc is a first release on CD of a recording previously released in 1988 as an LP in the Moscow Patriarchate's series commemrating 1000 Years of the Baptism of Rus'. The liner notes are expertly written and provided in Russian and English. No hymn text.
This recording represents an excellent blend of scholarship and practical performance! The transcriptions of early Russian polyphony have been made by scholars who do not subscribe to the "dissonant" school (which prevails on some recordings in this catalog, e.g., B4). Rather, they believe that Russian Orthodox liturgical music throughout the centuries pursued the ideal of beauty, and that vocal parts notated in staffless neumes cannot always be transcribed literally into modern staff notation: if necessary, they must be transposed and adjusted rhythmically in order to minimize dissonant clashes. Given the imprecise state of notation, it is believed that this is what singers did spontaneously during performance. The Liturgy presented here reveals indigenous Russian polyphony to be extraordinarily beautiful! While the music bears some similarities to the Western European style, much more striking are resemblances to the sacred music of Georgia! In the ever-changing choral Russian scene there are several "Patriarchal" choirs. This fine all-male ensemble, directed by K. Nosov (now known as Father Amvrosiy), exists under the aegis of the Publishing Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, and should not be confused with the Patriarchal Choir directed by A. Grindenko.
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