Sophronievskaia Cherubic Hymn, Russian Chant

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Modèle : Cherubika
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"Your choir sings in a perfect classical manner. On the one hand, the academic art of singing is shown, but on the other hand in this music one hears prayer, and this is the most important of sounds." – Grigory, Choir Director for "Chorus of Prelate Nikolay" of Batumi, Georgia.

"Absolutely beautiful!" –Nikola Resanovic, composer

Cherubika is a wonderful new ensemble of Orthodox singers specializing in znammeny and chant-based liturgical music. They have a resonant, glowing sound and strike the delicate balance of musical excellence and soulful chant infused with prayer.Their self-titled debut album is a stunning collection of Cherubic Hymns. Bulgarian, Georgian, Serbian, Znamenny and Romanian traditions are all represented here. There are several ancient melodies used as well as a few more recent compositions, but all carry a signature connection to older chant-based systems of Orthodox melody. In this respect, they are closer to the rich Byzantine chant tradition than they are to the later forms of Russian liturgical singing which is based on large choral arrangements. As an added bonus to Orthodox choir directors and chanters everywhere, we are making available a companion volume with music for every track on the CD.

1. Cherubik Hymn, Znameny chant, “Now the Powers” melody, arr. L Margitich
This opening piece is a setting by Fr. Lawrence Margitich based on the Znamenny Chant melody for “Now the Powers,” (Synodal chant Book, Triodion). this melody was also recorded by Anatoly Grindenko and the Russian Patriarchate Choir in 1999 in a different and very notable arrangement.

2. Cherubik Hymn, Georgian chant
The dynamic harmonics of Georgian music add great depth to this hymn; it is a common Cherubic melody7 in Georgia, coming from the Kartli-Kaxeti school. It is a similar in style to the well-loved para-liturgical melody “Shen xar venaxi “ (“The True Vine”) which is commonly used in the United States as a melody for the Cherubic Hymn.

3. Cherubik Hymn, Serbian chant, “Nicholas the Srb,” arr. L. Margitich
Dating from perhaps the fourteenth century, this may be the oldest melody on our album. It can be found in the Athens MS 928, fol. 93r. and appears in the doctoral dissertation of Dimitri E. Conomos, 1974, entitled “Byzantine Trisagia and Cheroubika of the 14th and 15th Centuries”. There is a circa 1960 recording with an exquisite performance of this piece by tenor Dragoslav - Pavle Aksentijevic. Daniel Alva is the soloist here, illuminating the pathos and sobriety of this truly exceptional melody.

4. Of Thy Mystical Supper, Znameny chant, L. Margitich
Close to the Slavonic version, this composition for English was done around 1989. It is an excellent example of the simple profundity Znamenny chant achieves. Melodically the range is small, within the span of a fifth. The gentle pulsing up and down reminds one of waves on the sea, and the ison shift downward on “Neither like Judas…” brings a deeper reflection, offset by the places where the melody again soars upwards on “But like the thief…” and “Lord,” emphasizing the hope of our salvation.

5. Cherubik Hymn, Russian chant, “Sophronievskaya”, arr. L. Margitich
The Sophronievskaia Cherubic Hymn is closely associated with the Sophroniev monastery in Russia, where it may have initially emerged. It is found in square-note notation in the "Sputnik Psalomshchika," and later in the so-called "London Book." A harmonized version is further associated with the Glinsk Hermitage, and there are a variety of existing arrangements of this lovely melody in use today throughout the world. The lyrical repeated motifs, sung in thirds by the women, have a lovely interplay above the more somber and static lower parts in Fr. Lawrence’s arrangement.

6. Cherubik Hymn, Znameny chant, arr. Nicolas Custer
The origin of this melody is currently unknown to us; it was transcribed from Slavonic and arranged for English in 2006. Interestingly, this melody has a strophic quality, in that a large musical phrase is repeated throughout. While this is common in later Russian music, it is not a compositional technique used in traditional Znamenny Chant. The simplicity and beauty of the understated melody brings the pulse of prayer directly to the listener’s heart.


7. Cherubic Hymn, Znamenny chant, Tone 5, L. Margitich
Using the melodic motifs of Tone 5 as his musical vocabulary, Fr. Lawrence Margitich composed this Cherubic Hymn specifically for English text around 1990. Another arrangement for two parts will be offered on a forthcoming album, but the polyphonic presentation of the melody here gives it a wondrous power and movement.


8. Cherubic Hymn, Serbian chant, Tone 1, after Mokranjac, arr. Nikola Resanovic
The well-known Serbian composer Stevan Stojanivic Mokranjac did a four-part polyphonic setting for this elaborate melody in his "Music for the Divine Liturgy". The melody can also be found — along with settings in the other tones — in his "Opste Pojanje" and in Nenad Baracki's "Notni Zbornik." The English adaptation was done by Nikola Resanovic, found as the first selection of eight Cherubic Hymns in his “Anthology of Serbian Chant,” 2005. We worked from his monophonic setting, adding a static traditional ison as would be found in Byzantine music, in which Serbian chant has its roots. If used in a liturgical service today by Serbs, however, this would most likely be chanted either in unison or four parts.



9. Now the Powers, Byzantine-Bulgarian chant, Tone 5; arr. L. Margitich
This haunting melody is sung by soloist Daniel Alva. It has a venerable history, and is sometimes attributed to Ioann Koukouzelis, in the 14th century. It can also be found in the Russian square-note Lenten Triodion and the pre-Revolutionary Liturgy Anthology of A. Kastorsky, as well as in polyphonic settings by Turchaninov and L’vovsky.

10. Let All Mortal Flesh, Russian Valaam chant, arr. L. Margitich
This may be one of the oldest texts of hymnography used in the Orthodox Church, perhaps originally composed for the Liturgy of St. James in the 4th century; it is found in both Greek and Syriac sources. In current usage, it is sung only once a year at the Liturgy of Holy Saturday, bringing a sense of both sobriety and expectation to this unique liturgical service, preparing the way to the glorious Paschal celebration. This setting was originally taken from the Valaam Chant book, and arranged for English by Fr. Lawrence Margitich in 1992.


11. Cherubic Hymn, Romanian chant, arr. Macrina Lewis
This is the one of the most popular Cherubic melodies in Romania today and can be found in “The Hymns of the Divine Liturgy, Carols and Other Church Hymns” - 2nd revised ed., Bucharest, 1999. There, it is usually sung in 3rds and is often taken very slowly. In our arrangement, completed in 2007, several changes were made: accommodation of the melody to fit our text, a lighter tempo, use of ison-like harmony, and an addition on the final “Alleluia” to bring one of the most striking melodic motifs in again at the end of the piece. The lovely, lyrical melody has a lullaby-like quality to it which brings a sweetness to the liturgical moment.
During our recording of this hymn, a funeral was in progress in the parish’s second church. As we began the last section of the hymn, the “Alleluias,” the bell began to toll for the funeral procession. Immediately the birds began to sing. We chose to use this version as our parting note, and as a quiet memorial for the handmaid of God Olga, may God grant her memory to be eternal.

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  • Modèle : Cherubika
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Ce Produit a été ajouté à notre catalogue le jeudi 28 aot 2008.

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