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MP3 Ensemble Of Old Church Music Sretenye - Ancient church singing of Byzantine, Georgia and Rus

This CD is 2004 Just Plain Folks Music
Awards Nominee. Medieval church singing for small ensemble. 15 very rare chants of the VIII-XV centuries, originating from the singing of levites in ancient Israel.

15 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Traditional, WORLD: World Traditions

The true church singing is an integral part of the Church tradition. It comes into being in co-creativity of ascetics and the Holy Spirit, and it is not so much music as a kind of prayer.

We can talk only approximately about the date and authorship of hymns represented on the disk. Some Greek and Bulgarian musicologists believe that Eastern Orthodox liturgical singing originates from the singing of levites in ancient Israel. Making its way with Christianity and changing in the light of national features, Eastern Orthodox (Byzantine) singing has begun church-singing culture of Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Rus.

Saint John the Damascene, who lived in the 8th century, established church "oktoechos" (eight tones) — common base of liturgical singing, consisting of eight tonal-melodic systems. Also the Church attributes the Easter kanon''s authorship to him. The first ode of the kanon is represented on the CD. Such names as John Glyka, St John Koukousel, John Klad and others marked the period of "Kalophonia" ("beautiful singing") in the 12-14th centuries. The works of Theodore of Phokea (the 18th century) are the best samples of kalophonia-music.

In Georgian church singing there are two styles: Cartalin-Cahetian and Himertin-Gury. In certain theological sense the Orthodox Church has developed three-voice singing. So, due to the special motion, native Georgian polyphony and polyphonic thinking have developed.

The base of Russian Orthodox liturgical singing — Znamenny tune was usually called "Angel-like". It is mainly because of the power of prayer and spiritual purity of the echoi (tones) melodies, crystallized in standing of Holy Rus before the God. The 17th century was the golden age of Russian liturgical singing. At the same time it was the beginning of its ousting by western-secular music, which caused spiritual decline of Slavonic church singing; though on the surface it was still magnificent. It is obviously, that canonical icon that is consorting with the Sacred Tradition is essential for the Orthodox Church. For the same theological reasons the church-singing tradition is in need of revival now.

The ensemble of old church music "Sreteniye" ("Candlemas") was founded in 1990 in Kharkov, and originally consisted of the three graduates of Kharkov institute of beaux arts, who were joined together by the love of ancient church singing. This love was not caused by the exotic character of the Church music, but by the deeper accordance of this kind of singing with a spirit of prayer. Well-known Greek protopsalt L. Angelopoulos gave invaluable help to the ensemble "Sretenye". Not only he supplemented the repertoire of the choir with a number of very rare ancient canticles, but also what is the most important he shared his knowledge of Byzantine singing characteristic features.

The ensemble, consisting of three to five singers, takes part in Divine services, participates in festivals of music, and gives concerts. In 1993 the choir became the winner of Archdeacon K. Rosov Moscow international festival, and in 1999 and 2000 — grand prix winner of all-Ukrainian church festival of choirs "Glas Pecherski " in Kiev.

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