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National Forum of Church Musicians News

National Forum of Church Musicians News

Two impressive new publications of Byzantine music related to the Pascha season have recently been announced: Great and Holy Pascha as compiled and edited by Vladimir Morosan and The Mystic Pascha by the Byzantine Music Ensemble.

  • Great and Holy Pascha is a compilation of chant and choral music primarily in English from various Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions, including melodies of Byzantine, Znamenny, Russian "Greek," Kievan, Carpatho-Russian, Galician, Valaam, Bulgarian, and Georgian chant, with chant arrangements and original compositions by some of the leading living composers writing Orthodox church music in North America. The music appears in Western notation in a variety of arrangements, suitable for performance in unison, in two parts, three parts, and four parts. The musical contents include hymns from the Liturgy of Great and Holy Saturday, the Paschal Nocturn and procession, Paschal Matins (Kanon, Exaposteilarion, Praises, and Stichera), Paschal Hours, Paschal Divine Liturgy (Antiphons, Troparion, Hypakoe, and Kontakion, "As many as have been baptized," Prokeimenon and Alleluia, the Festal Hymn to the Mother of God "The Angel Cried," and the Communion Hymn), Paschal Vespers, miscellaneous unchanging hymns, and several Paschal carols.

This collection is aimed at musically enriching the Paschal celebrations in English-speaking parishes throughout North America and beyond. Settings specifically of interest to musicians in Greek Orthodox parishes include Tikey Zes’s Soma Christou (Receive the Body of Christ) and Dhefte Lavete Phos (Come Receive the Light) in his approved English settings.  Byzantine chant settings by Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, again all in English, include the complete Paschal Canon, Exaposteilarion, the Praises with Resurrection, Paschal verses and Dhoxastikon, and the Apolytikion of St. John Chrysostom. All hymns are in staff notation; for these hymns written in Byzantine neumes, contact Jessica Suchy-Pilalis at [email protected].

Great and Holy Pascha is published by Musica Russica - for more information and ordering, see:  www.musicarussica.com.

  • The Mystic Pascha is a more specialized collection intended for parishes that have a dedicated Byzantine choir. Content includes translations and settings for Pascha and the Feast of Saint George the Trophy-bearer. The scores are all in Byzantine notation, the idhiomela are largely newly-composed and previously unpublished by living composers, with a number of other English adaptations of Greek and Arabic compositions; the prosomia and canons are metered for the melodies found in the standard Heirmologia. Participating composers include Samuel Herron, Gabriel Cremeens, Phillip Carl Phares, John Michael Boyer, and Ioannis Arvanitis.

    Part I includes music for the Paschal Matins, including several variations of  the Dhoxastikon of Pascha, and music of the Divine Liturgy, including several variations of the Communion Hymn of Pascha. Part II is the Noetic Spring, containing hymns for the commemoration of The Great Martyr George the Trophy-Bearer. Appendices contain the text for the Canon of Pascha and a bibliography of translations and compositions.

The book is the first official printed publication of the Dynamis Liturgical Collaborative – for more information and ordering, see: https://www.dynamisensemble.org/products/the-mystic-pascha.


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