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Author Topic: Need some definitions of hymns at Vespers  (Read 1652 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: July 26, 2007, 08:39:16 PM »

Just got some new CDs today as an early birthday present and I'm not sure what a few of these things are.  First, what is a terirem?  Second, the anoixantaria, are these the poetic refrains to Psalm 103 sung at the beginning of Vespers and are they as simple as "How glorious are Thy works, O Lord" or "In wisdom hast Thou made them all"?  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2007, 10:20:12 PM »

The anoixantaria are indeed a musical setting of the last few verses of Psalm 103/104. They are (to my knowledge) chanted only in Plagal of the Fourth -- and only when a Hierarch is present.

A "terirem" -- I think that is a mis-spelling -- is said to be the sound the angels make. There is a whole elaborate Byzantine theology (of course!) of the terirem, but, musically speaking, it's a space filler: A chanter uses it in the long, fancy settings of hymns (like the Cherubic hymn) to play with the scale, show off and take up more time. In monastic settings, it just takes up time (gotta fill up those 9 hours for Vigil somehow!). I think when I was on Mt. Athos we sang various rems for about 35 mins straight.
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2007, 12:07:30 AM »

For Vigil (or ONLY for Great Vespers for the singing seminar we've held several times) at my OCA parish, we do this Byzantine Tone 1 arrangement by Dmitri Conomos with those refrains.  The choir starts with the first 3 verses, and then a solo chanter (or two alternating) take over with those refrains sung by the choir.

Oh, yes, this is just part of Psalm 103 at the beginning.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 12:07:55 AM by Elisha » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2007, 02:59:33 AM »

For Vigil (or ONLY for Great Vespers for the singing seminar we've held several times) at my OCA parish, we do this Byzantine Tone 1 arrangement by Dmitri Conomos with those refrains.  The choir starts with the first 3 verses, and then a solo chanter (or two alternating) take over with those refrains sung by the choir.

Oh, yes, this is just part of Psalm 103 at the beginning.
What you are describing is not the Anoixantaria. To see the words and a popular setting of the Anoixantaria check out the following PDF http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Vespers/Finale%202003%20-%20%5B2910_Anoixantaria%5D.pdf
You will notice that it starts with the verse "When thou openest thy hand..." and the verses get more elaborate in their praise of the Trinity.

The chanting of them has more to do with how big the feast is rather then if a hierarch is present. As a general rule of thumb if the Polyeleios is prescribe for at orthros then the Anoixantaria may be chanted at Vespers. The exception to this rule is regular Sunday cycle where the Polyeleios is prescribe to be sung at Orthros but the Anoixantaria would only be sung if there is a feast or special saint.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 03:02:10 AM by arimethea » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2007, 12:53:27 PM »


A "terirem" -- I think that is a mis-spelling -- is said to be the sound the angels make. There is a whole elaborate Byzantine theology (of course!) of the terirem, but, musically speaking, it's a space filler: A chanter uses it in the long, fancy settings of hymns (like the Cherubic hymn) to play with the scale, show off and take up more time. In monastic settings, it just takes up time (gotta fill up those 9 hours for Vigil somehow!). I think when I was on Mt. Athos we sang various rems for about 35 mins straight.

Actually, listening to this recording a little more, the monks seem to repeat the word "terirem" assuming that is the correct spelling over and over.  If this is what the angels sing in their praises of the Holy Trinity, the simplicity is really humbling!
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2007, 07:16:49 AM »

The anoixantaria are indeed a musical setting of the last few verses of Psalm 103/104. They are (to my knowledge) chanted only in Plagal of the Fourth -- and only when a Hierarch is present.

A "terirem" -- I think that is a mis-spelling -- is said to be the sound the angels make. There is a whole elaborate Byzantine theology (of course!) of the terirem, but, musically speaking, it's a space filler: A chanter uses it in the long, fancy settings of hymns (like the Cherubic hymn) to play with the scale, show off and take up more time. In monastic settings, it just takes up time (gotta fill up those 9 hours for Vigil somehow!). I think when I was on Mt. Athos we sang various rems for about 35 mins straight. 

Scamandrius,

Technically, the Anoixantaria should only be chanted for the feastday of the Church (whichever day that is), even though they're also chanted for vigils and sometimes for secondary feasts that are very important to a parish.  They are the concluding verses to psalm 103 (beginning with "When you open your hand they are filled with good things."  Anoixantos = when you open, which is where the name comes from) which, depending on the musical composer, will also have praises of the Holy Trinity added to the verses.

As for the Kratema (which literally means "hold") - this is the technical name for the te-ri-rem, ne-na-no, and other "filler" phrases.  One interpretation is the angelic one that pensateomnia mentions.  Another that the monks have said is that it is the lullaby that the Panagia used to put Christ to sleep.  As a corollary to the Angelic explanation - you're right, the simplicity is supposed to be humbling - if Christ is able to be praised with words that make no sense, but are instead simple syllables repeated over and over, then our over-complicated hymns and genuflections and whatnot are a bit much, no?
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