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Poll
Question: Which western church composer would best write Orthodox music
J.S. Bach - 7 (21.2%)
W.A. Mozart - 2 (6.1%)
Josef Haydn - 4 (12.1%)
Anton Dvorak - 0 (0%)
Franz Schubert - 2 (6.1%)
Ludwig van Beethoven - 3 (9.1%)
Heinrich Schutz - 1 (3%)
Claudio Monteverdi - 1 (3%)
Palestrina - 1 (3%)
Rolando di Lasso - 1 (3%)
Thomas Tallis - 0 (0%)
Tomas Luis de Victoria - 1 (3%)
William Byrd - 1 (3%)
Giovanni Gabrieli - 3 (9.1%)
Other (please explain) - 6 (18.2%)
Total Voters: 11

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Author Topic: Hypothetical--Which western church composer would you choose to write O  (Read 2834 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: November 13, 2009, 07:13:51 PM »

Ok, hypothetical situation.  If, for some reason, Eastern Rite Orthodoxy were to allow western-style compositions, with instruments and without, which of the western composers would you think would make the best contribution to the Eastern Rite Ethos.  Again, totally hypothetical.  This is not a referendum on Byzantine music or Russian style four part music.  If you chose other, please explain your choice(s). You may choose up to five.

Mine:  J.S. Bach, Schutz, Rolando di Lasso, Gabrieli and Haydn
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 07:40:56 PM »

Ok, hypothetical situation.  If, for some reason, Eastern Rite Orthodoxy were to allow western-style compositions, with instruments and without, which of the western composers would you think would make the best contribution to the Eastern Rite Ethos.  Again, totally hypothetical.  This is not a referendum on Byzantine music or Russian style four part music.  If you chose other, please explain your choice(s). You may choose up to five.

Mine:  J.S. Bach, Schutz, Rolando di Lasso, Gabrieli and Haydn
Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, and Schubert, and I've added Handel as my "other." I so love the church music they've written. Beethoven's 9th must be a gate between heaven and earth.

Some pieces I like from each of them:

Bach--St. Matthew's Passion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcN87iRRhB8

Beethoven--Ninth Symphony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-mvutiDRvQ

Haydn--O Worship the King: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWkOtiAH_IQ

Schubert--Ave Maria: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uYrmYXsujI

Handel--I Know That My Redeemer Liveth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtU1c5JZf0k
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 07:56:23 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 07:43:01 PM »

Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Gabrieli, but that was only because we could only choose 5.  laugh
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 09:39:57 PM »

To me, the style of Orthodox music that best contributes to prayer and participation is simple and heartfelt. I grew up with both Byzantine chants and 4-part harmony a capella choral singing. For the Divine Liturgy, I like the 4-part approach better as it is easier for the congregation to sing along--except, of course, for showy concert pieces. BTW, chanters can also be showy and distracting. In any case, assuming that simple is the byword, I do like all of Mr. Y's selections (especially Handel), plus Mozart and Palestrina. On the other hand, of all the Western hymns that I have heard, I like the following as being the most Orthodox-like musically: Down in the River to Pray, I'll Fly Away, In the Sweet Bye and Bye, Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior, and Amazing Grace. It is true that the words of these modern Protestant hymns do not fit in our services (they would be fine in an evangelistic outreach program of hymns and preaching), but I would imagine that an Orthodox composer can take such tunes and make them fit the words.
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2009, 10:41:32 PM »

My parish struggles with the hymns we've been singing for 100 years. I'd hate to see what would happen if we introduced anything *new* to the picture.
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 11:05:07 PM »

My parish struggles with the hymns we've been singing for 100 years. I'd hate to see what would happen if we introduced anything *new* to the picture.

Well now, I would not imagine a nice Ukrainian congregation to forego Дмитро Степанович.  Cool
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 11:34:54 PM »

Yes, Дмитро Степанович is a large part of our repetoir. Smiley

Anyhoo, here are some Western pieces I love:

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxwhBhjqkFo

Ave Maria by Franz Biebl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVyCJlPiHFg
(I love this version over Schubert's, as it tells the entire story of the Annunciation. Smiley )

Mozart's Requim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb3bwGb0glQ
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2009, 01:45:11 AM »

I chose Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, and Schubert. Henry Purcell as my "other".
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 02:29:53 PM »

What?  no Ralph Vaugh Williams?

 Wink
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 05:13:14 PM »

What?  no Ralph Vaugh Williams?

 Wink

If it weren't so funny a suggestion, I would vommit.  I can't stand RVW, except for the Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and the only reason that is digestable is because another person wrote the melody.
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 11:15:26 PM »

I voted "Bach" and "other".  You left out Josquin DesPrez, the late medieval French composer that exemplified the "Cantus Firmus" style that bridged between Medieval music and Renaissance music in the west.  Personally, I think he wrote perhaps the most beautiful western music I've ever heard.  I prefer him even beyond Bach. 

I would also have included Georg Handel (whom you also left out -- why?) and Schubert.
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2009, 12:20:26 AM »

Yeah, I left out Josquin and I also left out Ockeghem, whom I like a lot more.  I decided only on a few Renaissance composers.  Handel, I don't think, was that great of a church composer.  Most of his "sacred" compositions were more for use in the theater or for the court (e.g. Dettingen Te Deum) though I do really enjoy his music.
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2009, 12:35:27 AM »

A true story about Bach, something I remember back when we were doing Saturday evening services at the local Anglican church. During "Saturday school" they'd sit us down and usually tell stories from the bible - but one day they focused on, I guess, the heroes of the reformation. One of them was J. S. Bach, a modest composer of mostly Church music, who always signed alongside his name, the initials A.M.D.G. - ad majorem dei gloriam - to the greater glory of God. I'm sure they mentioned some of those other characters but I don't remember much about them. But that always stuck with me. They probably used the RSV back then, I remember being particularly enthralled with the Transfiguration. "And His garments became as white as light." (This was before I was exposed to the Douay version which read "white as snow"!)
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2009, 12:54:07 AM »

Rossini and Leoncavallo.
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2009, 12:57:06 AM »

For me:

Bach

Palestrina

Byrd

Victoria

Since Josquin has already gotten his props, I'll put in Guillaume Dufay or Gregorio Allegri (both of whom I love).

-

Bach is my favorite composer of all time, but otherwise my ideal Mass is a hybrid of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. What heaven!
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2009, 01:24:34 AM »

I wouldn't choose any.  Listed among these men, though, are many of my favourite composers.  As far as choral music goes, I adore stuff by Palestrina and Monteverdi.  A good recording of Vespro della Beata Vergine  (the Vespers of 1610) is something I can listen to for a long time when the time is right.  One of the parts I really love is the opening (Deus in adjutorium meum intende etc.)
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2009, 06:21:35 PM »

I only chose Giovani Gabrielli.  I don't think he was a man, but an angel.  When I played the trombone, I was often told that God created the Sackbutt, and then he had to create Gabrielli to teach the world how it was to be used.  Also close to my heart are Michael Preatorius and Olando de Lassus.
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2009, 06:30:28 PM »

Yeah... I think I'll skip this one  Cheesy  I recognize the names of maybe 6 of those composers; and if you played their music for me, I'd be doing well if I could identify just a handful of their works.
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2009, 12:05:20 PM »

De gustibus non est disputandum

 I think that RVW's "Lark Ascending" is one of the loveliest pieces of 20th century music around and he did a fine work collecting and preserving folk songs that might have been lost.  Some of his hymn arrangements are also very good indeed. 

That said, I enjoy music from all of the composers listed and many others.


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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2009, 12:21:11 PM »

I didn't vote because I am not EO but I would definitely choose Bach. We sang the Bach B minor mass in college and it was hauntingly beautiful.
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« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2009, 05:03:00 PM »

I choose Bach. I have been familiar with his music for a few years but most recently I have gained a very high appreciation for his work.

My favorite by him is his cantata Ich Habe Genug (I have enough) which was also the favorite of Fr. Seraphim Rose. I first heard of the work in Fr. Seraphim's biography and I decided to look for it. It is about Christ's presentation in the Temple and written in the words of St. Simeon the God-receiver saying he has seen the Savior and now he can depart this life since it has been fulfilled for him. Truly a beautiful piece.

Here is the first movement of the piece:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgOkNo8Q204





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« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2009, 05:33:09 PM »

I didn't vote because I am not EO...

You're kidding! This comes as such a shock to me!  Tongue  Grin  Cheesy
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2009, 05:33:59 PM »

I didn't vote because I am not EO...

You're kidding! This comes as such a shock to me!  Tongue  Grin  Cheesy
Well I wouldn't want to confuse a new convert.  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2009, 05:59:59 PM »

John Tesh
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