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Author Topic: Starting a sacred music collection  (Read 762 times) Average Rating: 5
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lovesupreme
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« on: October 26, 2014, 01:40:37 AM »

Hello,

I'd like to start collection of sacred music recordings and I don't know where to start. There are a few lists of "essential recordings" out there on a web, but I'd like to hear from the OC.net community for recommendations.

What I mean by sacred music is music used liturgically in a historical Church.

Choral works with instrumental accompaniment by major composers (Brahms, Mozart, Handel) are fine, but I'm most interested in chant, be it Byzantine, Gregorian, Coptic, or what have you.

I am absolutely not interested in contemporary "praise" music.

Any recommended recordings for someone just starting off?

Thanks and God bless.
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2014, 06:37:43 AM »

Some names to look up:

Lycourgos Angelopoulos, Petros Gaitanos, Nektaria Karantzi (Greek)
Divna Ljubojevic & Melodi (Serbian)
Soeur Marie Keyrouz (Melkite)
Ghada Shbeir (Maronite)

As for Gregorian chant, there's a zillion ensembles out there. A Feather on the Breath of God got the popularity ball rolling, and Canto Gregoriano exploded it into the mainstream. They're still indispensable. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2014, 07:18:51 AM »

Another suggestion to look up is the Valaam Monastery in Russia.

If you want Western chant, my personal favourite is Taize. I realise that canonically they are not Orthodox, but they enjoy very good relations with Orthodoxy, especially the Russian Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2014, 09:13:32 AM »

The hymns of Giovanni Gabrieli (Italy) and Michael Praetorius (Germany) are some of my favorite.   
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2014, 12:21:05 PM »

For Znamenny chant, the recordings by the Russian Patriarchate Choir, conducted by Anatoli Grindenko, are essential. Unfortunately they are mostly out of print, but you can download all of them as torrents. The albums Suprasl and Early Russian Plainchant are my favorites. Here's a sample from the album Russian Christmas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMQldP-yOj0

My favorite Byzantine recording is the Christmas album by Mihalis Makris' choir. Here's a sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDwCsQjL28g Unfortunately I don't see this CD on sale at the HTM site anymore, but their other CD's are available: http://www.bostonmonks.com/index.php/cPath/39_126

I also really like the Christmas album by the Mount Lebanon choir (in Arabic). Here's a sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngPPjzFD7m8 This album is available at the Liturgica website.

My favorite Georgian chant album is Chant Melodies by the nuns of Sameba-Jikheti monastery. Here's a sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7kV2byQ9NA It looks like it's available for sale here: http://shop.geguchadze.com/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&products_id=3262

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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2014, 04:13:10 PM »

The hymns of Giovanni Gabrieli (Italy) and Michael Praetorius (Germany) are some of my favorite.   

Hear, hear.  Two great and oft forgotten giants in music history.  A shame they are not used liturgically much anymore,

Back to the op, I recommend anything by the monks of Simonaspetras or vatopaidi.  It will all be in Greek, but it's Byzantine at its finest.  The Romeiko ensemble also does dome great work, and some of their work is bilingual.
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2014, 04:16:13 PM »

The Romeiko ensemble

Is this the one with funny hats?
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2014, 04:28:59 PM »

The Romeiko ensemble

Is this the one with funny hats?

I think so.
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2014, 05:31:45 PM »

My contribution:

Anything composed by Dmitriy Bortniansky is worth listening to and having.  Likewise Azeev.

Tchaikovsky's Liturgy, Rachmaninoff's Liturgy, and Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil are absolutely beautiful.
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2014, 06:28:22 PM »

My contribution:

Anything composed by Dmitriy Bortniansky is worth listening to and having.  Likewise Azeev.

Tchaikovsky's Liturgy, Rachmaninoff's Liturgy, and Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil are absolutely beautiful.

Bortniansky sounds to me like pure Baroque music without the instruments. Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov take a lot of elements from traditional chants but still essentially sound like modern composers to me. Not that that makes them bad, but I don't think it's what the OP is looking for.
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2014, 06:30:13 PM »

The OP's definition of "sacred music" is:

Quote
What I mean by sacred music is music used liturgically in a historical Church.

That is what I supplied.  When I go to Church on Sunday, I usually hear some version of Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Azeev, a few others, and the Kyivan tones.
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2014, 06:30:41 PM »

The OP's definition of "sacred music" is:

Quote
What I mean by sacred music is music used liturgically in a historical Church.

That is what I supplied.  When I go to Church on Sunday, I usually hear some version of Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Azeev, a few others, and the Kyivan tones.

I forgot to add Rimsky-Korsakov. 
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2014, 06:31:49 PM »

The OP's definition of "sacred music" is:

Quote
What I mean by sacred music is music used liturgically in a historical Church.

That is what I supplied.  When I go to Church on Sunday, I usually hear some version of Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Azeev, a few others, and the Kyivan tones.

You might also hear Brahms, Mozart, and Handel (though not in an Orthodox church). Well, alovesupreme can clarify if he wants.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2014, 06:32:21 PM »

I thought he was interested in Orthodox sacred music.
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2014, 07:46:50 PM »


They are and they're awesome!
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2014, 07:58:30 PM »

Thank you all for the recommendations so far.

To clarify: What I'm looking for is music sung during the services at Christian churches with significant historical basis.

Denomination-wise, that could be Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, etc.

If there are more modern, "low" variants of a church (such as with Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism), I am looking for the more historical "high" church variant.

This criteria would exclude churches from the radical reformation and beyond.
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2014, 09:03:18 PM »

Thank you all for the recommendations so far.

To clarify: What I'm looking for is music sung during the services at Christian churches with significant historical basis.

In that case, Mozart is just as good as Bortniansky...
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2014, 09:07:33 PM »

If I'm allowed to recommend Catholic music, the Te Deum is a wonderful piece of the liturgy.

This version is in Latin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqwV9l-U8ds but there are English language ones about too.
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2014, 09:42:35 PM »

The Great Service by William Byrd is a must for anyone interested in music from the Anglican tradition that still relied heavily upon Roman Catholic polyphony as a model.  And, wait for it, it's all in English!

My personal favorite is performed by the Tallis Scholars, but another one I like is done by the Westminster Choir with an organ accompaniment.  Here is a sample (from neither of the above mentioned recordings).

http://youtu.be/HQoEOcOMkKs

J.S. Bach wrote heavily for the Lutheran churches in Leipzig, mainly cantatas and longer oratorios.  They were part of the Lutheran church repertoire for awhile until the pietists got their way.  Georg Philip Telemann was another prolific composer of Lutheran church music as well.  A contemporary of Bach and much admired by Bach (Telemann was godfather to his son, Carl Philip Emmaneuel) his music are enjoying a revival and though maybe not as complex as Bachs, they are still good music and important to the Lutheran heritage.
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2014, 09:50:31 PM »

More broadly, if you go to Ancient Faith Radio and listen to the live streaming music there, you will hear many pieces from the various Orthodox traditions that I think will be of interest to you and it will list what they are and who composed/sang them.
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2014, 12:15:06 AM »

1 Sacred Treasures 1: Masterworks Russia

http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Treasures-1-Masterworks-Russia/dp/B000000X8J/ref=pd_bxgy_m_text_y

"Great Ektenia" - The Russian State Symphony Capella from Sacred Treasures

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePSW0nw43uw

2 Divine Liturgy - Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Liturgy-Moscow-Sretensky-Monastery/dp/B000WB8FX6/ref=sr_1_4

Sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOxt4BzYWeo


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« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2014, 12:55:01 AM »

Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir - Great Lent & Holy Week

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Moscow-Sretensky-Monastery-Choir/dp/B000WGI9E6/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1414385287&sr=1-1

Samples:

Let My Prayer Arise, In Thy Sight As Incense

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jqydtZTpHY

The Door of Repentance open unto me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK_cCh92Q8U
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« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2014, 12:47:01 PM »

My contribution:

Anything composed by Dmitriy Bortniansky is worth listening to and having.  Likewise Azeev.

Tchaikovsky's Liturgy, Rachmaninoff's Liturgy, and Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil are absolutely beautiful.

Bortniansky sounds to me like pure Baroque music without the instruments. Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov take a lot of elements from traditional chants but still essentially sound like modern composers to me. Not that that makes them bad, but I don't think it's what the OP is looking for.

+1

The OP's definition of "sacred music" is:

Quote
What I mean by sacred music is music used liturgically in a historical Church.

That is what I supplied.  When I go to Church on Sunday, I usually hear some version of Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Azeev, a few others, and the Kyivan tones.
Unfortunately, me too. I don't consider all this stuff as traditional, liturgical music of the Church, even among Eastern Slavs. So I'm quite often sufferint at the services Tongue



Well, I would like to help you, lovesupreme, as I have a big-big collection of Church music (mainly various EO and OO plus some Roman Catholic, a bit of Assyrian and Maronite too, but all these things I've put and divided by festal seasons and occasions (and in them by languages and a bit by traditions), not via traditions nor choirs. E.g:
http://chomikuj.pl/Srbija/*e2*98*a6Muzyka+chrze*c5*9bcija*c5*84ska+*e2*80*a0
it's not my all collection, but probably a half of it.
I have also this channel http://www.youtube.com/user/domkov91 but it has very few pieces.
Check the threads on oc.net "Links for byzantine; Slavonic music" and also for oriental links in the OO board.

If I have more time, I could try write some choirs and chanters by tradition...
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« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2014, 11:27:59 PM »


Yes, they have a photo of them in Byzantine clothing.  My favorite is the Divine Liturgy.  

The nuns at Ormylia are another.

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« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2015, 03:23:14 PM »

Hi. I'm also looking for suggestions on sacred music which is not modern praise music. I'm in India and can stream music from Rdio for very cheap. I'm open to Catholic or Orthodox music from any church like Russian/Coptic/Byzantine/Greek/Ethiopian. I really like the albums by Divna. Anyway, I came across this 'Mezmur' music on Youtube which claims to be Ethiopian Orthodox music and sounds unique. Can anyone tell me what exactly is this 'Mezmur' and is it sacred music?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hymMaBsZFK0
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