Author Topic: Orthodox composers and liturgical practice  (Read 2383 times)

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Offline aas

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Orthodox composers and liturgical practice
« on: October 11, 2004, 11:02:15 PM »
I would appreciate any information you can provide regarding a couple questions I have about Orthodox music:

1.  Are the liturgical compositions of Rachmaninov (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom; Vespers / Vigil) and Tchaikovsky (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom; Hymns) actually used in liturgical settings (either here or in Russia, now or in the past) -- or is their use generally limited to the concert hall?

2.  Are the compositions of current Orthodox composers (such as John Tavener) being used in worship services, or are they regarded more as concert pieces?

Thank you very much for any information you can provide!
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Offline Anastasios

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Re:Orthodox composers and liturgical practice
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004, 11:25:20 PM »
Although composers are still used, there is (thankfully in my opinion) a move away from this back to real chant.

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Offline The young fogey

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Re:Orthodox composers and liturgical practice
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2004, 10:18:46 AM »
The classical pieces by Russian composers are very much in use in Russian Orthodox churches.

No idea re: Tavener. Probably not based on his pieces that I've heard. Nothing wrong them but they weren't liturgical.
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re:Orthodox composers and liturgical practice
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2004, 03:16:09 PM »
Even in my little mission parish here in South Carolina, we occassionally sing Tchaichovsky's setting of "Holy God". Its GREAT!  I hear echos of monastic chant in it, esp. the base line. Granted it is in four part harmony, and well-polished musically, but it isn't theatrical or operatic at all if performed in a gentle voice. (I think one reason some people THINK much Russian Orthodox music is operatic or theatrical is because untrained voices (esp. tenors) tend to scream it when they sing, unless a firm choir director reigns them in.  We have never sung any Rachmaninov, simply because I think its too difficult for our choir. However, Rachmaninov's setting of the Opening Psalm from Vespers (Bless the Lord, O my soul) still retains a haunting melody of the old Russian folk melody, although polished up and more elegant. I like them both.

Offline Kizzy

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Re: Orthodox composers and liturgical practice
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2005, 02:16:47 AM »
 In the GOA, the music is more often from Anna Gallos, Kevin Lawrence, or Tikey Zes... His 4 voice  paschal communion hymn "Soma Christou' is magnificent.  These composers are GO Americans.  The Russian composer music occasionally may be used, but is often seen as 'too Russian".   

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