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Product Information
Russian Orthodox Cathedral Choir of Paris Christmas Vespers
Artist: Russian Orthodox Cathedral Choir of Paris
Item number: AJ039
Category: Russian
Chant Type: Russian
Language: Church Slavonic
Label: Monitor
Period: Medieval
Length: 46'08
Release date: 1993
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Price: $17.99 USD
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Track Listing
You may need RealPlayer or Windows Media Player to listen to the music samples below.
  1. God Is With Us MP3  
  2. Your Birth, O Christ MP3  
  3. Nativity Kontakion MP3  
  4. Heaven and Earth MP3  
  5. Lord, Now Let This Thy Servant Depart in Peace?  
  6. Nativity Troparion  
  7. Glory Be to God on High  
  8. God is the Lord?  
  9. Praise Ye the Name of the Lord?  
  10. We Praise You, O Christ?  
  11. From My Youth?  
  12. Prokimen  
  13. Glory Be to God on High?  
  14. First & Ninth Hirmos of the Canon of Nativity  
  15. Great Doxology  
  16. Nativity Troparion  
  17. Nativity Kontakion  
The Christmas Vigil (Vespers and Matins) are one of the high points of the liturgical year's text and music. Representative texts of the feast are presented here, along with the standard pillars of the service, such as "Lord now let Thy servant depart.") The key texts of the troparion and kontakion are presented in several different settings reflecting the common practice and the changing moods from confusion to wonder to exulatation. Great 20th century composers are represented in Lvovsky, Allemanov, and Arkhangelsky. The recording ends with the 18th century kontakion setting by Bortniansky, probably the most vivid and enduring musical memory of this feast for most parishioners, and contains the special Allemanov Irmosy for the feast, and "We Praise Thee" (No 10), a harmonization of ancient znammeny melody. The choir records in the church where it sings so you get the affect of the service sound. The brief and good notes navigate the service for you nicely. There are unfortunately no texts in any language, which is a pity as the pronunciation is so clear one could easily follow the Slavonic from the recording.
ReviewBy: Peter Schwalbenberg
This recording has many attractive qualities. It presents the key music of the Vigil in a very inviting way. The choir renders the text very clearly and has the intimate feel and clarity of chamber music, which creates an interiority that helps the listener assimilate the texts and enter their meaning. The choir is balanced, has the contrabass, and there is a magisterial deacon. The play of the solo voice and choir is always appropriate, especially unusual in the opening "God Is With Us," while expected in the Prokeimon. The different settings of the well-known troparion and kondakion keep the thread of the service, and reflect the common practice. The combination of high musical values attractive to the Western ear with complete authenticity make this an excellent introduction to the Slavic music tradition.

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