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Product Information
Vox with Fadia El-Hage Vox: Divine Rites
Artist: Vox with Fadia El-Hage
Item number: AS026
Category: Non-Liturgical
Chant Type: Non-Liturgical
Language: Arabic
Label: Hearts of Space
Period: Contemporary
Release date: 1999
Read a description or review of this item.

Price: $16.98 USD
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Track Listing
You may need RealPlayer or Windows Media Player to listen to the music samples below.
  1. Holy Sepulchre MP3  
  2. The Dove MP3  
  3. Maria MP3  
  4. Crucifixion MP3  
  5. Kyrie Eleison MP3  
  6. Holy MP3  
  7. Resurrection MP3  
  8. Moses MP3  
  9. Annunciation MP3  
  10. Alleluja MP3  
A recording of Paschal hymns based on liturgical chant, arranged for female voice with instrumental accompaniment by Vladimir Ivanoff, and featuring the voice of Lebanese vocalist Fadia El-Hage. The melodies of most of the hymns will be familiar to those in the Byzantine rite. "Holy Sepulchure", (based on "Ya Yassou ou" part of the Kanon of Easter Sunday) is a Resurrection hymn that shares the same melody as the first stanza on the Lamentations of Holy Week. "The Dove" is a prayerful meditation based on an ancient text from the Syrian-catholic and Marionite tradition--thus much like a Canon in the Byzantine rite. "Maria" is based on two Oikos from the Liturgy of St Basil at the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord, and is characterized by the otherworldly and plaintive sounds of the chant of Holy Friday. "Crucifixion" is the Marionite chant from Good Friday with the identical melody of "Today is suspended upon the tree..." "Kyrie Eleison" is just that, the refrains of the Ektenias, but produced so that El-Hage begins solo and then is multi-tracked into a choir. "Holy" is a trope of the "Trisagion Hymn" of Easter Sunday. "Resurrection" is the proclamation that "Christ is risen from the dead" of Easter Sunday. "Moses" is the same hymn as precedes the entrance of the Gospel in the Liturgy of St. Basil on Holy Saturday morning. "Annunciation" is Ode 9 of the Kanon of St John of Damascus from Easter Sunday, rendered in Maronite/Melkite chant. Finally, "Allelulia" is that at the reading of the Old Testament on Holy Monday, with the melody from the Bridesgroom Service. Liner notes in English with complete hymn text.
ReviewBy: Benjamin Williams
With that said, this is a recording of Eastern rite chant with instrumental accompaniment that traditionalists might find off-putting, yet the arrangements still retain the original intent of meditation and praise of the Lord and his Resurrection. Fadia El-Hagge's voice is ethereal: she has professionally trained in opera, has a naturally irridescent vocal quality, and added to that is the fluid vibrato and melodic ornamentation typical of chant sung in the Syrian and Lebanese churches. Purists might easily criticize this as a "new age" rendition of traditional chant, and in a way that is the case. However, the text, and the chant melody itself, remain true to form. Thus, while the arrangement is not what you would ever hear in the respective worship services, for those not familiar with the Maronite and Melkite traditions it is striking to hear the melodic similarities to the Byzantine hymns, with the added dimension of the vocal quality. You can approach this recording as a very high quality exploration of unknown Eastern rite liturgical tradition. Or, you can approach it prayerfully--entering into the meaning of the text and the spiritual emotion of the chant--and participate in the joy of the Resurrection. Or, you can do both! Either way, hearing El-Hage render these hymns is both a wonder and a delight.

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