Sretenye | Medieval church choir music of Byzantine, Georgia and Rus

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Classical: Medieval Classical: Choral Music Moods: A Cappella
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Medieval church choir music of Byzantine, Georgia and Rus

by Sretenye

Get Free MP3 before to buy this album. This CD is the winner of 2004 JPF Music Awards (USA) in choral music. Medieval praise and worship chants of the VIII-XV centuries.
Genre: Classical: Medieval
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. To Thee We Sing '” Bulgarian Chant, Tone Legetos
3:01 FREE
2. Psalm 146 and O Thou the Only Begotten Son '”
3:21 $0.99
3. Alleluia '” Georgian Chant
1:11 $0.99
4. Come, Let Us Worship '” Strochnoi Chant
0:42 $0.99
5. Trisagion (Holy God'¦) '” Strochnoi Chant
1:56 $0.99
6. Thou Art Our Joy '” Znamenny Chant
4:10 $0.99
7. The 1st Ode of the Easter Kanon
5:17 $0.99
8. Fragment from the Divine Liturgy '” Strochnoy Chant
3:27 $0.99
9. Christ is Risen
3:45 $0.99
10. Thy Cross do We Adore '” Georgian Chant
1:53 $0.99
11. O Theotokos the Virgin, Rejoice (Ave Maria) '”
31:34 $3.99
12. Eucharist Canon (fragment)
3:24 $0.99
13. Meet it is '” Bulgarian Chant
2:18 $0.99
14. Praise Ye the Name of the Lord '” Bulgarian and Bizantine
5:23 $0.99
15. O My Soul, rise!
2:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
We can talk only approximately about the date and authorship of praise and worship chants represented on the disk. Some Greek and Bulgarian musicologists believe that Eastern Orthodox liturgical music originates from the singing of levites in ancient Israel. Making its way with Christianity and changing in the light of national features, Eastern Orthodox (Byzantine) church choir music has begun church-singing culture of Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Rus.

No doubt, “The First Ode of the Easter Canon” is of the most unique and rare recording represented on this disk. The Church attributes the Easter Canon's authorship to Saint John the Damascene, who lived in the 8th century. He established church "oktoechos" (eight tones) - common base of liturgical music, consisting of eight tonal-melodic systems.
Such names as John Glyka, St John Koukousel, John Klad and others marked the period of "Kalophonia" ("beautiful singing") in the 12-14th centuries. The works of Theodore of Phokea (the 18th century) are the best samples of kalophonia-music.

In Georgian church music there are two styles: Cartalin-Cahetian and Himertin-Gury. In certain theological sense the Orthodox Church has developed three-voice singing. So, due to the special motion, native Georgian polyphony and polyphonic thinking have developed.

The base of Russian Orthodox church choir music - Znamenny tune was usually called "Angel-like". It is mainly because of the power of prayer and spiritual purity of the echoi (tones) melodies, crystallized in standing of Holy Rus before the God. The 17th century was the golden age of Russian liturgical music. At the same time it was the beginning of its ousting by western-secular music, which caused spiritual decline of Slavonic church singing; though on the surface it was still magnificent. It is obviously, that canonical icon that is consorting with the Sacred Tradition is essential for the Orthodox Church. For the same theological reasons the church-singing tradition is in need of revival now.

The ensemble of medieval church choir music "Sreteniye" ("Candlemas") was founded in 1990 in Kharkov, and originally consisted of the three graduates of Kharkov institute of beaux arts, who were joined together by the love of early church choir music. This love was not caused by the exotic character of the early praise and worship songs, but by the deeper accordance of this kind of singing with a spirit of prayer. Well-known Greek protopsalt L. Angelopoulos gave invaluable help to the ensemble "Sretenye". Not only he supplemented the repertoire of the choir with a number of very rare ancient praise and worship songs, but also what is the most important he shared his knowledge of Byzantine singing characteristic features.

The ensemble, consisting of three to five singers, takes part in Divine services, participates in festivals of church choir music, and gives concerts. In 1993 the choir became the winner of Archdeacon K. Rosov Moscow international festival, and in 1999 and 2000 - grand prix winner of all-Ukrainian church festival of choirs "Glas Pecherski " in Kiev.



to write a review

David Cundy

Excellent CD
The producer has gone to a lot of trouble to match the sound quality of each of the singers. The recording venue has a wonderful acoustic, the tuning was near perfect and the performance style was totally authentic. Mens' voices have a sombre quality which can't be matched by boys or women's voices, albeit beautiful in their own right. The pieces which employed a cantus firmus contained exquisite harmonies, delightful to the ear. The entire CD gives us a glimpse of how music was performed by ancient Byzantine, Georgian and Russian monks in the middle ages. Highly recommended.


the Desert Fathers must have sounded like this...beautiful and haunting...

johanna from amsterdam

music from heaven
With singing monks you never know what you're going to get. Sometimes the monks use recording equipment from the middle ages, they may sing out of tune or they may not start and finish at the same time. That will all sound very authentic, of course, but it's not the best listening experience. On this cd, the singing is good and the sound is fantastic, straight from heaven!


Very nice sounds--incredible. I enjoyed it. Thank you very much for providing this most excellent CD.


Really Lovely
A beautifl introduction to chant. A lovely melding of faith and voice.

mike ramsay

excellent compilation, great voices, great production
excellent disc to fill musical gaps in university course I teach. Very well sung and well produced. Very enjoyable for me but especially for someone with a marginal interest in choirs/chants. Good music done well.

Angelo N.

Right now this is the most amazing music I have ever heard.