Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Byzantine Catholic Chants

Here is a page of mp3s of Byzantine Catholic chant music.
Liturgical chant is, above all, sung chant - and sung chant is best learned by hearing. We hope that the following recordings may provide both instruction and edification. Note that not all use the current English translations and music, and some of the Church Slavonic settings follow the Papp Irmologion rather than the Bokšai Prostopinije.

Most of the clips use English lyrics, and it's a really good choir. Professional-sounding, in fact. Maybe this is a seminary or something, not sure. I'm interested in all kinds and styles of chant, so here it is. A good example of what you'll hear is this First Antiphon for Sunday. This is at lot like Eastern Orthodox chant, but has elements of Western chant, too - it's lighter and more tuneful than most Orthodox chant I've heard, and doesn't use that low, low bass line.

At the bottom of the page, you'll find some music for Mattins and Vespers. Here's the chant of Psalm 103, "music in the Order of Vespers for Sundays after Pentecost," the festal melody. Quite pretty. There's really a ton of stuff over there, so enjoy.

Hat tip to Alexis Tančibok (who, if s/he has a blog, did not link it).


Ca said...

An absolutely beautiful and well maintained site. Grazie!

bls said...

Thanks very much. Come by anytime!


Julie Dursin said...

hi, I came across this blog while looking for the words to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53KPtlTqRc8 it is number 11 on this CD: http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7044736 I was very moved by it, and would wish to learn how to sing it (I did learn Russian before so slavic language is not a problem). Could you help me find it?

bls said...

Hi Julie. I'm sorry, but I'm really only very familiar with Western Chant - I post what I find and like from the East, but I'm almost clueless about it in any depth.

You're right - that is a beautiful song! I'm going to try to find the words, but can't guarantee anything. I'm good with web search, though, so you never know....


I'll come back here and post again, whatever the outcome. Thanks for coming by!

bls said...

Hi again. We're in luck, at least a little.

This chant is at least based on "Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Gospoda," from Psalm 104, "Bless the Lord O my soul." It's the first antiphon at Orthodox Vespers, from what I know and have read. (I have posted something on this text before, actually!)

I haven't found a complete set of the words sung on your video yet, but here are the words from Rachmaninoff's "All-Night Vespers" (which does use a truncated version of the lyrics anyway). As you will see, the text on your video is much longer, and words are missing from the below. But it's a start, at least! I'll continue to search for the full text.

BLAGOSLOVI, DUSHE MOYA, GOSPODA, blagosloven esi, Gospodi.
Gospodi Bozhe moy, vozvelichilsya esi zelo.
Blagosloven esi, Gospodi.
Vo ispovedaniye i v velelepotu obleklsya esi.
Blagosloven esi, Gospodi.
Na gorakh stanut vody. Divna dela Tvoya, Gospodi.
Posrede gor proydut vody. Divna dela Tvoya, Gospodi
Vsya premudristiyu sotvoril esi.
Slava Ti, Gospodi, sotvorivshemu vsya.

BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL, blessed art thou, O Lord.
O Lord my God, thou art very great.
Thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
Blessed art thou, O Lord.
The waters stand upon the mountains.
Marvellous are thy works, O Lord.
In wisdom hast thou made all things.
Glory to thee, O Lord, who hast created all.


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