Fall  Program


Light from  the East


 1. Slava                                                                                  Folk Song, arr. Aleksandr Dmitriyevich Kastalsky (1856-1926)


2. Bogorodyitsye Dyevo                                                                                                                     G. Fredrick Guzasky

Songs of the Church


3. Svyati Bozhe                                                                                      Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) arr. Guzasky


4. Svyetye Tyikhii                                                                                                      Aleksandr Arkhangelsky (1846-1924)


5. Taste and See                                                                                                          Archpriest Sergei Glagolev (1927- )

          Heather Gallagher, soprano 

 6. Otche Nash                                                                                         Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)


7. Kheruvyimskaya Pyesn’                                                                               Dmitro Stepanovich Bortniansky (1752-1825)


8. The Beatitudes                                                                                                                Greek Chant, arr. Anonymous


 9.  Da Ispravyitsya                                                                                                                                            Tchaikovsky

          Carol Cybulska and Heather Gallagher, soprano; Donna Ames, alto


In Honor of the Mother of God

10. O Virgin Pure                                                                                                                                    Byzantine Chant

11. Bogorodyitsye Dyevo                                                                                  Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

For Special Days

12. Troparion of the Holy Icon                                                                                                                            Guzasky

13. Dance of Isaiah                                                                                                                                              Guzasky


Folk Songs

14. Shchedrik                                                                            Folk Song, arr. Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (1877-1921)

15. Kalyinka                                                                                                                     Folk Song, arr. Vadim Prokhorov


Holy Pascha

16. The Angel Cried to the Lady Full of Grace                                                      Miliy Alexeyevich Balakirev (1837-1910)

17. Khryistos Voskryesye                                                                                                                                    Kastalsky


The Composers


ARKHANGELSKY, Aleksandr (1846-1924) One of the earliest composers of the Moscow School that sought to return to the roots of Russian Orthodox church music, Arkhangelsky trained in St. Petersburg and began conducting at age 16. When he met resistance to using music less European in nature, he formed his own choir, the Arkhangelsky Choir, and took them on tour across Russia and Europe. His was the first Russian liturgical choir to employ women singers instead of boys for the higher parts. All his compositions are choral works, and in addition to writing liturgical music, he arranged folk songs and romances. After the Bolshevik Revolution, he emigrated to Prague. A two-CD set remastered from recordings made by the Arkhangelsky Choir is currently available from Seraphim Records.


BALAKIREV, Miliy Alexeyevich (1837-1910) Balakirev’s musical talents surfaced at a very early age and he was fortunate to obtain the notice of patrons that could provide a musical education otherwise unavailable to the son of a poor clerk in Nizhny Novgorod, a major center of trade. He was eventually able to study under Glinka in St. Petersburg. Most of Balakirev’s compositions are orchestral rather than vocal. His style fused traditional folk music with experimental classical music. Although he completed relatively few compositions himself, he had a profound influence on such major figures in Russian music as Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky.


BORTNIANKSY, Dmitro Stepanovich (1751-1825) As a young choir boy in Ukraine, Bortniansky exhibited such strong musical talents that he was sent to St. Petersburg to join the Imperial Chapel Choir. The Italian director of the choir trained the young Bortniansky, and took him for several years of further education when he returned to Italy. Among his early compositions there were three operas, and sacred works in both Latin and German. He returned to St. Petersburg in his late twenties and continued composing operas (in French), instrumental works, and art songs. His liturgical works for the Orthodox Church combined Eastern and Western styles; some incorporated the Venetian polychoral techniques he had learned while abroad. He eventually rose to become director of the Imperial Chapel Choir, the first native of the Russian Empire to hold that post. Tchaikovsky’s edition of this prolific composer’s sacred works filled ten volumes. According to the writer James Blish, one of Bortniansky’s German hymns became the graduation march for classes at the Starfleet Academy.


GLAGOLEV, Archpriest Sergei (1927- ) The son of an archpriest and composer, of a family that had served the Orthodox Church in Russia for at least twenty generations, Fr. Sergei began singing in church choirs at a very early age. After studying music at Oberlin, he enrolled at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and New York University, obtaining an NYU degree in Music Education and a Divinity degree from the seminary. His father was one of the early composers to recognize the necessity for the Orthodox Church here in America to transition from Church Slavonic to English in its services, and Fr. Sergei continued the work of preparing English versions of service texts using both traditional Russian chants and music by Russian composers, in addition to creating many new compositions. A collection of his original compositions was assembled and published by PSALM Music Press in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fr. Sergei’s ordination to the priesthood.


KASTALSKY, Aleksandr Dmitriyevich (1856-1926) The son of a protopresbyter (a rank above that of archpriest) and trained at the Moscow Conservatory, Kastalsky served as director of the church-sponsored Moscow Synodal School, a major center in Russia for the teaching of Russian Orthodox church music, and directed the Moscow Synodal Choir, which was attached to the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the Moscow Kremlin. He was a major figure in the Moscow School of composers, and had significant influence on Rachmaninoff, Grechaninov and Chesnokov. During this period just before the Russian Revolution, composers were turning away from an elaborate composition style heavily influenced by Western European music. They were instead creating new harmonizations for older Russian chants, especially the Znamenny chant melodies, and composing new music that was more modern in style while still echoing the sounds of chant. After the disbanding of the Synodal institutions under Soviet rule, Kastalsky turned to the study of folk music and produced many important choral works based on that genre. Our program includes pieces from each of these periods in his life. The Children’s Choir of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow has recorded Kastalsky’s settings for children’s voices of some of the texts of the Divine Liturgy.


LEONTOVYCH, Mykola Dmytrovych (1877-1921) The son of a Ukrainian village priest who was also a skillful musician, Leontovych received his first music lessons from his father. After attending a theological seminary, he taught music and voice, and was eventually able to further his studies in St. Petersburg. During Ukraine’s brief independence from Russia right after the Bolshevik Revolution, he taught at the Kiev Conservatory. He composed over 150 choral works in several different genres: arrangements of folk songs, liturgical works (including settings for the Divine Liturgy), cantatas, and art songs based on Ukrainian poetry. His quite original composition style featured rich harmonies and vocal polyphony.


PROKHOROV, Vadim Born in Russia, Prokhorov trained as a concert pianist, performing both with chamber-music groups and as a soloist. He served as assistant conductor for the Moscow Academic Stanislavsky Opera and taught at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. He is a feature writer, columnist and critic for various Connecticut newspapers and has contributed numerous articles on classical music to the Encyclopedia Americana. His choral works include both original compositions and arrangements of folk songs. He serves as one of the editors for Musica Russica, an organization devoted to publishing both Russian Orthodox and folk music and to making recordings of this music readily available.


RACHMANINOFF, Sergei Vasilievich (1873-1943) Rachmaninoff’s skills in composition were recognized early, when as a student at the St. Petersburg Conservatory he was awarded a gold medal for his one-act opera. His orchestral works are widely performed, and certainly better known than his liturgical compositions. His noble family was not particularly religious, so his exposure to Orthodoxy as a child was rather limited. His first major liturgical work included settings for the Divine Liturgy. However, the music was sufficiently untraditional in form that the church censors refused to allow its use in services. When he wrote music for the All-Night Vigil several years later, he used both chant melodies and original compositions that mimicked chants. These works were approved by the censors and today his Vigil (or Vespers as it is known in English) is the more often performed of the two. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Rachmaninoff emigrated to the United States, where he composed very little and earned his living as a concert pianist.


RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, Nikolai Andreyevich (1844-1908) is better known for his orchestral works and operas, frequently using fairy tales and folk tales as subjects, rather than religious compositions. He had little interest in music as a child, and began serious study only in his teens, after taking piano lessons meant to help him develop social skills and overcome shyness. His original nationalist style of composition was heavily influenced by his teacher Balakirev and others of Balakirev’s pupils, including Mussorgsky and Borodin. In his late twenties, as a faculty member at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Rimsky-Korsakov embarked on a rigorous study of Western European music, and his later works were particularly enriched by his study of Wagner. Among his students at the Conservatory were Glazunov, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Respighi. For much of his career he was involved with the military, first as a naval officer and later as a civilian Inspector of Naval Bands.


TCHAIKOVSKY, Pyotr Ilyich (1940-1893) The son of an engineer from a family with a long line of military service, Tchaikovsky’s musical talents emerged very early. Starting piano lessons at age five, he could read music as well as his teacher within three years. However, his parents lost interest in furthering his musical studies and sent him to the Imperial School of Jurisprudence to prepare for a career as a civil servant. Though the school did not offer much opportunity for music study, he attended theater and opera productions with other students, and was known to use the school’s harmonium after choir practice to impro­vise on themes just sung. After graduating and joining the civil service, Tchakovsky began studies at the then-new St. Petersburg Conservatory, abandoning his administrative career after three years for full-time music studies. Many of Tchaikovsky’s works are staples of the orchestral, ballet and opera repertoires. His liturgical works include settings for the Divine Liturgy and for Vespers.