Easter 2015

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Program: #15-14   Air Date: Mar 30, 2015

Holy Week chant from both the Eastern and Western traditions, and a rare Passion from late 16th century Germany.


I. Good Friday in Jerusalem (Capella Romana/Alexander Lingas). CR413-CD.

For more information: http://www.cappellaromana.org/

Good Friday In Jerusalem: Medieval Byzantine Chant from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

In the year 637 AD the orthodox Christian Patriarch Sophronios (d. 638) surrendered Byzantine Jerusalem to the Arab Caliph Umar, inaugurating a period of Muslim rule in the Holy City that would last until its conquest by Latin Crusaders in 1099. Although subject to tribute, Jerusalem’s Christian inhabitants retained the right to continue celebrating both for themselves and for visiting pilgrims their distinctive forms of worship. These services made extensive use of the shrines associated with life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that had been created with imperial patronage in the years that followed the official legitimation of Christianity by Roman Emperor Constantine I in 313.

Constantine and his mother Helen had sponsored the most important of these edifices: the cathedral complex of the Holy Sepulchre built on the accepted site of Jesus’ crucifixion and entombment. Its major components were a large basilica (the Martyrium), an inner atrium incorporating the hill of Golgotha, the Rotunda of the Anastasis (Resurrection) over Christ’s tomb, and a baptistry. Egeria, a Spanish pilgrim of the late fourth century, describes in her diary how every week the clergy, monastics, and laity of late fourth-century Jerusalem would gather on Saturday evening and Sunday morning to remember the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus with readings, prayers, and psalmody performed at historically appropriate locations within the cathedral compound. These same events of sacred history were commemorated annually in a more elaborate fashion during Great and Holy Week, which climaxed with Easter Sunday (Pascha). Holy Week services in Jerusalem incorporated the buildings on Golgotha into a larger system of stational liturgy that made full use of the city’s sacred topography.


Cathedral complex of the Holy Selpulchre, 4th c.


Cathedral complex of the Holy Selpulchre, 4th c.

The musical repertories created for worship in the Holy City developed gradually over the centuries out of patterns of interaction between the secular (urban church) and monastic singers of Jerusalem and those of other ecclesiastical centres. Monks from the monastery founded by St Sabas (439–532) in the desert southeast of Jerusalem became active participants in worship at the Holy Sepulchre, which maintained a resident colony of ascetics later known as the spoudaioi. Responsorial and antiphonal settings of biblical psalms and canticles formed the base of cathedral and monastic liturgical repertories. Palestinian poet-singers subsequently increased the number, length, and musical complexity of the refrains sung between the biblical verses, leading by the sixth century (and possibly earlier) to the creation of hymnals organised according to a system of eight musical modes (the Octoechos). The contents of the earliest hymnbooks from Jerusalem are preserved today only in Armenian and Georgian translations.


Great and Holy Friday in Jerusalem (Typikon of the Anastasis)
Medieval Byzantine Chant from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Alexander Lingas, artistic director and soloist
Stelios Kontakiotis, principal soloist
Spyridon Antonopoulos, John Michael Boyer, Constantine Kokenes, Mark Powell, melodists
Theodor Dumitrescu, David Krueger, Adam Steele, David Stutz, isokrates
Ioannis Arvanitis, performing editions

1 Ἀντίφωνον Αʹ Ἦχος πλ. δʹ Antiphon 1 in Mode Plagal 4  4:47
Ἄρχοντες λαῶν συνήχθησαν / Λόγον παράνομον / Τὰς αἰσθήσεις ἡμῶν
Rulers of the peoples / They laid a lawless charge / Let us bring our senses
At the Pavement (Lithostroton) in Hagia Sophia

2 Ἀντίφωνον ΙΕʹ Ἦχος πλ. βʹ Antiphon 15 in Mode Plagal 2 5:46
Σήμερον κρεμᾶται ἐπὶ ξύλου, ὁ ἐν ὕδασι τὴν γῆν κρεμάσας
Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a Tree
Ὁ Σταυρός σου Κύριε / Your Cross, Lord
In Procession to Golgotha (the Place of the Skull)

3 Εἰς τὴν λιτὴν στιχηρόν Ἦχος πλ. δ ́ Processional Sticheron in Mode Plagal 4 3:02
Ὁ ἐν Ἐδὲμ Παράδεισος / The Paradise in Eden
At Golgotha

4 Τριῴδιον Ἦχος πλ. β ́ Ποίημα Κοσμᾶ Μοναχοῦ (8 ος αἰώνας) ᾨδὴ ε ́ 5:05
Three-Ode Kanon (Triodion) in Mode Plagal 2 by Kosmas the Melodist (8th c.) Ode 5
Κοντάκιον εἰς τὸ Πάθος τοῦ Κυρίου, Ρωμανοῦ τοῦ Μελωδοῦ (6 ος αἰώνας) Ἦχος πλ. δ ́
Kontakion on the Passion of the Lord, by Romanos the Melodist (6th c.) Mode Plagal 4

5 Syllabic melody 1:42

6 Psaltikon melody Stelios Kontakiotis, domestikos 5:39

7 ᾨδὴ η ́ Ode 8 8:06

8 ᾨδὴ θ ́ Ode 9 5:27

9 Ἐξαποστειλάριον αὐτόμελον Ἦχος γ ́ Exaposteilarion automelon in Mode 3 1:10
Τὸν Λῃστὴν αὐθημερόν / O Lord, who on that very day

10 Αἴνοι Ἦχος δ ́ Lauds (Psalms 148–50, selected verses) in Mode 4  4:54
John Michael Boyer, Stelios Kontakiotis, domestikoi

11 Στιχηρὸν Προσόμοιον Ἦχος δ ́ Ἔδωκας σημείωσιν 2:16
Sticheron prosomoion in Mode 4,
[to the melody] You have given us a sign
Ὅτε σε σταυρούμενον, ἡ κτίσις πᾶσα ἑώρακεν / When all creation saw you crucified
Στιχηρά Ἰδιόμελα Θεοφάνους τοῦ Πρωτοθρόνου (9 ος αἰῶνας)
Stichera idiomela by Theophanes Protothronos (9th c.)

12 Πᾶσα ἡ Κτίσις / All creation was changed Ἦχος α ́ Mode 1 2:20

13 Λαὸς δυσσεβὴς καὶ παράνομος / Impious and lawless people Ἦχος β ́ Mode 2 4:06

14 Στιχηρὸν Ἰδιόμελον Ἦχος β ́ Λέοντος ΣΤ ́ τοῦ Σοφοῦ (866–912) 3:17

Sticheron idiomelon in Mode 2 by Leo VI the Wise (866–912)

Ἐπὶ ξύλου βλέπουσα / When she saw you (hanging on a cross)

15 Στιχηρὸν Ἰδιόμελον Ἦχος γ ́ Βυζαντίου 4:23
Sticheron idiomelon in Mode 3 by Byzantios
Δύο καὶ πονηρὰ ἐποίησεν / Israel my firstborn son

16 Δοξαστικόν ἧχος ὁ αὐτός τοῦ Στουδίτου (9 ος αἰ.;) 5:02
Doxastikon in the same mode by a Stoudite (9th c.?)
Ἕκαστον μέλος τῆς ἁγίας σου σαρκός / Each member of your holy flesh
At the Chapel of the Holy Custody (Hagia Phylake)

17 Προκείμενον Ἦχος πλ. α ́ Prokeimenon in Mode Plagal 1  7:33
Σύ, Κύριε, φυλάξαις ἡμᾶς / May you, Lord, guard us
Mark Powell, deacon; Stelios Kontakiotis, domestikos
total time 74:38
In Procession to the Mount of Olives

CD Info