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Alexander Shchetynsky

Svit vo otkrovenie (Light to Lighten)
Sacred Cantata for Unaccompanied Mixed Choir and Two Bells
(1989)

Text: prayers of the Orthodox Church (in Old Slavonic)

1. Otche nash (Our Farther)
2. Pisn' Presvyatoy Bogoroditse (Song to Holy Virgin)
3. Nyni otpushchayeshy (Now Lettest Thou)
4. Viruyu (Credo)

The first version of this work appeared as far back as 1983, that is before Gorbachev's "perestroika" when everything associated with sacred subject in the art was actually forbidden in the Soviet Union. I set to music three Orthorox prayers: Our Farther, Song to Holy Virgin and Now Lettest Thou. At that time there were no chances to perform this choir cycle because of ideological restriction, so I put the score aside and flashed in back in 1989 when I rewrote allmost the whole piece and added the final movement Credo. Now the work looked like brief choir symphony. I do not think this music might be utilized at the Divine Service. It's sacred music intended for the concert performance. Its character, sound atmosphere, sometimes the type of music themes are inspired by the Orthodox Church tradition, but the ways of elaboration of the material, the music form and texture, and other features are directly linked to chamber and symphonic culture and practice. Sacred and secular make here a synthesis. In Western music such synthesis had a brilliant history, but in countries with strong Orthodox tradition, the Ukraine among them, this trend is quite young and just makes its first steps.

Cantata was premiered in 2004 in Uzhhorod by the choir Cantus conducted by Emil Szokacz.

Alexander Shchetynsky


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2007 by Alexander Shchetynsky