Why We Must Sing to Preserve: A Russian Example

I’m deeply moved by this spontaneous performance last month of Kedrov’s Pater Noster in St Peter and St Paul orthodox Cathedral (St Petersburg, Russian Federation), where the mortal remains of Czar Nicholas II and family rest. Here is a Latin edition.

5 Replies to “Why We Must Sing to Preserve: A Russian Example”

  1. Very nice! I love Russian basses. At a previous parish, a priest in residence was Ukrainian and the head of this institute in Ottawa. I did three Divine liturgies with him, completely sung, in English (mostly), and it was hugely formative in my understanding of solemn liturgy. The music was very simple, usually harmonized like this example, and with very simple harmonies. It does Roman Catholics much good to see these preserved traditions, I think!

  2. A nice rendition and great setting. The music is actually by Nikolai Kedrov, Sr (1871-1940). This arrangement of the Church Slavonic 'Pater noster' was made famous in the West by Sergei Jaroff's Don Cossack Choir in the 1930s and is a staple of Slavic Orthodox choirs worlwide.

  3. It is strange to call it a Slavonic Pater Noster! just call it "Otce Nas," which is what it is.

    This setting is done all over the place–in Slavic Orthodox churches, that is. I love it. Never heard it with only men before, but–! Russian basses ftw.

  4. Actually, it's not that strange in some circles to give liturgical music its equivalent Latin name. For example, Bortnyansky's "Tebe Bogu khvalim" is very comminly called "Bortnyansky's 'Te Deum'" and I have seen the individual pieces of various classical compositions for the Divine Liturgy referred to by their Latin equivalents. But I digress. I just wanted to note that there is a nifty Latin version of this "Otche nash" available on cpdl, here .

    As for basses, I suggest not even trying to sing this piece with low baritones! Go find an errant East Slav who has trouble singing above middle C. While I appreciate the polish of various Western choirs who have recently turned to singing Slavic Orthodox sacred music, the overall sound usually misses the prominent bass underpinning and thereby one of its essential elements.

    Thanks for the post, Jeff! I takes me back to the days when I sang with the Russian Chorus (low baritone … meh…).

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