The Athos of the North

The Monastic Choir of the Valaam Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. Precentor Hierodeacon German (Ryabtsev)

The Valaam Monastery has been called «The Athos of the North» even in the ancient times. Like the Holy Mount Athos it has become a «monastic country», where old liturgical rubrics and old traditions of church singing are being revived.

You will hear hymns of mostly Byzantine and Znamenny chants, different in structure and style of performance, but similar in their strictness. Even in the festive Paschal stanzas the joy is hidden under an outer austerity and asceticism.

The hymns recorded on the album give the listener a vivid impression of the peculiar style of monastic singing, which is distinctive by its simplicity and ingenuity and at the same time is cordial and sincere.

1. Ringing of church bells / Agni Parthene (St.Nectarius of Aegina) 0:00
2. Lord, I have cried unto Thee… (tone one *) 07:26
3. Dogmatic (tone one *) 09:27
4. O victorious leader of triumphant hosts (tone eight *) 12:43
5. Troparion for the Eve of the Nativity of Christ (tone four ***) 14:04
6. Onwards, Angelic Powers (tone six ****) 15:17
7. Stanza of the Ninth Hour for the Eve of the Nativity of Christ (tone six **) 16:46
8. The Great Doxology (tone three *) 21:40
9. A mercy of peace… (melody of St.Eliajah Skete, Mount Athos) 27:06
10. It is meet… (tone five *) 33:07
11. Kontakion of the Great Canon of St.Andrew of Crete (tone six *) 35:18
12. Helper and Protector (tone six **) 37:41 13. Behold, the Bridegroom comes… (tone eight **) 39:34
14. Open Thy fatherly embrace… (melody of the Laura of the Holy Trinity and St.Sergius) 41:59
15. God is with us (tone eight **) 44:38
16. Stanza for the Litia to Ss Sergius and Herman of Valaam (tone three **) 49:30
17. O Heavenly King (tone six **) 52:03
18. Let all mortal flesh keep silence ** 54:06
19. Paschal stanzas (tone five *) / Festal bell-ringing 01:03:37

* Byzantine chant
** Znamenny chant
*** Greek chant
**** Kievan chant

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