David Luca – OCP News Service – 5/12/16
Minneapolis, Minn. – St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral here is pleased to announce the release of their new recording featuring selections of hymns and carols celebrating the feast of our Lord’s Nativity.
The nearly 60-minute disc includes settings of many popular favorites from the Nativity services celebrated in the Orthodox Church, along with some hymns never before recorded in English. According to Deacon Gregory Ealy, the cathedral’s music director, “This recording does something other Christmas recordings have not attempted. It presents Orthodox hymnography from the liturgical year that foreshadows and prepares the Church for the incarnation of Christ.”
The disc includes hymns from the feast of the Annunciation (March 25), St. Andrew (November 30), St. Nicholas (December 6), and selections of prefestal chants. Tracks are also included from the festal vigil and divine liturgy including the troparion (cathedral chant), kontakion (Bortniansky) and communion hymn (Carpatho-Russian chant).
“In a very real way, this recording takes the listener on a liturgical journey from the Annunciation to Christmas by way of the Church’s hymnography,” Deacon Gregory said.
The disc also features a variety of carols – many familiar to those with Slavic ancestry – and concludes with four carols composed by American Orthodox composers, reflecting the beauty and richness of Orthodox Christianity in 21st century North America.
According to Dr. Vladimir Morosan of Musica Russica, “This enjoyable CD is a marvelous documentary of the venerable traditions of St Mary’s Choir, one of the longest-standing Orthodox church choirs in North America.”
The cathedral’s choir is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2016, and the recording is the newest in a long line of recordings and public performances from the 70+ member mixed ensemble. The choir’s men’s chorale recently presented a benefit concert for St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and the full choir will be presenting its annual Advent concert on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at 7 pm in the historic cathedral, located at 1701 5th Street NE, Minneapolis, MN. The concert is free and open to the public.
A sampler of the CD is available here (http://stmarysoca.org/choir.html) along with a link to purchase the disc for $18 + shipping and handling. Bookstore discounts are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a promo code.