DEP-GOC PSALTIKI -Interesting Video
Byzantine Chant and the HIP movement
Sun, Jun 5, 2016 at 5:28 AM
Christ is risen
Christus Resurrexit! As many know, I have a particular interest in a wide spectrum of early music performance practice (the so-called Historically Informed Performance Practice [HIP] movement), as I believe that many of the principles found in the rendering of early music up to the 17th and early 18th Centuries have a number of relevant corollaries in the rendering of classical Byzantine liturgical chants.
I located this video recently of a group called Cappella Pratensis
The music is lovely to listen to. While the music is not obviously from an Eastern Orthodox or Byzantine received tradition (and to note, it IS a concert, not a liturgical service of any kind), there were a couple of things I thought visually striking. 1.) the size of the ensemble is significantly smaller than one would imagine for a choir singing polyphony as well as chant & 2.) the arrangement of the ensemble is, in itself, very similar to how, particularly, Byzantine chant choirs arrange themselves -i.e. in a semicircle around the director (precenter, protopsaltis, what have you...), and a central liturgical music book, rather than what has become a standard modern arrangement for choirs. It was my thought that the physical arrangement looks, in and of itself, distinctively liturgical, as opposed the often all too familiar arrangement where the choir itself is a physical outlier in the services (i.e. in a loft, and such). At any rate ... food for a lively discussion, I hope!
Truly the Lord is risen!
John Peter Presson, Dip. Theo. HC -Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Etna & Portland
Director of Music -Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Cathedral, Portland, OR