Posts tagged ‘balalaika’

March 30, 2014

2014-03-30 Notes from the Bench

“Nunc dimitis” by Alexander Gretchaninov

A commentary on this week’s music by Dr. James T. Gerber, Music Associate

Alexander Gretchaninov (1864-1956) composed sacred choral music for the Russian Orthodox Church, writing settings of the liturgy, hymn cycles, motets and various other shorter works. He worked with other composers of the era such as Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) and Pavel Chesnokov (1877-1944) who were associated with the Moscow Synodal School, an organization that taught music for the Church in Russia, which influenced Gretchaninov’s writing style. Gretchaninov’s works utilize chant-like melodies and the rich palette of choral textures that are commonly associated with Russian choral music; music that ranges from stark unisons to the “choral symphonism” style written with eight and twelve diverse parts.

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