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Title: Canon Ode 3, Nativity of Christ

Composer: Byzantine Chant and Russian “Greek” Chant, arr. J. Suchy-Pilalis/V. Morosan

About the Music:
The winter feasts of the Nativity of Christ and the Theophany are sometimes referred to as "the Winter Pascha." In her hymnography, the Church makes a very clear connection between the Nativity of Christ and Pascha. Nowhere is the parallel heard more clearly than in the Canons (Kanons) of the two feasts, especially when they are sung in their chant forms, rather than free compositions. (E.g., the parallel is not so obvious if one is accustomed to hearing Vedel's Paschal Canon and Allemanov's Canon for the Nativity.)
The musical similarities between the two Byzantine Canons, as set by master Byzantine composer Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, are clear. Likewise, in my settings of the two Canons in Russian "Greek" Chant, I used similar voice leading and harmonization techniques to underscore the fact that both are from the same "opus," so to speak--God's merciful and saving interaction with mankind. Portions of the Paschal Canon, in both the unison Byzantine and harmonized versions, are recorded by Archangel Voices on their CD entitled "Resurrection!"
In juxtaposing the two versions we demonstrate that both musical settings can "work" in a given musical circumstance, such as a parish where there are people accustomed to both chant and choral styles of singing. We also show that both styles can be effectively sung by a choral group of mixed voices.
The sheet music for Vladimir Morosan's complete setting of the Heirmoi of the Nativity Canon in Russian "Greek" Chant can be downloaded here. The Canon setting uses Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash)'s translation from the original Greek.
Jessica Suchy-Pilalis's setting of the same Canon in Byzantine Chant is forthcoming.