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Title: Alleluia...Behold the Bridegroom

Composer: Kievan Chant, Anonymous 18th-c. harmonization

About the Music:
Some Orthodox hymns carry powerful "signals": hearing just a few notes of them elicits in the hearer an immediate response. "Alleluia... Behold, the Bridegroom" is one such hymn. The minute one hears it, one KNOWS that another Great and Holy Week has come.
The version that opens Archangel Voices' "Lamentations" CD obviously caught the ear of others, even non-Orthodox listeners. Upon hearing this arrangement sung by the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir, the Canadian folk singer Loreena McKennitt, was so struck by it that she used it for the opening and closing of her song "Dante's Prayer" on her CD The Book of Secrets.
We took this simple arrangement and "orchestrated" it in a manner similar to that of the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir on their Russian Easter CD. The first several phrases are sung by the men's voices, but on the last two phrases, beginning with the words "but rouse yourself, crying..." the women's voices come in, first like an overtone, and then joining the angelic exclamation "Holy! Holy! Holy!"
The sheet music can be downloaded here.