The Hymns of the Armenian Church (Christmas) (1998)
Armenian Christmas Hymns (1998)
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Classical/Choral/Sacred | Label: Armenian Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church has a wealth of spiritual chants known as sharakans. In the course of the centuries have grown in number. The collection of hymns in the Armenian Church is called Sharaknots (Hymnal). Our blessed holy fathers, founders of the literature of translation, along with translating the Old and New Testaments, introduced' Armenian Christian Hymnology and initiated Armenian national church music. The first sharakans were written as early as 5th century AD. Some of the most inspired and multiple talented sharakan writers, who were responsive for the composition of words and melodies combined, are St. Mesrop Mashtotz, St. Moses Khorenatzi, and Patriarchs Sahak and Partev.
While the context of the sharakans is the bible, they mostly praise the saints of the church. The Canticle sharakan (Orhtnootioun) is chanted in the course of the Nocturnal Hour. The Patrum (Hartz), followed by the Magnificat (Medzatzoustzeh), Miserere (Voghormia), Laudate (Der Herknitz), and Pueri (Mankoonk), are sharakans chanted during Malins. The Jashoo Sharakan is particular to the synaxis and thus belongs to the Divine Liturgy. The Levavi (Hambartzi) is chanted during Vespers.
All Magnificats of the Armenian Church hymnal are dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary the Theotokos. In the Armenian Church the sharakans are sung in accordance with the medieval eight modes of Armenian music.
The most ancient among the sharakans are composed without rhymes. In the 11th century Patriarcft Kersess the Graceful contributed to a great extent to the development of sharakans with verse. Famous authority of Armenian Church sharakans Hovhan Mandakoni, Sahak Tzoraporetzi, Anania Shirakatzi, Nersess of Lambron, and many others. In addition to sharakans with pan Chrislian content there are sharakans associated with strictly Armenian life, praising national saints and their deeds. Examples are King Dertad, who declared Christianity as the state religion in Armenia in 301 AD, as well as the heroic Vartan the Commander, who inspired the Armenian people to wage a war against Persian authorities for the sake of Jesus and for the sake of the fatherland. Nersess the Graceful's patriotic chants Hishetzook (Let us evoke) and Zartik (Awake) formerly were written for Armenian soldiers who defended the fortress of Romkla against the adversaries. These chants gained entrance in the Armenian Church sharakans later.
The sharakans that have reached us today are written in the Khaz system of Armenian notation. New Armenian notation applied to sharakans by N. Tashjian and E. Dundesian have been printed. The former was transcribed in 1874 Based on what Cathoticos Georg IV had chanted. The Cotter was written in Constantinople in 1869 - 71.
Generally in their specimens the sharakans express clarity of musical thought. In their simplicity and variety of content the sharakans are endowed with obvious artistic merits. In Nersess the Graceful supplicatory sharakan Vogharmootiantz bashkhogh there is a musical phrase which is present in the song Groong, oosdi gookas.
The first Sharaknots (collection) with Armenian Khtaz notation was printed in Amsterdam. The next printing was in Vaghrshabad, currently Etchmiadzin, in 1875. Sharakans in European musical score were written in Venice during 1954 - 1971. Today there are approximately 2000 sharakans kept in the Mesrob Mashtolz Library in Yerevan, Armenia.
In this work the choraf and solo sharakans are dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary the Theotokos, to the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to national and historic events. One such an event is the coming 1700 years celebration of the establishment of the Armenian Christian Orthodox Church . Fr. Mesrob Benlian dedicates this work to the advent of this great historic moment for the Armenian Church. We hope that this collection of the Armenian Church's songs and hymns wilt add value to the libraries of both Armenian and non-Armenian lovers of music.
Concudtor: Fr. Mesrob Benlian
Featuring: Bulgarian National A Cappclla Choir under the direction of Mr. Bedros Papazian.
Soloists: Fr. Mesrob Benlian, Alis Bovarian.
Organist: Velin Iliev.
1. Qristos tsnav ev haitnetsav (3:13)
2. Khorurd mets ev sqancheli (5:20)
3. Zantchareli luso mair (2:41)
4. Sarsapheli hoghmo nman (2:45)
5. Orhneceq goveceq (1:37)
6. Nor Sion tsneal mankunq (3:10)
7. Surb Astvatsatsin (2:06)
8. Tsatskeal khorhurdn tsanucav (2:26)
9. Luis i luso (1:44)
10. Achqn tsov i tsov (6:21)
11. Ov zarmanali (3:17)
12. Hishescuq i gisheri (3:15)
13. Aisor erknainq urakhutyun (1:52)
14. Surb es Ter zorutyanc (4:53)
15. Urakh ler surb ekegheci (2:29)
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