P s a l t i k i promotes the advancement of the Hellenic Psaltic Art, also known as Byzantine and post-Byzantine Chant, and Hymnology by facilitating, cultivating and supporting its academic study, as well as initiating projects that transmit this venerable chant heritage.
Chanters in recent recordings include Peter Elgohary, Paul Bilson, Thomas Carroll, Nicolaus Garyphallou and Konstantinos Terzopoulos!
The newest EP contains three Greek chants from 14th- and 15th-century Byzantium. They were chanted directly from Chourmouzius Chartophylax's 19th-century manuscript transcriptions from the Metochion of the All-holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem.
All three chants are for use in the Greek Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great and are compositions of some of the most renowned Byzantine melodists, Xenos Korones, Joannes Koukouzeles and Joannes Kladas.
The featured chant, a magnificat to the Mary, the Mother of God, "In thee, O full of grace, all creation doth rejoice," in Mode IV Plagal by Xenos Korones (fl. ca. 1325- 1350) is a masterpiece of Byzantine melic composition. Special to this performance is the fact that the hymns is chanted in its entirety; normal contemporary practice is to chant on the second half in an abridged form. To our knowledge this is the first time the entire hymn has ever been recorded: a worldwide premiere, if you will. This hymn is chanted during the great commemorations after the anaphora in the Divine Liturgy. The melodic scheme runs between the first and fourth plagal modes, offering a number of bursts into the upper tetrachord ranges.
The next chant is an Alleluiarion in Mode I Plagal by the infamous "maestor," Joannes Koukouzeles (fl. ca. 1300-1350). The alleluiaria are chanted between the Epistle and Gospel readings, during which the deacons would cense the Church. This particular composition is especially uplifting, giving the sense of the expectant revelation to come in the appointed lexionary.
The final piece is a classic communion hymns, known as a "koinonikon." It is chanted while the clergy commune within the altar and behind the beautiful Byzantine icon screens, while the faithful prepare themselves to receive the holy Mystery. It is taken from Psalm 148 and the title is the first word in Greek, 'aineite': "Praise the Lord from the heavens." The verse is followed by another alleluiarion. A most beautiful composition by another Byzantine chant master, Joannes Kladas (fl. ca. 1400), it literally takes the listener into the heavens with the classical Mode I Tetraphonos progressions and phrases.
This EP digital offering is the third from the Psaltiki Ministry of Chant. The Psaltiki Ministry of Chant label is an activity of Psaltiki, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the Byzantine Chant heritage. The name, "psaltiki," is itself the Greek word for chant. All proceeds from the sales go supporting the organization's activities.
Paul Bilson, Thomas Carroll, Peter Elgohary,
Rev Fr Nicolaus Garyphallou, Rev Dr Konstantinos Terzopoulos
KORONES / KOUKOUZELES / KLADAS was recorded by Psaltiki at Benton Park and Red Pill Studios in St Louis, Missouri and Aegina Island at sessions between 2010 - 2012. Produced by K Terzopoulos and published by Psaltiki, Inc. Copyright by Psaltiki, Inc. © 2013. All proceeds are received by Psaltiki, Inc., a 501(c)(3) in the State of Florida; final mastering by Jacob Detering at Red Pill. The production of this ep digital recording was graciously underwritten by the Anastasia Marie Chehak Foundation in loving memory of her grandmother, Maria Louizou Thomas of the island of Samos, Greece
These hymns of the Byzantine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great were chanted from digital photographs of the Metochion of the Holy Sepulchre in Constantinople manuscripts 704 and 705 now in the National Library of Greece, finished by Chourmouzios in 1829. Front cover icon is used courtesy of the Sacred Monastery of St Xenophontos, Monastic Republic of Mount Athos: Panagia Glykophilousa he Kecharitomene (XIIIth C)
Psaltiki, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to offering knowledge, resources and visibility in service of the promotion and advancement of the study of the Byzantine chant heritage. Dedicated to enriching and informing the psaltic culture in America and beyond; Psaltiki strives to cultivate a spirit of excellence worthy of this great musical inheritance and the benefits it provides to the Church’s liturgical life and the arts.