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A. Shadrina

Choral concertos of the Divine Liturgy: a passing tradition

The article is devoted to the liturgical tradition of performing sacred choral concerts in Russian Orthodox churches to be formed during the second half of the 18th–19th centuries. The practical conditionality of this tradition is revealed and correlated with the need for liturgical actions in the altar, which are performed by the clergy after the Eucharist. In this regard, the predominant use of the cyclic three-part form by composers in these works is substantiated. Sacred concertos for a century and a half were a traditional component of the festive divine services performed in the cathedral temples of the Russian Orthodox Church. The abundance of choral compositions belong to this genre favored their performances during Divine Liturgies on Sundays, which stimulated the maintenance of a high professional level of choristers and precentors. According to the researcher, the analysis of the texts chosen by composers to create sacred concertos allows correcting the widespread identification of the latter as para-liturgical compositions: the vast majority of these texts belong to the liturgical sphere (psalms, stichera, kontakia). The repertoire list of these concertos, based on the study of many-years liturgical practice of the Blessed Virgin Maria Nativity (Rostov-on-Don), testifies that in connection with Easter, the Twelfth and Great Feasts, works by A. Vedel, D. Bortnyansky and S. Degtyarev usually were performed. In some cases, if the absence of appropriate concertos by the listed composers was revealed, the works by G. Sarti, A. F. Titz, S. Davydov, A. Arkhangelsky and the priest G. Izvekov were drawn in. The tradition of performing sacred concertos during festive services remained unshakable in the cathedral temples of the Russian Orthodox Church until the end of the 1990s. At present, under the influence of a number of circumstances (in particular, the predominance of precentors who were formed outside this tradition), the liturgical function of such compositions is either “minimized”, or become a thing of the past, which negatively affects the professional skills of our country church choirs.

Key words

genre of sacred choral concerto in Russia, liturgical tradition of performing sacred concertos, para-liturgical genres, Rostov Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Maria Nativity, sасred concertos by A. Vedel, D. Bortnyansky, S. Degtyarev.

For citation

Shadrina A. Choral concertos of the Divine Liturgy: a passing tradition // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2022. No. 3. Pp. 71-78.