1. Thank you, Vlad, for a fantastic account of a wonderful achievement. As one of the singers on the recording, I can say you’ve captured the spirit and beauty of the piece, and I’m thrilled to see Kurt and Peter getting their due. Glory to God!

    Can you unpack this a bit? “As far as this writer knows, this is the first instance of an American Orthodox composer being tasked with creating a work of liturgical music in the English language.” No question that the idea of paying composers is important – thank you for emphasizing that! I hope people will listen. At the same time, this isn’t the first paid commission I’m aware of. Did you mean something more specific?

    Thank you again, Vlad – I hope this work sees every success!

    1. Dana Ames

      Listening to the Beatitudes selection definitely makes me want to buy and listen to the whole recording. Sander has the depth of many years of study and immersion in choral literature, especially on the Russian side, to support this offering from his heart to the Church.

      I’d also be interested in listening and comparing the English version and the Slavonic translation. I can imagine the Slavonic “fitting” the music in a way that I don’t think Greek (and some other languages as well) could manage. Listening to the Beatitudes I’m hearing exactly what I was trying to get across to you a few months ago, Richard. Though the music can “fit” with another language and convey beauty, love and prayer, this is a work that was created to “fit” English primarily, and it fits it wonderfully well. It does indeed have an American sound.

      Our choirmaster, Nicolas Custer, composed a Divine Liturgy in honor of St Katherine. It was commissioned by one of our sopranos – named Catherine – in thanksgiving for her recovery from a serious heart condition. It uses some tone 5 material from a Cherubic Hymn, I believe, and carries that theme through each section, though the sections can also stand on their own. It actually reminds me of colonial Mexican Baroque church music I’ve heard, though not overtly – simply the “aroma” of it is there. Our choir very much enjoys singing that and his other works; we’re privileged to have our own composer in residence, and I wish other parishes had that opportunity.


  2. E. Hisey

    Congratulations Kurt !! I want to hear your work !!! Proud of you. — E. Hisey

  3. Michael L

    Richard, I suspect Dr Morosan means is that there very few complete musical settings of the divine liturgy designed specifically for English (ie most are set in another language such as Slavonic and adapted to English). The only other ones I’m aware of our John Boyer Byzantine-ish setting for Cappella Romana and an Ukr. Catholic one (Hurko?). As you mentioned there are hundreds individual hymns or sections that have been composed.

    Kurts work is great though!

    1. Michael L

      I think actually looking it up that there is a few in the Byzantine Catholic sphere (Sembrat, Sfianchuk)


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