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Byzantine chant - Πνευματικώς ημάς πιστοί (part II)

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Published on Jun 21, 2009

Byzantine Chant of the early Byzantine Era.
Title: "Πνευματικώς ημάς πιστοί" (Today the Prophet Daniel has gathered us spiritually)
Service: The Service of the Three Youths in the fiery furnace.
Performers: Greek Byzantine Choir
Album: "Byzantine Hymns"
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THIS IS THE 2nd PART. TO SEE THE 1st PART PLEASE CLICK ON THE APPROPRIATE LINK BELOW.
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This chant is a 12th century transcription of an ancient byzantine chant. It was used during a now defunct church service, called the "Service of the Three Youths in the fiery furnace" which was an interlude between the Matins and the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday before the Nativity. Nowadays only the troparion (part I) remains as part of the Matins, to remind the whole service which lasted about 35-40 minutes.
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The similarity of this particular piece with the corresponding old roman chants is evident. Though the transcription and the interpretation has a distinct late byzantine style, the elements that show the ancient origin of the chant are present and noticeable, and in this respect this piece is an extremely rare sample. If one listens carefully, through the melodic decorations and calophonic improvisations of the byzantine style, one can clearly discern the basic melody which is astoundingly similar to its western contemporaries.
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A further point of interest is the insertion of female or children voices (in part II) - a practice not usual in byzantine chanting tradition - to represent the voices of the Three Youths praying to the Lord, inside the fiery furnace. The Youths chant without accompaniment until the end, when they join the heavenly choir and the choir of the christian people, in a symbolism which I personally find of breathtaking beauty.

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