Samuel Herron's recent thread prompted me to take a look at different compositions of the post-Nativity Doxastikon «Αίμα και πυρ». I wanted to create a thread to discuss these various compositions and the history behind them. I have found four general variations of this piece.
My questions are as follows:
- The first version can be found in the Syntomon Doxastarion by Petros (1820), which I have attached to this post. The musical lines are concise and simple. The version in the Doxastarion by Kiltzanides (1882) is virtually identical, although with more verbose orthography. I have also attached to this post a manuscript of the same version by Gregorios.
- The second version can be found in the Doxastarion by Konstantinos (1844), the last master of the old notation. I have attached this version as well. This version includes some old sticheraric musical lines. The attached version in Mousike Kypsele by Stephanos (1883) is similar, though not identical. Stephanos takes the radical step of descending to Pa in the first line. He also questionably places a gorgon on «και α-», presumably to squeeze two syllables in before the downbeat on «τμί». This does not seem becoming for a professional composer.
- The third version is the Patriarchal version as chanted by Nafpliotis/Pringos and Stanitsas. I have attached a transcription (from elsewhere on this forum) of the Nafpliotis recording, as well as the version in Pringos' Doxastarion. They are more or less identical. I did notice that Nafpliotis seems to take the radical step of using an old sticheraric cadence from First Mode for «το επελθόν τη Παρθένω». I took a quick look through the Athonias by Petros Philanthidis (1906), but I did not find this First Mode old sticheraric cadence in any Plagal Fourth mode melodies. Nevertheless, Pringos would come to transition to this First Mode line quite frequently while chanting in Plagal Fourth Mode.
- There are a variety of very lengthy versions. One can be found in the Doxastarion by Iakovos (1836). Another can be found in the Athonias by Petros Philanthidis (1906). I also found a lengthy version by Raidestinos elsewhere on this forum.
My questions are as follows:
- I assume that the second version was composed by Konstantinos. If that is true, why did Stephanos alter the melody for the worse in Mousike Kypsele?
- Furthermore, Stephanos emphasized that his melodies were written "as they are chanted in the Great Church of Christ," i.e., in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Yet we have recorded evidence that this claim was not true for this piece. Does this particular example cast any doubt on the reliability of Stephanos or Mousike Kypsele in general?
- Is the composition of Konstantinos still chanted today? I have only heard recordings of the Patriarchal version. More generally, which composition is used today at the Patriarchate and on Mount Athos?
- When were First Mode old sticheraric lines introduced in Plagal Fourth Mode melodies? This practice is relatively common today, and the recording above reveals that it dates back to at least the time of Nafpliotis. Strictly speaking, is this type of transition allowed by the formulaic rules?
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