Doxastikon of the Aposticha of Vespers - Sunday of the Paralytic


Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
Christ is risen!

Attached is a composition for this coming Saturday's Vespers. It presented quite the compositional challenge, mostly because of the unique and beautiful modulation/thesis which it uses for the words άρον σου την κλίνην. I was able to preserve this thesis mostly intact; however, I feel that it was at the expense of the overall rhetoric of the piece. There is a dialogue that takes place in this doxastikon, between the paralytic and Christ:

the Lord, question: θέλεις ὑγιὴς γενέσθαι; ("Wilt thou be made whole?") - in the original, set to a very standard thesis in agia fourth mode.

the Paralytic, response: Κύριε, ἄνθρωπον οὐκ ἔχω, ἵνα, ὅταν ταραχθῇ τὸ ὕδωρ, βάλῃ με εἰς τὴν κολυμβήθραν·("Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool.") This is given a more evocative, perhaps plaintive, melodic line, with a jump to high Ni, then finishing with another agia cadence.

the Lord: Ἆρόν σου τὴν κλίνην, ἴδε, ὑγιὴς γέγονας, μηκέτι ἁμάρτανε. ("Take up thy bed. Behold, thou art made whole, sin no more.")

Here is where the "problem" starts. In the original, these final words of the Lord are introduced with ὁ δὲ λέγει πρὸς αὐτόν· ("and He said unto him"). In the Greek, this is done with a cadence on Ga. Then, one of two things happens:

1) In the Doxastarion of Petros Peloponnesios, the melodic line jumps to high ni, on which Petros places a diatonic fthora of Di. This essentially makes the Zo' permanently flat, the Ke slightly lowered, and the Di attracted upwards toward Ke, slightly. In other words, Ga becomes Ni of plagal fourth mode.

2) In the Mousike Kypseli of Stephanos, he simply puts an atzem fthora on Zo', indicating that it is flat all the time. There is no slight downward movement of Ke (in fact, it is attracted upwards to Zo'), and the Di is stable.

This modulation is followed by a jump back down from high Ni' to Di, and a return to the original diatonic scale. Either way, this modulation is very unusual for a plagal fourth sticheraric piece, and I felt obliged to preserve it if at all possible.

The problem I encountered was that the only way I could preserve this was by using it for the words of the Paralytic: "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool," instead of on the words of Christ: "Take up thy bed. Behold, thou art made whole..." I feel that my solution, while it successfully preserves this distinct modulation, is somewhat unsatisfactory when considering the possible intent of Petros/Stephanos in composing this piece, and using this beautiful and unusual modulation to express the words of Christ, and not the Paralytic.

Comments or suggestions (both for the piece in general, and also for addressing this specific problem) are welcome!




Παλαιό Μέλος

Great work again - yeah I've never seen a cadence as such (I suppose this is now Pl4th triphonos for a short while?). I've seen a jump to Ni with a preceding cadence like the one on Ga in the Anastasimatarion (attached) but not what comes after that.

I wonder if this is more to do with the translation you're using, but I have a proposal based on the score in Konstantine Protopsaltis's Kypsele.

At "Lord there is no one.../Κυριε ανθρωπον ουκ εχω" there's a jump from Ni to Ni' cadencing on Di. Eventually coming to the cadence on Ga: "And he saith unto him / Ο δι λεγει προς αυτον"

I'll attach the screen shot - maybe it was too difficult to achieve with the translation, introducing something highly melismatic that would have disrupted the flow of the piece and stretching formulas too much.

I'll say it again, your standards are high which is wonderful - part of me is happy people are starting to produce quality, usable scores in English!