St Seraphim of Sarov - Vespers Doxastikon for July 19th

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#1
Good afternoon to all,

Attached to this post is the second draft of a recent composition that I did for July 19th - the Translation of the Relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov.

The piece is through-composed, given that there was no "Greek original" to go off of. (At least to my knowledge.) I believe that the service (found in the back of the HTM Menaion for the month of July) was either composed in English by the Monastery, or translated from a Russian source.

Either way, there was no Greek original to base an adaptation off of. Given this, and the fact that St. Seraphim of Sarov is so well-loved throughout the Orthodox world, and that his feast day (at least in the HTM Menaion) is a "big deal", so to speak, with resurrectional theotokia, litya hymns, readings, and so forth, I did my best to make this doxastikon "nice". Thus, it does employ multiple old sticheraric theseis, and a great deal of text painting - beyond that of normal, everyday Doxastika. This might be a point of contention for some, but I wanted to mention my reasons for doing this up front, just so that we're all on the same page.

That being said, the composition is attached. There are two lines at the end of page 3 that I feel are better than my original solutions to those pieces of text. The original ending, especially, felt very short and anticlimactic after such a long Doxastikon, so I found an alternate ending thesis. Of course, any better suggestions are always appreciated.

A few ideas or places that I feel need work (not that other places don't...)

1) Page 1, line 8: I believe that the vareia-ison-apostrophos-apli of "er" ("beholder") should be replaced with a simple apostrophos/apli, and then marked with a 4, so that the next downbeat falls on the syllable "mys" ("mysteries of God").

2) Page 2, line 5: I believe that the apostrophos/apli might better be replaced with apostrophos/dipli, and then given a tetrasimos rhythm, in order to avoid putting a trisimo there (which I forgot to mark). Somehow it doesn't feel right to me. Perhaps that's just me, though.

3) Page 2, line 8: The klasma on the syllable "spir" (of "spiritual", near the bottom of page 2, I believe), should be removed, I think, and that particular word should be given a trisimos rhythm.

In Christ,
Gabriel

P.S. Apologies that these are not in a pdf. I am not using my normal computer at this moment.
 

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Reader Nick

Νέο μέλος
#2
I really enjoyed chanting this right now, Gabriel! Very nice.
I've also wondered where the original texts come from for some of the Saints in the back of their menaia.

As for comment one, either using "a simple apostrophos/apli" as you noted or applying a gorgon to the "apostrophos/apli" following the current "ison/vareia" would work fine, and I think they both would flow better than what is currently there.

I don't really see the question in comment two, unless I'm looking in the wrong place. It's already a four beat rhythm with a 4 written in.

For comment three, either the klasma or no klasma works in my mind. I don't have a problem with either.

There's one mistake that I saw. At the top of page three, there should be no apostrophos following the ison/tripli in line 1.

Either phrase for the top of page two works. It depends if you are trying to emphasize "resurrection of the soul" or "new life in Christ"...both are worthy of emphasis, of course! :eek:)

I prefer the longer ending to the piece...it's a little more majestic.

But many of the modern composers seem to leave multiple endings for added possibilities. So, you can choose...or leave them all in, I guess.

-Nick
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#3
I don't really see the question in comment two, unless I'm looking in the wrong place. It's already a four beat rhythm with a 4 written in.
I think you might be. Look at the beginning of page 2, line 5. There is a two-beat "di", followed by a soft chromatic fthora of di. This is followed by an apostrophos, then a bar line, then an oligon/psefiston. This should be marked with a "3", but I forgot to do so. My thought is that it might work better as a tetrasimos rhythm, achieved simply by making the first note on that line (the one before the martyria) a three-beat note, by giving it a diple, instead of a klasma.


There's one mistake that I saw. At the top of page three, there should be no apostrophos following the ison/tripli in line 1.
Actually, the mistake is not in the apostrophos, but in the note following it. The petaste should not have an ison above it. Alternately, one could simply write this as an oligon/kentemata/gorgon, which is how I think it might be more commonly written. Either way, it's my error.

Either phrase for the top of page two works. It depends if you are trying to emphasize "resurrection of the soul" or "new life in Christ"...both are worthy of emphasis, of course! :eek:)
I'm actually trying to avoid the mistake I made in the the first time around - if you look at page 2, line 3, and look up this thesis in the formula book, you'll notice that my use of it incorrectly emphasizes the preposition "in". Specifically, I believe that the formula is for a pattern of accentuation 1010, whereas the text is 1101 ("new life in Christ"). I feel that the alternate thesis, found on page 3, is perhaps a better fit for the text.

There might actually be a problem with my alternate solution, as the phrase "new life in Christ;" ends with a semicolon... so I'm not sure if we're "allowed" (in some sense of the word) to end a phrase with a semicolon on high ni. This might be splitting hairs, though.

I prefer the longer ending to the piece...it's a little more majestic.

But many of the modern composers seem to leave multiple endings for added possibilities. So, you can choose...or leave them all in, I guess.
Most of the feedback I got from chanters here at the school was that the ending was rather abrupt and short, in contrast to the multiple long sticheraric theseis found throughout the piece. I believe that the second one, while it might not emphasize the text quite as well as the original solution, is a little more in keeping with the style of the rest of the piece... just a hunch, though.
 

GabrielCremeens

Music Director at St. George, Albuquerque, NM
#4
Perhaps it might also be a good idea to add a gorgon in the following places?

1) Page 2, line 1, "thou" (of "thou didst attain")

2) Page 3, 2nd line of the 1st alternate thesis, "and" ("and unto new life")

Might help the rhythm...
 
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