05 January 2010

Musical Monday on a Tuesday

As far as I'm concerned, there are two things that the Russian Orthodox Church does really well. The first, is beautiful churches. And when I say beautiful, I mean beautiful. Stunning. Breathtaking, even. Even the teenie tiny parishes are gilded with gold and masterful icons. Walking into a Russian Orthodox Church is really an exercise in sensory overload... the colors, the smells, the sounds...

Oh, the sounds. That's thing number two. Our music is AWESOME. Our canon is filled with things like Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, all in eight part a capella. No instruments allowed. Just voices. The only down side is that, much like my main quibble with organized religion in general, there is basically no grey area. Because it's eight part, with no pitch center that's guaranteed (like a piano or an organ), when it goes bad, it goes REALLY BAD.

On the other hand, when it's good, it's STUNNING. And there's simply no in between.

However, it's the stunning part that I aim to share with you today, what with Russian Christmas coming up tomorrow and Thursday. So for our (day late) Musical Monday, I share with you, Russian Orthodox Christmas Carols (they're in Russian, and certainly not what we're used to hearing on the radio, so even if you're not a Christmas carol kind of person, it's just simply beautiful music if you close your eyes and forget about the holiday affiliation)! This particular one is one of my favorites, but if you click over through this video to Youtube, it is part of a whole playlist full of this kind of music. Also, sorry about the barrage of icons. I tried to find some with less religiously charged imagery (ideally video of the actual choir singing) but I could not find a recording that I liked as much musically.

I hope you enjoy!



Amanda said...

I don't like carols but this I like!

jan said...

Really beautiful! I love classical music.

Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments. I have been poking around at your place. Love the painted dolls!

Lupie said...

I feel much the same about the Catholic church.
Love the rituals,music and stories but not the politics so much.

Jo said...

My husband's grandparents were Russian Orthodox. Thanks for the music link!

Abbey said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing!

zcrescendo said...

Oh, cool! I was just singing this with some mutual friends of ours at someone's house. I don't know Russian so I didn't recognize the title, but I think that's the same arrangement. Russian music is so awesome.