KYIV CHAMBER CHOIR
ARCHBISHOP IONAFAN. LITURGY OF PEACE
Greek Divine Liturgy is dressed by the author in the melodies of Gregorian chorals with minimal adaptation. That way, after 1000 years old alienation of Church culture the "Liturgy of Peace” creates the meeting of western and eastern liturgical traditionsty.
Liturgy of Peace (De Angelis) — Chants from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, were first sung by Archbishop Ionafan in the melodious style of ancient Gregorian surroundings. Gregorian singing (choral) and its ancient melodies were sung without the inclusion of musical instruments, song.
Melodious sources and origins of Gregorian chorals derive from synagogical (antiphonal) psalm melodies, Byzantine hymns and ancient world music. Several types of Chorale Church Music exist. Specific notice is deserved to the ancient-Roman songs of the VII-VIII centuries. Information from the Lorana Institute and Greek research into choral traditions of L. Anhelopulocs show a united modal, rhythmic and ornamental basis. These actual chants were placed into the foundation of Gregorian chorals until the VIII-IX centuries until the systematic Gregorian eight-toned foundational singing arose. In the East this process ceased a century earlier (Eight Tones of St. John Damascene), in time the Gregorian chorale became the basis of all European professional music and its rightful name should be "The Musical Teacher of Europe".
In the "Liturgy of Peace" the Greek Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the Church-Slavonic language is "dressed "by the author in the melodies of ancient Gregorian chorals with minimal adaptation of harmonious methods. That way, and through the one thousand year old alienation of Church culture the "Liturgy of Peace" creates a musical synthesis of both cultures: firstly, and again the meeting of western and eastern liturgical traditions.
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After more than three centuries of domination of eastern Slavonic Divine Liturgies in its concert style of music, the "Liturgy of Peace" is received and accepted as something un-expected. Its uplifting "awakening -angelic" and lulling intonations carry peace and harmony, giving birth to passion, as though uniting us with the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why it is no coincidence that it is titled: "Litany of Peace", "Angelic".
"Liturgy of Peace" — is the spiritual fruit of many years of reflection and the seekings of Archbishop Ionafan as to the way to Universal Peace, which is so necessary today in our uncertain lives.
The author dedicates the "Liturgy of Peace" to the eternal memory of his spiritual guardian Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) — the eminent religious champion and upholder of Christian unity and Peace.
Archbishop Ionafan (Anatolij Ivanovych Yeletskyh) was born in Russia on the 30th January 1949 in the Voronezkij oblast (now Bilhorodska). In 1976 he graduated from the Leningrad Theological Academy (now St. Petersburg) attaining the learned level of Candidate of Theological Learning. Simultaneously, he studied choral directorship at the Theological Academy under the tutorage and in the classes of N.D.Uspenskij, a famous music expert and doctor of Theology and liturgical historian.
For ten years Archbishop Ionafan lectured at the Theological Academy and within the department of Choral Directorship where he directed the student choir in the seminary church. In 1986 and prior to 1,000 years of Christianity of Kyivan Rus, and under the directorship of the then Hieromonk Ionafan (Yeletskyh) the student choir of the Leningrad. Theological Academy and its Choral Faculty produced the first ever receding in vinyl form of his authored works.
In 1988 Archbishop Ionafan - the then Vicar of the Kyiv — Pechersk monastery of the Caves in its God-serving rites revived the traditions of monastic singing. The Kyivan Chamber Choir "Blahovist" under the directorship of Victor Skoromnyj recorded a Compact Disc titled "Traditional and New Chants of the Orthodox Church", which included the original creations and arrangements of Archbishop lonafan. For several years Archbishop lonafan was a member of the International Jury at the Church Musical Festival in Chajnuvka, Poland.
Archbishop Ionafan is the author of many works and translations of church music. The Publishing House "Musical Ukraine" published his collection of musical writings: "Christ is Born", "Antiphonal Verses for Matins", "Orthodox Chants". And now into the world and into the library of works of the Chamber Choir "Kyiv", enters his "Litany of Peace".
Several creations of Archbishop Ionafan have entered the treasury of classical spiritual chants of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church ("Antiphonal Verses", "Your Holy Palace", "Thou hadst Fallen Asleep — Exapostilarion"). The musical activity of Archbishop lonafan supplements the multifarious foundational recovery, restoration and deciphering of ancient-Ukrainian church melodies of the XVI century, the epoch of its ancient methods being the priceless spiritual inheritance of a great Slavonic culture.