Christ Is Born
This is a collection of ancient hymns for the weeks preceding the Nativity of Christ, Christmas day itself and the weeks following (including Theophany / Epiphany). Many of these original melodies and texts are attributed to St. Romanos (6th c.), St. Andrew of Crete (7-8th c.), St. John of Damascus (7-8th c.), St. Cosmas of Maiuma (7-8th c.), St. Theodore the Studite (9th c.), St. Theophanes the Branded (9th c.), and St. Joseph the Hymnographer (9th c.) to name a few. Some of these special melodies (Prosomia) are set to dozens of other texts throughout the year. They have only recently been metered and transcribed into English. The music of the ancient Church of Christ was inherited from the worship of the synagogue and the temple in Jerusalem - primarily the Psalms of King David. The Church added it's own hymns to this - often reflections on Christ's fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and His work and ministry on this earth - and Christianity spread throughout the whole world. This music, based on the 8 modes or tones, also spread and became the basis for Gregorian chant in the West and later ancient Russian chant (Znamenny, Kievan, etc.). These modes or tones can still be heard in the various folk music of Europe and the middle East and were the basis for melodic themes in many of the classical composers, although several of these modes dropped out of use in the West. In recent times, this music has not been heard much in the West, as much of it is in Greek, Arabic or Slavonic and was written using the ancient music notation or neumes. There has been a considerable effort in recent years to transcibe this music into English. This CD - one of many - is offered in the hopes of making our ancient Christian heritage more readily available to the English speaking world.