Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library

Chesnokov, Alexander

Alexanderchesnokov

CHESNOKOV, Alexander Grigor'yevich (born 1880, near Voskresensk, Moscow region; d. 1941, Paris, France). The son of a choir director and younger brother of Pavel Chesnokov (1877-1944), Alexander Chesnokov received his early musical training as a chorister in the Moscow Synodal Choir and School, from which he graduated in 1898. When the Director of the Synodal School, Stepan Smolensky, in 1901 moved to St. Petersburg to assume leadership of the Imperial Court Chapel, he invited Alexander Chesnokov to accompany him and to continue his education at the St. Petersburg Conservatory as a student of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in theory and composition. In 1906, he completed the Conservatory and, while continuing to serve at the Imperial Cappella, he was appointed full professor at the Conservatory.

In 1921, following the Bolshevik Revolution, Chesnokov was abruptly dismissed from both his positions at the Cappella (which had been turned into a secular institution) and the Conservatory, which made it impossible for him to earn a living in his profession. Because of this, he was compelled to emigrate from Russia in 1923, leaving his wife and two daughters behind in St. Petersburg (renamed Petrograd). After living briefly in Prague, where he conducted the Russian Choir that had been established by Alexander Archangelsky, he settled in a suburb of Paris, where he taught at the Russian Conservatory and the St. Serge Orthodox Theological Institute, but was forced to supplement his meager income by making music-hall arrangements under a pseudonym and doing various other odd musical jobs. He is buried at the Russian Orthodox cemetery at Ste Geneviève-des-Bois, near Paris.

As a composer of sacred choral music, Alexander Chesnokov first attracted notice in 1899 with his setting of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, op. 8. At least six more shorter sacred works were published by P. Jurgenson of Moscow. Numerous other sacred works remain in manuscript, including portions of an All-Night Vigil, dated 1927, and a Requiem on the Mystery of Death, dated 1929. Besides writing choral music, he distinguished himself as a composer of several operas (including two children's operas), as well as numerous orchestral, chamber, and solo instrumental works. His musical archive was donated to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts by his widow, Galina Tchesnokova; the collection contains numerous scores of choral and instrumental music, as well as an original manuscript of a book titled "A Theory of Sound-Colour Synaesthetics."

(Biographical information about Alexander Chesnokov remains scarce. The above data was taken largely from the "Guide to the Alexander Chesnokov Papers, 1899-1962" Job 06-2, Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York, New York, as cited in Pavel Chesnokov, The Choir and How to Direct ItTranslated from the Russian by John C. Rommereim [Musica Russica, 2010].)

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Ch002

Blazheni, iazhe izbral

Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen

Op. 3

Communion Hymn for the Departed

Ps. 64[65]:5; 101[102]:13

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

PJu #31863 n.d.

First printed edition

4

Ch002

Ch003

Kheruvimskaia pesn' [No. 1]

Cherubic Hymn

Op. 3

Izhe kheruvimy

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

PJu #31865 n.d.

First printed edition

4

Ch003

Kheruvimskaia pesn' No. 2

Cherubic Hymn

Op. 4

Izhe kheruvimy

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

PJu #32548 n.d.

First printed edition

5

Ch004

Ch009 031

Liturgiia sv. Ioanna Zlatoustago

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Op. 8

Selected hymns from the Memorial Liturgy (23 Nos.)

PJu #34616-38 n.d.

First printed edition

91

Ch009-031

23 Click [+] to expand

Ch009

1

No. 1 - Ekteniia velikaia

The Great Litany

Op. 8, No. 1

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

2

Ch009

Ch010

2

No. 2 - Antifon 1

The First Antiphon

Op. 8, No. 2

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

5

Ch010

Ch011

3

No. 3 - Antifon 2

The Second Antiphon

Op. 8, No. 3

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

3

Ch011

Ch012

4

No. 4 - Slava... Edinorodnyi Syne

Glory... Only-begotten Son

Op. 8, No. 4

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

5

Ch012

Ch013

5

No. 5 - Blazhenny

The Beatitudes

Op. 8, No. 5

S(div)AAT(div)TBB(div) and Tenor Solo

12

Ch013

Ch014

6

No. 6 - Vkhod s Evangeliem

The [Little] Entrance with the Gospel

Op. 8, No. 6

SAT(div)B(div)

2

Ch014

Ch015

7

No. 7 - So sviatymi upokoi

With the saints give rest

Op. 8, No. 7

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

1

Ch015

Ch016

8

No. 8 - Gospodi, spasi... Trisviatoe

O Lord, save... Trisagion

Op. 8, No. 8

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

3

Ch016

Ch017

9

No. 9 - Prokimny voskresnye 8-mi glasov

Sunday Prokeimena in the Eight Tones

Op. 8, No. 9

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

4

Ch017

Ch018

10

No. 10 - Po prochtenii Apostola

After the Epistle reading

Op. 8, No. 10

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

3

Ch018

Ch019

11

No. 11 - Ekteniia o usopshikh

Litany for the departed

Op. 8, No. 11

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

4

Ch019

Ch020

12

No. 12 - Kheruvimskaia pesn' No. 3

Cherubic Hymn

Op. 8, No. 12

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

5

Ch020

Ch021

13

No. 13 - Ekteniia posle Kheruvimskoi

Litany after the Cherubic Hymn

Op. 8, No. 13

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

3

Ch021

Ch022

14

No. 14 - Simvol very

The Creed

Op. 8, No. 14

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

9

Ch022

Ch023

15

No. 15 - Milost' mira

A mercy of peace

Op. 8, No. 15

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

5

Ch023

Ch024

16

No. 16 - Dostoino est'

It is truly meet

Op. 8, No. 16

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

4

Ch024

Ch025

17

No. 17 - Otche nash

Our Father

Op. 8, No. 17

SAT(div)B(div) and Tenor Solo

4

Ch025

Ch026

18

No. 18 - Ot Otche nash do prichastnago stikha

From Our Father to the Communion Hymn

Op. 8, No. 18

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

1

Ch026

Ch027

19

No. 19 - Prichastnyi stikh

Communion Hymn [at a Memorial Liturgy]

Op. 8, No. 19

Ps. 64[65]:5; 101[102]:13

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

2

Ch027

Ch028

20

No. 20 - [Blagosloven griadyi, Videkhom svet istinnyi]

Blessed is he, We have seen the true light

Op. 8, No. 20

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

2

Ch028

Ch029

21

No. 21 - Da ispolniatsia usta nasha

Let our mouths be filled

Op. 8, No. 21

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

3

Ch029

Ch030

22

No. 22 - Budi imia Gospodne

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Op. 8, No. 22

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

2

Ch030

Ch031

23

No. 23 - Mnogoletstvovanie

The Many Years

Op. 8, No. 23

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

6

Ch031

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Ch001

Ne rydai mene, mati

Do not lament me, O mother

Op. 1

Hymn to the Mother of God for Holy Saturday

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

PJu #31861 n.d.

First printed edition

4

Ch001

Ch005

Otche nash

Our Father

Op. 5[a]

The Lord's Prayer

Otche nash

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

PJu #32549 n.d.

First printed edition

3

Ch005

Ch006

Videkhom svet istinnyi

We have seen the true light

Op. 5[b]

SATB

PJu #32552 n.d.

First printed edition

1

Ch006