Kastalsky, Alexander

Alexanderkastalsky
KASTALSKY, Aleksandr Dmitriyevich (b. 16 [28] November 1856, Moscow; d. 17 December 1926, Moscow) — studied theory and composition at the Moscow Conservatory under Tchaikovsky, Taneyev, and Gubert. From 1887 and for most of his career, Kastalsky was closely connected with the Moscow Synodal School of Church Singing, initially as a teacher of piano and conducting, from 1891 as assistant conductor (to Vasily Orlov), from 1900 as one of the precentors (of the left choir), and from 1910 as director of the School. From 1918 to 1926, when the Bolsheviks made it impossible for the Synodal School to continue its existence, he tried to salvage it in the form of the “People’s Choral Academy,” which eventually was absorbed into the Moscow Conservatory. Besides being active in church music, Kastalsky throughout his life worked in the field of musical ethnography, studying the characteristics of the Russian folk song, making arrangements of folk songs, and using elements of the latter in his compositions. As a composer, Kastalsky is a seminal figure, who was recognized by his contemporaries as having created a new direction in Russian church music. His followers included Pavel Chesnokov, Alexandre Gretchaninoff, Aleksandr Nikolsky, Viktor Kalinnikov, Constantine Shvedoff, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, among others. In Kastalsky’s sacred works, melodies and individual chant formulas of znamenny and other chants are combined with techniques of counter-voice polyphony, drawn from the Russian choral folk song. The skillful use of these peculiarly Russian elements give Kastalsky’s works a marked national flavor, while the use of church chants link them to ancient traditions of the church-musical aesthetic. Kastalsky’s published sacred works and arrangements number approximately 175 (many published numbers contain several separate titles); there are also a number of unpublished works, primarily comprising arrangements of various pattern melodies (podobnï). Kastalsky also edited the Obikhod Sinodal’novo khora [The Common Book of the Synodal Choir] in 1914. To make the performance of hymns in the so-called “common” chants more meaningful, he compiled the Prakticheskoye rukovodstvo k vïrazitel’nomu peniyu stikhir pri pomoshchi razlichnïkh garmonizatsiy [A practical manual for the expressive singing of stichera with the help of various harmonizations], which selectively applies major and minor harmony in accordance with the meaning and mood of a given liturgical texts.

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Ks081

Angel vopiiashe

The Angel cried out

S.Op. 31

Znamenny Chant

Hymn to the Mother of God at Paschaltide

S(div)AT(div)B

V. Grosse #A.29 K.

First printed edition

2

Ks081

Ks094

Avgustu edinonachal'stvuiushchu na zemli

When Augustus ruled alone upon the earth

S.Op. 36

Glinsk Hermitage Melody

Sticheron (GNE) at Vespers of the Nativity of Christ

SSATTBB or TTBB

PJu #28498 1903

First printed edition

2

Ks094

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Ks032

Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Ghospoda

Bless the Lord, O my soul

S.Op. 25a

Russian Greek Chant (as sung in the Moscow Diocese)

Introductory Psalm

Psalm 103[104]

SATB

V. Grosse #A.23 K. 1900

First printed edition

No. 1, for small choir

2

Ks032

Ks033

Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Ghospoda

Bless the Lord, O my soul

S.Op. 25b

Russian Greek Chant (as sung in the Moscow Diocese)

Introductory Psalm

Psalm 103[104]

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

V. Grosse #A.23 K. 1900

First printed edition

No. 2, the same, arranged for large choir

3

Ks033

Ks030

Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Ghospoda

Bless the Lord, O my soul

S.Op. 24a

Znamenny Chant [abbreviated]

Introductory Psalm

Psalm 103[104]

SSATTB

V. Grosse #A.22 K. 1900

First printed edition

No. 1, for small choir

2

Ks030

Ks031

Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Ghospoda

Bless the Lord, O my soul

S.Op. 24b

Znamenny Chant

Introductory Psalm

Psalm 103[104]

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

V. Grosse #A.22 K. 1900

First printed edition

No. 2, the same chant, more complete, for large choir

3

Ks031

Ks034

Blazhen muzh

Blessed is the man

S.Op. 26a

Lesser Znamenny Chant

First Antiphon of the First Kathisma

Psalms 1,2,3

SSATTB

V. Grosse #A.24 K. 1900

First printed edition

2

Ks034

Ks035

Blazhen muzh

Blessed is the man

S.Op. 26b

Moscow Dormition Cathedral Melody

First Antiphon of the First Kathisma

Psalms 1,2,3

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

V. Grosse #A.24 K. 1900

First printed edition

3

Ks035

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Ks028

Blazheni yazhe izbral

Blessed art they whom Thou hast chosen

S.Op. 22

[Kievan Chant]

Communion Hymn for the Departed

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

V. Grosse #A.20 K. 1900

First printed edition

3

Ks028

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  • A143 kastalsky small

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Ks014

Bog Ghospod' i tropari v Velikuyu Subbotu na utreni

God is the Lord and troparia on Holy Saturday at Matins

S.Op. 11

Bulgarian and Znamenny Chants

Blagoobraznyi Iosif, Egda snizshel, Mironositsam zhenam

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

V. Grosse #A.9 K. 1898

First printed edition

11

Ks014