Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library

Tchaikovsky, Peter

Petertchaikovsky

TCHAIKOVSKY, Peter (1840-1893) — Tchaikovsky's position among Russian choral composers was nothing short of seminal. Widely successful in the realm of secular music, Tchaikovsky influenced Russian Orthodox church music of his time in ways that cannot be underestimated. When he composed his Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in 1878, the Imperial Chapel's censorship of church music was severely hampering the willingness of the rising school of Russian nationalist composers to write for the church. Tchaikovsky's Liturgy was promptly banned by the Director of the Imperial Chapel, Nikolai Bakhmetev, an action that in turn led Tchaikovsky's publisher, Jurgenson, to sue. The Russian Senate's ruling in favor of Tchaikovsky and Jurgenson broke the grip of censorship and opened the possibility for successive generations of Russian composers to compose sacred choral works without subjecting them to bureaucratic review. Although stylistically Tchaikovsky's music for the Liturgy was not in any way radical or innovative, the very fact that he composed new, freely invented music for most of the liturgical components shaped the approach taken by nearly every composer who subsequently undertook to write musical settings of this service, most notably, Gretchaninoff, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Chesnokov, and Rachmaninoff.

A few years after the Liturgy, in 1882, Tchaikovsky again broke new ground with his All-Night Vigil, op. 52, becoming the first major Russian composer to draw upon the traditional unison chants of the Russian Orthodox Church as the basis for composing an entire liturgical cycle. Again, Tchaikovsky's polyphonic treatment of the pre-existing chant material was in no way extraordinary, but his recognition of this long-neglected wellspring of national Russian melos made a mark. It is hardly coincidental that more than 30 years later, Sergei Rachmaninoff used many of the very same chant melodies in his monumental All-Night Vigil. op. 37. 

After his two major liturgical cycles, Tchaikovsky, encouraged by Emperor Alexander III himself to write more sacred music, produced ten more liturgical choruses in which he pioneered some additional compositional and stylistic traits that would come to characterize the "new Russian choral school" of the early twentieth century: rich, and colorful choral textures with divisi, the invention of quasi-chant melodies, and the use of chant-like motives in melodic part-writing.

By virtue of his stature as a Russian musician, Tchaikovsky was contributed to the course of Russian church music in other ways. In the years between his Liturgy and Vigil, he edited the complete sacred choral works of Dmitry Bortniansky (1751-1825) for Jurgenson's Publishing House. He compiled A Concise Textbook of Harmony Intended to Facilitate the Reading of Sacred Musical Works in Russia (1875). And, perhaps most significantly, as a member of the Supervisory Council of the Moscow Synodal School of Church Singing, he secured the appointments of his students, the choral conductor Vasily Orlov (1858-1907) and the composer Alexander Kastalsky (1856-1926), to faculty positions at that institution. Together with the musicologist Stepan Smolensky (1848-1909), Orlov and Kastalsky, following Tchaikovsky's precepts, would shape the Moscow Synodal School and its Choir into a crucible for the creation and nurturing of one of the largest and substantive bodies of sacred choral music in modern times. 

Tchaikovsky's contributions to secular choral repertoire cannot be overlooked, either. In addition to the extensive and vivid use of choruses in his numerous operas, he composed several occasional cantatas (the most prominent of which is Moscow, written in 1883 for the coronation of Alexander III), and several part songs for mixed, women's, and men's choir.

47 results found

Sort by:
New Editions
Listen
Purchase Track or Album
Ta043

Angel vopiiashe

Hymn to the Mother of God at Paschaltide

N.O.N.

Hymn to the Mother of God at Paschaltide

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

PJu #31585 n.d. posthumous

First printed edition

5

Ta043

  • Ta043 search

    MR Ta043

  • C101 small

    MR Ta043

Ta034 042

Deviat' dukhovno-muzykal'nykh sochinenii

Nine sacred musical works

N.O.N.

SATB(div)

First printed edition

Link to composer’s autograph: https://www.culture.ru/catalog/tchaikovsky/ru/item/archiv/devyat-duhovno-muzykalnyh-sochineniy-dlya-smeshannogo-hora

42

Ta034-042

9 Click [+] to expand

1

Kheruvimskaia pesn’ No. 1

Cherubic Hymn

N.O.N.

Cherubic Hymn

SATB

5

Ta034

  • Ta034 search

    MR Ta034

2

Kheruvimskaia pesn’ No. 2

Cherubic Hymn

N.O.N.

Cherubic Hymn

SATB

5

Ta035

  • Ta035 search

    MR Ta035

3

Kheruvimskaia pesn’ No. 3

Cherubic Hymn

N.O.N.

Cherubic Hymn

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

6

Ta036

  • Ta036 search

    MR Ta036

4

Tebe poem

Hymn of the Epiklesis

N.O.N.

Melody from the Obikhod notnago peniia

Hymn of the Epiklesis

SATB

3

Ta037

  • Ta037 search

    MR Ta037

5

Dostoino est’

Hymn to the Mother of God

N.O.N.

Hymn to the Mother of God

SATB

3

Ta038

  • Ta038 search

    MR Ta038

6

Otche nash

The Lord’s Prayer

N.O.N.

The Lord’s Prayer

SATB

4

Ta039

  • Ta039 search

    MR Ta039

7

Blazheni, iazhe izbral

Communion Hymn for the Departed

N.O.N.

Communion Hymn for the Departed

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

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

4

Ta040

  • Ta040 search

    MR Ta040

8

Da ispravitsia molitva moia

Prokeimenon at Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts

N.O.N.

Prokeimenon at Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts

Ps. 140[141]:2-4

SSA Trio and SATB Chorus

5

Ta041

  • Ta041 search

    MR Ta041

9

Nyne sily nebesnyia

Cherubic Hymn from Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

N.O.N.

Cherubic Hymn from Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

5

Ta042

  • Ta042 search

    MR Ta042

Click [-] to hide
Ta045

Gimn v chest’ Svv. Kirilla i Mefodiia

Non-liturgical spiritual verse

N.O.N.

Arrangement of old Slavic folk melody

Non-liturgical spiritual verse

SATB

PJu #6700 18--

First printed edition

4

Ta045

  • Ta045 search

    Musica Russica Ta045

  • Ta045 search

    MR Ta045

  • C003 small

    MR Ta045

Ta001 015

Liturgiia Sv. Ioanna Zlatoustago

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Op. 41

SATB(div)

PJu 1878

First printed edition

62

Ta001-015

15 Click [+] to expand

Ta001

1

No. 1 - Gospodi, pomilui

Litanies and Responses

Op.41, No. 1

Litanies and Responses

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

3

Ta001

Ta002

2

No. 2 - Slava Ottsu i Synu [i Edinorodnyi Syne]

Troparion after the Second Antiphon

Op.41, No. 2

Troparion after the Second Antiphon

SATB

5

Ta002

  • Ta002 search

    MR Ta002

Ta003

3

No. 3 - Priidite poklonimsia [i Sviatyi Bozhe]

Hymn of the Little Entrance and the Trisagion Hymn

Op.41, No. 3

Hymn of the Little Entrance and the Trisagion Hymn

SdivATdivBdiv

5

Ta003

  • Ta003 search

    MR Ta003

Ta004

4

No. 4 - Posle chteniia Apostola

Litanies and Responses

Op.41, No. 4

Litanies and Responses

SdivATdivBdiv

2

Ta004

Ta005

5

No. 5 - Posle chteniia Evangeliia

Litanies and Responses

Op.41, No. 5

Litanies and Responses

SATB

3

Ta005

Ta006

6

No. 6 - Kheruvimskaia pesn’

Cherubic Hymn

Op.41, No. 6

Cherubic Hymn

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

7

Ta006

  • Ta006 search

    MR Ta006

Ta007

7

No. 7 - Posle Kheruvimskoi pesni

Litanies and Responses

Op.41, No. 7

Litanies and Responses

SATB

1

Ta007

Ta008

8

No. 8 - Simvol very

Creed

Op.41, No. 8

Creed

SdivAdivTBdiv

9

Ta008

  • Ta008 search

    MR Ta008

Ta009

9

No. 9 - Milost’ mira

Anaphora (Eucharistic Canon)

Op.41, No. 9

Anaphora (Eucharistic Canon)

SATB

4

Ta009

  • Ta009 search

    MR Ta009

Ta010

10

No. 10 - Tebe poem

Hymn of the Epiklesis

Op.41, No. 10

Hymn of the Epiklesis

SATB

2

Ta010

  • Ta010 search

    MR Ta010

Ta011

11

No. 11 - Dostoino est’

Hymn to the Mother of God

Op.41, No. 11

Hymn to the Mother of God

SATB

4

Ta011

  • Ta011 search

    MR Ta011

Ta012

12

No. 12 - Amin’. I so dukhom tvoim. Gospodi, pomilui.

Litanies and Responses

Op.41, No. 12

Litanies and Responses

SATB

1

Ta012

Ta013

13

No. 13 - Molitva Gospodnia

The Lord's Prayer

Op.41, No. 13

SATB

4

Ta013

  • Ta013 search

    MR Ta013

Ta014

14

No. 14 - Prichastnyi stikh

Communion Hymn

Op.41, No. 14

Communion Hymn

Ps. 148:1

SATB

7

Ta014

  • Ta014%0a%0a search

    MR Ta014

Ta015

15

No. 15 - Blagosloven griadyi, [Videkhom... Da ispolniatsia]

Hymn at the appearance of Communion and Hymns of Thanksgiving

Op.41, No. 14

Hymn at the appearance of Communion and Hymns of Thanksgiving

SATB

8

Ta015

Click [-] to hide
Ta016 033

Vsenoshchnoe bdenie. Opyt garmonizatsii bogosluzhebnykh pesnopenii.

Selected hymns from the All-Night Vigil

Op. 52

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

PJu 1882

First printed edition

116

Ta016-033

18 Click [+] to expand

Ta016

1

No. 1 - Prednachinatel’nyi psalom

Introductory Psalm at Vigil

Op.52, No. 1

Russian Greek Chant

Introductory Psalm at Vigil

Ps. 103[104]:1,6,10,24

SATB

7

Ta016

  • Ta016 search

    MR Ta016

Ta017

2

No. 2 - Gospodi, pomilui i drugie kratkie molitvosloviia

Litanies and Responses

Op.52, No. 2

Znamenny Chant Kievan Chant

Litanies and Responses

SATB

9

Ta017

Ta018

3

No. 3 - Kafisma

First Antiphon of the First Kathisma

Op.52, No. 3

Znamenny Chant

First Antiphon of the First Kathisma

Ps. 1:1,6; 2:11,12; 3:8,9

SATB

5

Ta018

  • Ta018 search

    MR Ta018

Ta019

4

No. 4 - Gospodi, vozzvakh na 8 glasov

Vesper psalms

Op.52, No. 4

Kievan Chant

Vesper psalms

Ps. 140[141]:1-2

SATB

16

Ta019

Ta020

5

No. 5 - Svete tikhii

Evening Hymn

Op.52, No. 5

Kievan Chant

Evening Hymn

SdivAdivTdivBdiv

3

Ta020

  • Ta020 search

    MR Ta020

Ta021

6

No. 6 - Bogoroditse Devo

Dismissal Troparion

Op.52, No. 6

Russian Greek Chant

Dismissal Troparion

SATB

1

Ta021

  • Ta021 search

    MR Ta021

Ta022

7

No. 7 - Bog Gospod’ na 8 glasov s Tropariami

Resurrectional Dismissal Troparia

Op.52, No. 7

Russian Greek Chant

Resurrectional Dismissal Troparia

SATB

16

Ta022

Ta023

8

No. 8 - Polielei

Polyeleos

Op.52, No. 8

Russian Greek Chant

Polyeleos

Ps. 134[135]:1,21; 135[136]:1,26

SATB

6

Ta023

  • Ta023 search

    MR Ta023

Ta024

9

No. 9 - Tropari na neporochnakh

[Resurrectional] Matins Troparia (Evlogitaria)

Op.52, No. 9

Little Znamenny Chant

[Resurrectional] Matins Troparia (Evlogitaria)

SATB

8

Ta024

  • Ta024 search

    MR Ta024

Ta025

10

No. 10 - Stepenna Antifon 4-go glasa

Gradual Antiphon in the Fourth Tone

Op.52, No. 10

Russian Greek Chant

Gradual Antiphon in the Fourth Tone

SATB

3

Ta025

  • Ta025 search

    MR Ta025

Ta026

11

No. 11a - Pesnopeniia po Evangelii

Hymn of the Resurrection after the Gospel Reading at Matins

Op.52, No. 11a

Hymn of the Resurrection after the Gospel Reading at Matins

SdivATdivB

3

Ta026

  • Ta026 search

    MR Ta026

Ta027

12

No. 11b - Pesnopeniia po Evangelii

Hymn of the Resurrection after the Gospel Reading at Matins

Op.52, No. 11b

Russian Greek Chant

Hymn of the Resurrection after the Gospel Reading at Matins

SATB

6

Ta027

Ta028

13

No. 12 - Otverzu usta moia

Kanon to the Mother of God Common Katavasia

Op.52, No. 12

Znamenny Chant

Kanon to the Mother of God Common Katavasia

SATB

11

Ta028

Ta029

14

No. 13 - Pesn’ Bogomateri s pripevom

Canticle of the Mother of God

Op.52, No. 13

Russian Greek Chant

Canticle of the Mother of God

Luke 1:46-55

SATB

4

Ta029

Ta030

15

No. 14 - Sviat Gospod’ Bog nash

Resurrectional Exaposteilarion

Op.52, No. 14

Znamenny Chant

Resurrectional Exaposteilarion

SATB

1

Ta030

Ta031

16

No. 15 - Bogorodichen

Concluding Sticheron to the Mother of God on the Praises

Op.52, No. 15

Znamenny Chant

Concluding Sticheron to the Mother of God on the Praises

SATB

3

Ta031

  • Ta031 search

    MR Ta031

Ta032

17

No. 16 - Velikoe slavoslovie

Great Doxology

Op.52, No. 16

Znamenny Chant

Great Doxology

SATB

9

Ta032

  • Ta032 search

    MR Ta032

Ta033

18

No. 17 - Vzbrannoi voevode

Kontakion to the Mother of God at the First Hour

Op.52, No. 17

Little Znamenny Chant

Kontakion to the Mother of God at the First Hour

SATB

2

Ta033

  • Ta033 search

    MR Ta033

Click [-] to hide