Bulycheva Anna

Multichoir communional anthems part-song style: works by Vasily Titov, hierodeacon Isaur, and unknown authors

Bulycheva Anna (2020) "Multichoir communional anthems part-song style: works by Vasily Titov, hierodeacon Isaur, and unknown authors ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2020, vol. 37, pp. 81-99 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV202037.81-99


This article continues the work described in the publication “Vasily Titov’s Concertos for the Great Feasts: Russian Baroque Supercycle” on the identifi cation of part-song (Russ. партесный) supercycles, discovering and dating their sources. The article is devoted to the history of the multichoir communional anthems (причастные стихи) in the Baroque era. There is an opinion that by this time anthems had given way to a new genre, i.e. a part-song concerto. An analysis of the surviving manuscripts shows that this is not the case. There are dozens of communional anthems in part-song style for 8 and 12 voices. Alongside many seperate anthems, there are three cycles. The 8-voice cycle of eight or nine verses belongs to Vasily Titov and dates from the end of the 17th century according to the fi ligree in the earliest extant intra vitam copy. Hierodeacon Isaur is named in fi ve diff erent manuscripts as the author of a cycle of nine 12- part anthems for the whole week. All the extant sources are posthumous and date back to the 1750‒1790s by watermarks. The latest copies are the simplifi ed arrangements for 6 and 8 voices only. In four manuscripts, the structure of the cycle is identical. Probably, it accords with the author’s original plan. Any other works by Isaur are not known, biographical information about him has not survived either. The anonymous cycle of 12-part feast anthems in various copies includes up to fourteen works, its structure being very unstable. Its extant copies date back to the 1740‒1770s. Musical analysis shows that the duration of communional anthems was not less than that of part-song concertos, although their text is usually much shorter. Composers reached the concerto scale repeating words and the whole sections of the text much more intensively than it was accepted in the genre of concerto. The average duration of concertos may have served as a reference point.


Russian Baroque, communional cnthem, part-song concerto, Vasily Titov, Hierodiacon Isaur, Gerasim Zavadovsky, sources of the text, watermarks, cori spezzati, polyphonic technique


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Information about the author

Bulycheva Anna

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Art Criticism;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory; 13/6 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Str., Moscow 125009, Russian Federation;
Post: Associate Professor;
ORCID: 0000-0002-1163-7344;
Email: anna.bulycheva@inbox.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.