Kyrie in Honor of the Theotokos
  • Drake
    Posts: 162
    I'd like to share my latest composition. It is something very different. In it, I attempt to combine the sound of the Byzantine music of the Eastern Catholic Church with the polyphonic texture of the Latin or Western Catholic Church. The setting is for TBB and needs a good, large space with plenty of reverb. I may tweak some lyric placement, but I think the music itself is pretty stable. Free PDF and computer simulation at:

    Being an unusual synthesis of styles, I am interested in your opinion. Would you call it Byzantine polyphony?
  • Like everything you write, this is almost tearful.
    In all your work there is a seemingly mystical, distant quality, as something that approaches us from beyond.
    And, your synthesis of styles contributes to the 'otherness' of this experience.
    Thanked by 1Drake
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,743
    This is very moving, indeed.

    I do wonder if, since this work evokes the Byzantine musical idiom, the two Bass cadences ending on a D be taken down an octave (at least optionally), more in keeping with (at least the Slavic) Byzantine penchant for very low Bass notes. In the same vein, since the Bass divides on the final cadence (C/F), you might consider dividing a measure earlier with a sub-octave C for the 2nd Bass. If all this seems too low with the added low Bass notes, one might transpose it up a step.

    But, in any case, this is surely an excellent synthesis of Byzantine and polyphonic textures.
    Thanked by 1Drake
  • Drake
    Posts: 162
    Thank you, Mr. Giffen, for the suggestions! I definitely benefit from your experience and knowledge, as I have very little exposure to Byzantine music beyond a bit of Cappella Romana I've heard and a few YouTube videos here and there. I would not have known of the specifically Slavic usage of low notes, for example.

    I would not discourage anyone from doubling some of these notes down an octave if they have the singers for it. The current group I am primarily writing for does not have strength at the extreme low end, so I am generally sensitive to that limitation in what I compose.

    Thank you and MJO for the kind words and feedback!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen