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Sacred Georgian Chants

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 18, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

In today's politically charged climate, Jade Music is releasing Sacred Georgian Chants, an album of chants from the war-torn region. The music reflects the vigor and beauty of polyphonic chants from one of the oldest Christian countries.

Georgian religious choir chant achieved its zenith in the 10th and 11th centuries. Chant techniques were developed and chant codified. It spread to Georgian monasteries in foreign lands such as Palestine, Bulgaria, and the Sinai desert. The Georgian Harmony Choir was founded in 2006 by Nana Peradze. Its members are passionate amateurs and professionals from Georgia. Its vocation is to raise the awareness of religious and popular
Georgian chant following tradition and authenticity. The Choir has performed in Belgrade (Serbia), Tbilisi (Georgia), and Paris.

Nana Peradze was born in 1968 into a religious family in Georgia. She received a chant and piano education and pursued theological studies. Since 1984, she has actively taken part in the religious rebirth of Georgia under communism, creating choirs in several monasteries and churches. From 1994 to 1997 she taught music in several religious schools and was the head of the choir at the Church St. Peter-And-Paul in Tbilisi.

In 1998 she went to France to follow choir conducting studies at the national conservatory of Paris. She then created the religious choir of the Georgian church in Paris before becoming the head conductor of the Choir Saint Symeon at the Serbian cathedral of Saint Sava in Paris in 2002. Liner notes by Georgian expert Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Georgian Harmony Choir
  • Conductor: Various
  • Composer: Sacred
  • Audio CD (November 18, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: JADE RECORDS
  • ASIN: B001FY7BAM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Apart from some masterpieces by Russian composers of the 19th- and 20th-century, the liturgical music of the Orthodox Church is not well known in the West. Perhaps one should say Orthodox Churches, as there are a number of independent, self-governing churches, usually linked to a particular country or region, with distinct traditions and customs, although united in faith and in communion with one another. The Georgian Orthodox Church, dating back to the 4th century, has developed and preserved a distinctive musical tradition based on three-part polyphony. Often the top two vocal lines interact in ways suggestive of, but different from, 16th-century Western vocal counterpoint, while the lowest voice combines aspects of both a Western bass line and the Byzantine ison, but is not the same as either.

The Georgian Harmony Choir, seven singers under the direction of Nana Peradze, makes a strong case for this music. Their singing is unforced and exceptionally well blended, with great accuracy of pitch and rhythmic precision. Their technique, however, never overshadows the music, which sounds as free and effortless as though it were being improvised on the spot. One can only imagine a worship service enhanced by such music.

The liner notes include a brief historical overview of Georgian church music and a sort biography of Nana Peradze. Unfortunately there are no notes on the individual pieces, which would have been interesting asnd helpful. The present Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, is himself a composer of liturgical chants. One wonders whether he's represented on this CD. At least one selection's harmonic progressions have a rather contemporary feel.
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This is sublime music, exquisitely performed. Whether you are of a religious bent or not the ethereal quality of these liturgical chants will not fail to elevate your spirit.

I do wonder, however, if the characteristic angular harmonies of Georgian polyphony have been softened for export. Certainly the addition of women's voices to music which had traditionally been performed only by male choirs enhances the beauty of the chants. Did director Nana Peradze take liberties with the harmonies as well?

Whether Ms. Peradze did or did not, however, taken for what it is rather than what it might otherwise be this music is still a delight to the ears and, I dare say, to the soul.
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This is not Georgian chant music! please, read it.I Think nana peradze is a opera singer :D If you want to hear real Georgian orthodox, chant music, listen ensambles: Rustavi, Anchis xati, Shavnabada, Kviria...etc...
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As a contemplative and a collector of good contemplative music, I find this to be a good introduction to Georgian chant, in particular, and and great addition to my music library!
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