Music » Cd's » Joyous Light

Odzuni hour
Joyous Light (2001)
(CBC recordings) - To mark the 1700th anniversary of Christianity as Armenia's state religion many festivities took place, among them was production of a CD named Joyous Light, which has been recorded by CBC record (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)on 2002.The songs and original music of the CD are drawn from the liturgy of The Armenian Church. Orchestration and arrangements have been done by Petros Shoujounian. The Soprano was Isabelle Bayrakdarian with Elmer Isler Singers. Chamber orchestra was conducted by Raffi Armenian. Homage to Maryvonne Kendergi/an Musician and friend of Art Preview of the CD by Radio Canada.

Where are you O mother?
(1' of 5')

Where are you, my most beloved mother?
Your tender motherly love I fervently seek.

My eyes are filled with bitter tears.
I have no one to comfort me.

Mother, where are you?
Please come and quench my thirst.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: In the Armenian Church, the night from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday is kept as a vigil and for devotional meditation. This is the night of Tenebrae. Sin, evil and death reach their culmination. The world, which prefers darkness over good, death or life, has its way. Desiring to remain in the darkness, men chose to kill the light.

At midnight, as the lights of the church gradually extinguished, the reel ‘‘mood’’ of the ceremony, which is one sorrow and destitution, is expressed by the singing of this melody, which symbolizes the final contemplation of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.

Lyrics and music: Unknown, late middle ages.
Arrangement and orchestration: P. Shoujounian

You are a Profound Mystery
(1' of 3'46")

O God, You are a profound mystery,
Incomprehensible and without beginning.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: This hymn of vesting is sung preceding the Holy Liturgy. In the Armenian Church, before engaging in a sacred sacrificial service, both the celebrant priest and the congregation are asked to prepare themselves in mind, spirit and body. While the celebrant is in private preparing and purifying himself by confession of sins and by the donning of protective vestments to repel evil, the faithful, with bowed heads, prepare themselves for the service of God and derive spiritual nourishment from this hymn.

Lyrics and music: Khacadour Vartabed OD Daron, 12TH-13TH centurries
Arrangement: Gomidas Vartabed
Orchestration: P. Shoujounian

We celebrate...
(1' of 3'33")

Today, with all the heavenly hosts,
We celebrate Your resurrection.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Chosen of God
(1' of 2'30")

Chosen of God, O blessed holy priest,
You resemble Aaron,
And Moses the Prophet,
Who prepared the garments
Which Aaron always wore.
He fashioned the robe of linen
Woven of four elements:
In scarlet, blue, gold and purple.

Listen to first minute of the Track

My Heart Trembles
(1' of 2'31")

My Heart Trembles,
Fear clutches me on account of Judas.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: On the evening of Maundy Thursday, a service of washing of the feet takes place in Armenian church, held in memory of Lords action on that day and on his command(John 13:14). After the actual ceremony, some of the most melodious hymns of Armenian Church are sung focusing on mystery of the day. The deeds of the Lord, the inquiry of man, and the state of awe, shame and sorrow are commemorated in the singing of this hymn.

Lyrics and Music: Mekhitar Vardabed of Ayrivank, 13th century
Arrangement & Orchestration: P. Shoujounian

Entrance to Tabarnackle
(1' of 4'24")

When you enter into the holy tabernacle,
Therein remember those of us
Who have fallen asleep.

When you offer this obligation,
Remember me also, a man of many sins.

Listen to first minute of the Track

The Fowl
(1' of 5'02")

The fowl, the fowl awoke,
And watched the Gentiles.
He called, he called to the dove,
To his beloved, nurtured in love.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: These are the first lines of a poem by ST. Gregory of Nareg depicting, through the allegory of the love of the fowl towards the dove, love of the Risen Lord towards the Church saved by His blood.

Lyrics and music: ST. Gregory of Nareg, 10TH century
Arrangement and orchestration: P. Shoujounian

The Mother of the Lord
(1' of 3'04")

The mother of the Lord
Facing her Son on the cross,
The mother of Lord stood sadly, And hearing him crying out from thirst,
She lamented in suffering,
Looked at the crown of Thorns,
She mourned and bewailed;
“Woe is me! the light of my eye, O Jesus my child,
If only I could die for you”

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: From Armenian Old manuscripts dated 5th century to be verified by...

A Masterpiece of musical craftsmanship, this an Armenian equivalent of STABAT MATER,
Lyrics and Music: unknown, Middle ages
Arrangement and Orchestration: P. Shoujounian

Be Delighted O Holy Church...
(1' of 1'56")

Be delighted Holy Church
Since Christ the King of Heaven
Today has adorned you with His Cross
And has ornated your edifice
With His magnificent glories.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Lyrics and music: Sahag Bartev, 4-5TH centuries
Arrangement and orchestration: P. Shoujounian

(1' of 5'31")

You are Holy, O Father.
You are Holy O Son,
You are Holy O Spirit.
Glory be to the father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
Now and always and forever, Amen

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: During the Armenian Liturgy service, this hymn represents the final statement of the Trinitarian of the formula under which the Church operates as the true body of the Christ. It is song at the conclusion of the holy liturgy service, and the priest and the faithful join in giving glory, blessing and thanks to the Holy Trinity, the Creator and the Sustainer of our lives and of universe.

Lyrics & Music: unknown 4th and 5th century
Arrangement: Margar Yegmalian
Orchestration: P. Shoujounian

O Gardender
(1' of 3' 19")

"O gardener, tell me, where did they take Jesus?
Whom, it seems to me, you resemble so much."

"Don’t weep, O woman; I am the living One.
Come and see the marks of my wounds
Caused by the people of Israel."

Christ is risen, Christ is awakened.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: This little poem recounts the encounter of Mary Magdalene with the risen Lord Jesus whom she had taken for the gardener, before Jesus revealed Himself as the living One.

Lyrics and music: Unknown, middle ages
Arrangement: Archbishop Z. Aznavorian

The Lords Prayer
(1' of 2'07")

The Lords Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
But Deliver us from Devil.

Listen to first minute of the Track

Historical highlight: Christianity was introduced in Armenia as early as in the first century by the apostles St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew. The earlier converts were persecuted, particularly by King Sanatruk who did not even spare his own daughter, Sandukht, who met a martyr's death. It was St. Gregory the Illuminator, however, who achieved the Christianization of Armenia. His sufferings and testimony were instrumental in converting the king Trdat III, who issued, in 301 AD, an edict declaring Christianity to be the state religion of Armenia, followed by a mass baptism of the entire royal household, the nobility and the people in the Euphrates river. There are several musical settings from Lords prayer in the Armenian tradition, each in different liturgical context. All belong to unknown authors, from the 4th century onward. This variant is sung during the liturgy service.

Lyrics: The Bible
Music: Unknown , 4-5th century
Orchestration: P. Shoujounian