Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir

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The '''Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir''' is a choir composed of Orthodox Christian singers in the New York - New Jersey - Pennsylvania area of the United States. It is committed to singing in the English language the great works of Orthodox music that glorifies God and expresses the Orthodox faith, thus opening the treasury of Orthodox music to the community.  
 
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[[Image:P-PCathSP.JPG|Right|thumb|200px|Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia.]]
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The '''Cathedral of Ss Peter and Paul''', the oldest church in St. Petersburg, is located within the Peter and Paul Fortress on an island near the northern bank of the Neva River. The [[cathedral]] was built under the direction of Tsar Peter I in the early eighteenth century and became the burial place for members of the Romanov dynasty. The original wooden [[church]] was the first church in the city of St. Petersburg where it remained as the current stone church was built around it.
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==History==
 
==History==
Soon after establishing the fortress on Hare (Enisaari) Island near the mouth of the Neva River Tsar Peter I directed the building of a church, dedicated to the [[Apostle]]s [[Apostle Peter|Peter]] and [[Apostle Paul |Paul]], within the fortress. Construction of the original wooden church began on [[June 29]], 1703. This church was consecrated by Metropolitan [[Job of Novgorod]] on [[April 1]], 1704 in the presence of Tsar Peter I and soon became an important social and spiritual center in the new city.
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The Spirit Of Orthodoxy Choir was established in 1997 under the direction of Aleksei Shipovalnikov. The choir consists of singers from various [[parish]]es and [[jurisdiction]]s who are dedicated to church singing and who desire to be witnesses to the faith through music.
 
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On Tsar Peter’s birthday, [[May 30]], 1712, construction of the current building, a stone church, began on the same site. The new building, that was the first stone church in St. Petersburg, was built around the wooden church. The wooden church remained in use until it was dismantled and moved to a different site in 1718-1719. The architect of the new church was Domenico Trezzini, the designer of the Peter and Paul Fortress, who continued the direction of construction on the island until 1732.  
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With Peter I’s death, the cathedral inherited its role as the burial place of the Romanov rulers. After his death on [[January 28]], 1725, Peter’s body was kept in a temporary wooden chapel for six years until it was interred in the new stone cathedral on [[May 29]], 1931, thus establishing the cathedral as the imperial sepulcher. Today, there are thirty two graves in the cathedral, although the one for the Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgiyevna, daughter of King George I of Greece, is empty after her body was reburied in Athens, Greece in 1939.
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[[Image:P-PCathInsideSP.JPG|left|thumb|150px|The nave of the Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia]]
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On the feast day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, [[June 29]], 1733, the cathedral was [[consecration of a church|consecrated]] in the presence of the Empress Anna, the court, and the diplomatic corp. The cathedral became the chief place of worship in the city for many years until it became a court cathedral.
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[[Image:P-PAngelSP.JPG|right|thumb|150px|The angel on bell tower spire of the Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral]]
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Over the years changes have been made to the cathedral that have altered it from that envisioned by Trezzini. Late in the eighteenth century, porticos were added to the west and south entrances. The cathedral remained unheated until provisions were added for heating the building in 1811. In 1873, a fresco of Christ with the Apostles Peter and Paul was added to the eastern façade of the cathedral. The most notable changes have been to the bell-tower. Originally built of wood, the tower suffered from hurricane force winds, lightening strikes, and fires that seriously damaged the tower on occasions and required replacement of the weather-vane angel. During the period of 1857 - 1858, the present angel was installed as part of the replacement of the wooden tower, that was also showing rot, with a metal one that also increased the height of the bell-tower to just over 400 feet (122.5 meters).
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[[Image:P-PCathTombs.JPG|left|thumb|150px|The graves of the Romanov dynasty in the St Peter and Paul Cathedral.]]
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Late in the nineteenth century concern arose that there would be insufficient room in the cathedral for future imperial burials. To provide for future burial sites, the Grand Ducal Burial Chapel was built as an annex at the east end of the cathedral. The design of the [[chapel]] included provision for sixty burial chambers. The chapel was consecrated in the name of St. Alexander Nevsky on [[November 5]], 1908. The first burial in the chapel was three days later when Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich was interred. By 1916, thirteen members of the Romanov family were buried in the chapel. No further burials were made until [[May 29]], 1992 when the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillivich and his wife Victoria Fiodorovna were reburied from Coburg, Germany in accordance with his will. In 1998, the remains of the [[martyr]]ed Emperor [[Nicholas II of Russia|Nicholas II]] and his family were buried in the St. Catherine Side-Chapel of the cathedral.
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==Architecture==
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The Cathedral of Ss Peter and Paul reflects Peter I’s interests in Western Europe. The appearance of the cathedral followed the early Baroque style as Trezzini executed Peter’s desires. In this, the design of the cathedral borrowed much from the protestant churches of western Europe, particularly Dutch architecture. The basic execution of Peter’s ideas was accomplished between 1722 and 1727 by a team of over forty architects from Moscow under the leadership of Ivan Zarudny that combined Lutheran architectural elements with icons painted in the Western style of the [[Roman Catholic]] church.
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[[Image:P-PRoyDoorSP.JPG|right|thumb|150px|The Royal Doors of the Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral]]
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Over the years the interior decoration has been refurbished often as temperature and humidity have been the enemy especially of the woodcarvings in the cathedral. The composition of the [[iconostasis]] frame by Trezzini, that he drew from the western European Baroque concepts, was implemented in Moscow by a team of woodcarvers under Ivan Zarudny, then shipped to St. Petersburg, and assembled in the cathedral. The arrangement of the figures ([[icon]]s) on the iconostasis was drawn up by Peter I and Archbishop of Novgorod, Theophanes Prokopovich. The set of forty three icons for the iconostasis was created by the Moscow iconographer A. Merkuryev (Pospelov) and his team. Ravished by the hard climate in St. Petersburg, the wooden Royal Doors were replaced in 1866 with exact copies that were cast in bronze and then gilded.
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[[Image:P-PCathPulpitSP.JPG|left|thumb|150px|The pulpit in the Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral.]]
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Among the innovations in the cathedral was the pulpit placed on the left column on the left side of the Royal Doors. The addition of the pulpit, that was installed before the consecration of the cathedral, was noted, contemporarily, as out of the ordinary for an Orthodox church.
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The paintings within the cathedral have been refurbished repeatedly. The fresco of the Holy Spirit, depicted in the dome as a dove, has been repainted many times. Surviving from the original decoration of the interior are the seven paintings of the cycle on ‘‘The Passions of Christ’‘, rendered between 1729 and 1732 by the Russian painters Andrei Matveyev and Vasily Ignatyev and the Swiss George Gsell. In 1877, a set of sixteen paintings were created in the drum under the dome that depict subjects from the [[Old Testament|Old]] and [[New Testament]]s. Also, during the 1870s new paintings were created in the central and side [[aisle]]s by the painters Ksenofontov and Boldoni. Even with the all the refurbishing the interior decoration of the cathedral has, on the whole, remained largely unaltered from its original appearance.  
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==Sources==
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These music selections represent three schools of Russian Church music and have been sufficiently translated into English. Some of the choir's repertoire has been unheard in the West. The Choir sings chiefly in English but also performs music in [[Church Slavonic]]. Their repertoire witnesses to the range and quality of the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church. Their singing is a capella, without instrumentation. This is typical of the Orthodox Church, where the human voice and soul are invaluable in worship.
*M. Makogonova (trans. P. Williams), ''The Peter and Paul Fortress'', Ivan Fiodorov Art Publishers, St. Petersburg,  ISBN 5-93893-263-7
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*[[w:Peter_and_Paul_Cathedral]]
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*[http://www.saint-petersburg.com/cathedrals/Peter-Paul-Cathedral.asp  Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul]
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==External link==
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==Director==
*[http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/hornton/890/Petersbourg/PeterPaul.html  St. Peter and Paul Cathedral]
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Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov was born in Rostov on the Don and studied composition, polyphony and conducting at the Gnesin Sate Conservatory and the Moscow Institute of Culture. His post-graduate studies included a master class with Leonard Bernstein in 1988. He served as Artistic Director and Manager of the Moscow State University Symphony Orchestra and Academic Choir and has conducted in the Soviet Union, West Germany and Poland. He established a reputation during the Communist era for innovative programming in spite of the political risks involved. In 1990 he moved to the United States, where he has served as Choir Director of Christ the Savior Church, San Francisco and Music Director of Slavyanka Men's Slavic Chorus. He was Professor of Liturgical Music at [[St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania)|St. Tikhon's Seminary]], South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He is currently Music Director at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Jersey City, New Jersey.
  
[[Category: Churches|Peter]]
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[[Category:Church Music]]
[[Category: Russian Churches|Peter]]
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[[Category:Organizations]]

Latest revision as of 08:33, March 10, 2012

The Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir is a choir composed of Orthodox Christian singers in the New York - New Jersey - Pennsylvania area of the United States. It is committed to singing in the English language the great works of Orthodox music that glorifies God and expresses the Orthodox faith, thus opening the treasury of Orthodox music to the community.

History

The Spirit Of Orthodoxy Choir was established in 1997 under the direction of Aleksei Shipovalnikov. The choir consists of singers from various parishes and jurisdictions who are dedicated to church singing and who desire to be witnesses to the faith through music.

These music selections represent three schools of Russian Church music and have been sufficiently translated into English. Some of the choir's repertoire has been unheard in the West. The Choir sings chiefly in English but also performs music in Church Slavonic. Their repertoire witnesses to the range and quality of the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church. Their singing is a capella, without instrumentation. This is typical of the Orthodox Church, where the human voice and soul are invaluable in worship.

Director

Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov was born in Rostov on the Don and studied composition, polyphony and conducting at the Gnesin Sate Conservatory and the Moscow Institute of Culture. His post-graduate studies included a master class with Leonard Bernstein in 1988. He served as Artistic Director and Manager of the Moscow State University Symphony Orchestra and Academic Choir and has conducted in the Soviet Union, West Germany and Poland. He established a reputation during the Communist era for innovative programming in spite of the political risks involved. In 1990 he moved to the United States, where he has served as Choir Director of Christ the Savior Church, San Francisco and Music Director of Slavyanka Men's Slavic Chorus. He was Professor of Liturgical Music at St. Tikhon's Seminary, South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He is currently Music Director at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Jersey City, New Jersey.

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