15 June 2011

This week's episode intimates a similarity between Byzantine chant and the devotional ceremonies of the Sufi mystics.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am

1. Disc Two: The Feast of Pentecost (rec. 2006)
Ioannas Arvanitis - cantor & director, Alexander Lingas - artistic director, Cappella Romana
Byzantium in Rome: Medieval Byzantine Chant from Grottaferrata
Cappella Romana, CR403-2CD
("The Abbey of Grottaferrata in the suburban hills of Rome has used the Byzantine Rite for over a millennium since its founding in 1004.... antedating the upheavals of the Fourth Crusade's sack of Constantinople in 1204." Sorry about that.)

Set #2 - 9:00am - 10:00am

2. Celebrations: Turkish Classical Music: Tribute to Yunus Emre
Nevzad Atliğ - conductor, National Choir of Turkish Classical Music
Auvidis, D 8303
(Poet and mystic Yunus Emre lived from ca. 1240-1321. "His poems... mainly concern divine love as well as human destiny." This is the first CD I illegally copied onto my iBook back in '01.)

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

3. Ioannis Koukouzelis: Kratime (14th cent.)
Lycourgos Angelopoulos - director, Greek Byzantine Choir
Ioannis Koukouzelis: The Byzantine Maestro
Jade, 73138 35809-2
(Kratime are "free compositions set to diverse syllables that make no sense, such as Te-ri-rem and Ne-ne-na and others, in lieu of a text.... [T]he substitution of free syllables to a text produces a psalmody similar to the unending psalmody of the angels in Heaven (a psalmody without words). Moreover, according to symbolic theology, it is meant to signify the incomprehensibility of the godhead." The cardiovascular workout of these choristers is up there in the marathon range.)

4. Bestenigar Pesrev (rec. 1974)

5. Mevlevi Whirling Dance (rec. 1974)

Tracks 4-5
Mevlevi Dervishes
Ecstatic Dances of the Whirling & Howling Dervishes of Turkey & Syria
ARC Music, EUCD 1580
(Aldous Huxley reminds us about the effect of extreme cantillation on the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. He posits that the increased level of CO2 lowers the efficiency of what he calls the "cerebral reducing valve", opening the door to visionary experience.... Only he's WRONG. Tune in to get the lowdown on hyperventilation.)

Where to buy CDs featured on today's show:
Cappella Romana - CD Universe
Tribute to Yunus Emre - out of print
Ioannis Koukouzelis: The Byzantine Maestro - CD Universe
Ecstatic Dances of the Whirling & Howling Dervishes - CD Universe

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