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Welcome to the 8th edition of the International Masterclass of Byzantine Chant from Iași!

masterclass de cant bizantin iasi 2013
masterclass de cant bizantin iasi 2013

This year, the organisers of the Masterclass of Byzantine Chant have prepared a special edition, which tackles the papadic genre from a practical, theoretical and historical perspective. Through this topic, we conclude the cycle of the three years in which we have presented the Byzantine compositional genres, maximizing now the deep understanding of interpretative acts through the prism of the ”master-disciple” relation.

The special guest of the current edition is Panagiotis Neochoritis –arepresentative figure among chanters of church music in Greece, a master in the full acceptation of this calling, a symbol of discreetly expressed professionalism and a faithful preserver of tradition, along the stylistic filiation of his own master, Tsamkiranis (Kavala, Greece). The renowned protopsaltis of the Metropolitan Cathedral from Neapolis (Thessaloniki) is accompanied by his lampadarios, Dimos Papatsalakis, and some of the chanters and instrumentalists of the “St. Romanos the Melodist” Association. Mr. Panagiotis Neochoritis’ teaching method is grounded in the fundamental principle of each person’s uniqueness, depending on which he personalises his pedagogical acts. What are the elements behind a single musical score, what secrets can a disciple find out from a master so that a simple troparion would become a chant with “style” and “spirit”, how should a lesson for an advanced learner be structured, by comparison with one for a beginner, or for a lay learner vs for a monk? These are questions whose answers we hope to find from the current edition’s special guest.

MCB ’15 main activities comprise practical and theoretical courses, conferences and participation in the vigil service. Practical courses, given by protopsaltis Panagiotis Neochoritis, are structured on two levels (intermediate and advanced) and they are run alternatively, thus allowing the (passive or active) participation in any of them. The Small Ensemble, addressed to participants with an advanced level of psaltic interpretation of Byzantine notation, is the key activity through which we wish to ensure an elitist level for the event. The Large Ensemble represents the practical course where all participants will experiment the interpretation of papadic pieces in a slow, average or fast rhythm. In addition, the Feminine Ensemble (conductor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maria Alexandru) brings into discussion the challenges of psaltic interpretation from a feminine perspective. This year’s surprise is the presence, in Iasi, of the Greek Feminine Choir and of its conductor, Ms Miriam Marinou.

The musical paleography course (run by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maria Alexandru) presents, in an interactive manner, the historical development and the characteristic feature of the papadic genre. The kanonaki course (run by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maria Alexandru) is an a emblematic activity of the Iași Masterclass, which aims to instruct in the art of handling this age-old instrument and to educate one’s hearing with the non-temperate sonorities of the universe of Byzantine chants.

Musicological presentations and conferences (The Musical Paleography team of the “Aristotelis” University from Thessaloniki, the “Floralia” psaltic group of the “George Enescu” University of Iași, Deac. Cornel Coman, Univ. Instr. Adrian Sîrbu, Phd candidate) tackle captivating topics such as the transcription of papadic pieces in the new notation, Chrysanthos’ reform in Constantinople and in the Romanian Principalities, the music dedicated to Military Saints or the effects of psaltic music on the human psyche and spirit.

The vigil service is the most important liturgical moment in the programme, when course participants will practice the observance of authentic musical-liturgical rules and will sink down into the depth of prayer.

Hoping that you will find our offer both rich and inspiring, we are joyfully welcoming you at MCB ’15!

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