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This comprehensive study is intended to serve not only as a standard reference work but also as the cornerstone and inspiration for future research into the music of the Russian Orthodox Church. As its author emphasizes, the music of the Orthodox Church cannot be understood in purely aesthetic categories, apart from the liturgical context which determines both its context and its function. Accordingly, this first volume examines not only the early history of Russian chant, but also the structure of Orthodox worship and the poetical forms of its hymnography.
Dr. Johann von Gardner, the eminent Russian-born musicologist, holds the Chair of Russian Liturgical Music at the University of Munich. Over the past fifty years he has written over 300 articles on liturgical music as well as several scholarly books. Russian Church Singing represents the culmination of his scholarly labors.Also available from SVS Press: Russian Church Singing, vol. II.
St Vladimir's Seminary Press publishes a wide selection of books on Orthodox theology, worship, history, spirituality and art. These include such works as Theology of the Icon by Leonid Ouspensky, an illustrated exploration of the Orthodox understanding of the icon; Introduction to Liturgical Theology by Alexander Schmemann, which studies the ordo or "shape" of Orthodox worship and its historical evolution from its beginnings down to the Byzantine synthesis of the ninth through twelfth centuries; Nicholas Cabasilas' Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, a classic expression of Byzantium's last great flowering of theology; and The Russians and Their Church by Nicholas Zernov, a popular survey of the entire scope of Russian Church history. All four books provide further insights into the life and thought of the Orthodox Church.