For free: Liturgical music Tchaikovsky

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Posted by K on June 30, 2003 at 23:33:51:

The first instalment of a, hopefully, longer series of instrumental arrangements of the liturgical music by Peter Tchaikovsky, all of it originally written for mixed a cappella choir.

I will let the preface present the 8 four-part scores, which all come separate files. All in .pdf format:

“Simbol very: Veruju” and “Posle Simbola very: Svjat”

“Credo: I believe” and “After the Credo: Holy”

Composed for 4-part mixed choir by Peter Tchaikovsky as the choruses ## 8 and 9 for the Chrysostomos liturgy from opus 41 (1878). Edited for various instrumental ensemble constellations by Klaus Bjerre (2003).

Several decades ago this editor was breath-taken by hearing some of Tchaikovsky’s liturgical music for 4-part mixed choir on the radio, which makes the delivery time of this edition quite long. But here a bit of this wonderful music comes:

The rhythm is clearly built on basis of the text, so the articulation shall be a clear portamento with micro-dynamics outlining the rhythm. The original key of G major is kept in all of these 8 quartet scores and parts provided for these ensemble types, so that they can be mixed in larger ensembles in schools, churches, and community contexts:
Brass Quartet: 2 trumpet in C and 2 bass clef concert trombones (or trombone and bass tuba). This score would be the easi-est one from which to lead mixed ensembles. Oboes can read from the trumpet parts.
Brass Quartet: 2 Bb cornets and 2 Bb treble clef euphoniums. Can be used in brass band contexts with the Eb version.
Brass Quartet: 4 horns in F. This setting hardly can be performed but by quartets excelling in “Konzertstück”, but the lower parts will work fine in mixed ensembles. The occasional cor de anglais can read from the 2nd horn part.
Brass Quartet: Eb cornet, 2 Eb alto horns, and treble clef Eb tuba. Hardly a stand-alone formation, but this version can be used in brass band contexts and by Eb saxophones/clarinets.
Clarinet Quartet: 2 Bb soprano clarinets, Eb alto clarinet (with a substitution part for 3rd Bb clarinet), and Bb bass clarinet.
String Quartet: 2 violins, viola, and cello.
There are no string bass or contrabass tuba parts, as these choruses are not out of a tradition with doublings in the lower oc-tave.
For doublings in the upper octave there are these two settings, which can be used for each their own stand-alone formation:
Recorder Quartet: SATB. The alto part is provided in transposed and loco octave versions.
Flute Quartet: SSSA.

Tchaikovsky on a few occasions in the first chorus exploits the options of letting the voices in the choir split into divisi to achieve a denser sound texture. However this fine music can be performed by quartets, if these directions are observed:
In the Soprano voice the upper note in bar #4 shall be played. In larger ensembles about 2 thirds of the players should play the upper note and the remaining third should play the lower note.
In the Alto voice the lower note in bar #97 shall be played. In larger ensembles about 2 thirds of the players should play the lower note and the remaining third should play the upper note.
Originally the Tenor voice has no divisi, but some have been added to help out the Bass voice. In quartet contexts the upper note shall be played in bar #4, whereas the lower notes shall be played in bars ## 97 and 98.
In larger ensembles the upper Tenor and lower Bass note are the important ones in bar #4. A very few players from each part should play the common “middle” note (G concert). In bars ## 97 and 98 both of the bass voices and the lower tenor voice are the more important ones. This can be resolved by letting the majority of the Basses as well as the majority of the Tenors play their respective lower notes.

This edition can be used free of charge, but reports on readings and performances would be nice (end of quote).

The music files can be found at this page:

Klaus Bjerre
Retired teacher
Free music files in .pdf format:
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