Art and Faith

Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Lord is Risen Indeed! William Billings

I received many nice responses from my fusion project involving an 18th century American hymn and Orthodox icons, so, here is a second effort. William Billings was the last prominent composer to work prior to the destruction of American sacred music during the Second Great Awakening. The harmonics, text, and a capella setting are all familiar to an Orthodox Christian. There are those doing their best to preserve this heritage. I give them my regards, wish them well, and extend to them my hope that they succeed in passing on the torch to a new generation.

This piece is sung by His Majesty’s Clerkes under the direction of Paul Hillier.

Zhuravli (The White Cranes). Dmitri Khvorostovsky


This is a beautiful and moving song from the Soviet era in honour of fallen veterans. It is elegiac, and it is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Dmitri Khvorostovsky sings it with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and The Style of Five accompany him.

This video has photographs of women who served in combat during the Second Great Patriotic War. It is my tribute to their courage and determination. Today, some 92,000 women serve in the Russian forces… a proud tradition continues!

Ura! Nash Konno-Grenadersky Polk! (Hurrah! Our Horse Grenadier Regiment!) Valaam Ensemble

A Russian soldiers’ song of the 18th century accompanied by Russian patriotic paintings depicting that period. It is performed a capella by the Valaam Ensemble.

Dmitri Belyukin. Portrait of Tsar St Nikolai, Tsaritsa St Aleksandra, and Grand Princess St Yelizaveta. 1993

Filed under: contemporary,fine art,historical,human study,portrait,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Portrait of Tsar St Nikolai, Tsaritsa St Aleksandra, and Grand Princess St Yelizaveta (Dmitri Belyukin, 1993)

As we saw in White Russia in Exile, Dmitri Belyukin is very interested in the theme of the White Guards. This work is in that mould. Tsaritsa St Aleksandra and Grand Princess St Yelizaveta were sisters, born in the minor German state of Hesse-Darmstadt. This picture is obviously set in the period before 1905, as the Tsaritsa became prematurely aged after the birth of Tsarevich St Aleksei due to the stress that his haemophilia placed upon her. In addition, at around the same time, St Yelizaveta lost her husband, Grand Prince Sergei Aleksandrovich, who was killed by a revolutionist assassin. After the period of mourning, she became a nun and founded the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow.

In short, this is a painting of the short summer of the early years of Tsar St Nikolai’s reign. That is well symbolised in the summer clothing and the fact that the tsar is sitting in a outdoor wicker chair. The winter was approaching, only they did not know it yet…

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