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Mystirion Xenon (Preview)

by Christos Hatzis | for Choir (SATB) and digital audio

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PROMETHEAN EDITIONS

CHRISTOS HATZIS

Mystirion Xenon

Choir (SATB) and Digital Audio


Christos Hatzis

Mystirion Xenon

Choir (SATB) and Digital Audio

PROMETHEAN EDITIONS

WELLINGTON


Mystirion Xenon (PE112), for Choir (SATB) and Digital Audio by

Christos Hatzis (2011).

© Promethean Editions 2011

First edition © 2014 Promethean Editions Limited (201504)

Series Editor: Ross Hendy

Editor: Brad Jenkins

ISBN: 978-1-877564-17-8 (print)

ISBN: 978-1-77660-112-7 (ebook)

ISMN: 979-0-67452-211-3

Promethean Editions Limited

PO Box 10-143

Wellington

NEW ZEALAND

http://www.promethean-editions.com

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by

any means without permission in writing from the Publisher.

PE112 – ii


Christos Hatzis (1953)

Christos Hatzis is well known in Canada and internationally for his works. Covering a

vast range of styles and genres, his works have been recorded, performed and broadcast

throughout the world.

Hatzis was born in Volos, Greece, and his early music study took place at the Hellenic

Conservatory of Greece in his home town. He continued his studies in the United States,

where he earned degrees from Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York and SUNY at

Buffalo, New York. In 1982 he moved to Toronto, Canada, having decided that the country’s

multiculturalism was more suited to his own ethos. He became a Canadian citizen in 1985,

and joined the faculty of the University of Toronto in 1995.

Hatzis’ work has received a considerable amount of attention in recent years. With a large

number of presentations of his music in the Americas, Europe, the Middle-East and East

Asia every year, commissions by an international list of soloists and ensembles and several

recording projects by major labels, “Christos Hatzis is currently enjoying a growing international

reputation as one of the most important composers writing today” (CBC Records). The composer

is the recipient of several national and international distinctions, and a number of his works

are released on CD.

It is not unusual for a Hatzis work to become a signature piece for a soloist or an ensemble.

His Old Photographs and Dance of the Dictators have been performed by the Gryphon Trio

hundreds of times all over the world. There have also been an increasing number of all-Hatzis

programs during the past few years.

Hatzis’ music is inspired by proto-Christian spirituality, his own Byzantine music heritage,

world cultures and various non-classical music genres such as jazz, pop and world music. He

has created several works inspired by the music of the Inuit, Canada’s arctic inhabitants, and

his Inuit-inspired works, particularly the radio documentary Footprints in New Snow, have

PE112 – iii


promoted Inuit culture around the globe. His strongest inspiration is his own religious faith,

and his religious works have been hailed by critics and audiences alike as contemporary

masterpieces.

In addition to composing and teaching, Hatzis has written extensively about composition

and contemporary music. His writings have been published on Interface, Organized Sound

and Harmony, are increasingly translated into other languages and are frequently listed as

required reading for music courses in tertiary educational institutions.

Two of Hatzis’s works – String Quartet No.1: The Awakening (PE117) and Constantinople

– have earned him Juno Awards for Classical Composition of the Year (2006 and 2008,

respectively) by a Canadian composer. In 2008 Hatzis also received the Jan Matejcek Concert

Music Award, awarded to the most performed and broadcast Canadian composer of the year.

In 2010 Hatzis was commissioned by virtuoso violinist Hilary Hahn to write a new work for

violin and piano. The resulting work, Coming To (PE119), appears on Hahn’s album In 27

Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, which went on to win the 2015 Grammy Award for Chamber

Music / Small Ensemble Performance. A second commission from Hahn soon followed, with

Hatzis writing the hyper-virtuosic Dystopia (PE121) for solo violin.

In 2013 the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra commissioned

Hatzis to score a major new ballet work, Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. Hatzis

collaborated with award-winning aboriginal throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Steve Wood and the

Northern Cree Singers in creating the score for the groundbreaking production. The ballet’s

subject matter is close to the composer’s heart as it confronts the impact of the residential

school system on Canada’s aboriginal young people. Upon premiering in October of 2014,

Going Home Star received critical acclaim.

Most of Hatzis’ writings and other information about the composer can be found at

http://www.hatzis.com.

PE112 – iv


Mystirion Xenon (2011)

Mystirion Xenon (Greek for “Strange Mystery”) is a setting of the Eastern Orthodox nativity

chant by the same title.

Μυστήριον ξένον ορώ και παράδοξον!

ουρανόν το σπήλαιον·

θρόνον Χερουβικον την Παρθένον·

την φάτνην χωρίον εν ὧ ανεκλίθη ο αχώρητος,

Χριστός ο Θεός·

ὁν ανυμνούντες μεγαλύνομεν.

Mystirion ksenon orrho ke paradhokson!

ouranon to spilleon;

thronon Cherouvikon tin Par-thenon;

tin phatnin chorion en o aneklithi o achoritos,

Christos, o Theos;

on anymnountes meghalynomen.

I behold a strange and most wonderful mystery:

the cave has become the heavens;the Virgin the throne of the Cherubim;

the manger a contained space in which

Christ, the uncontainable God, is laid.

Him do we praise and magnify.

Christ is born. Amen.

The composer writes:

One of the most beautiful texts of the Greek Orthodox sacred literature, Mystirion Xenon

has been steadily invading my mind since the first year of my life and has become one of

my favourite chants – I sang it with relish every Christmas Eve, at church and at home.

The first phrase of the chant repeats twice in the tenors, over bass drones, before the entire

chant is heard. When this happens, the tenors and the altos sing the chant in canon at the

interval of a fifth, producing an austere and organum-like quality. This austerity is then

mellowed by a child-like refrain in the sopranos, on the English words “Christ is born.

PE112 – v


Amen.”, creating a cultural-linguistic counterpoint with the age-old chant and suggesting a

contemporary universality which is already hinted at by the cosmic grandeur of the Greek

texts.

This sense of universality is further amplified by the optional digital audio, which consists

of mildly processed saghroutah (Middle-Eastern ululations) and Tibetan overtone singing.

There is an esoteric Christian tradition that has Jesus as a young man studying under

important teachers in Persia, Egypt and as far away as India, from the time of his Bar

Mitzvah ceremony in Jerusalem until his ministry began roughly 18 years later in Galilee

(perhaps the magi who visited him during his birth were among the Master’s teachers).

These pre-recorded sounds comment discreetly on the music of the chant and help to

emphasize the import of an event that transcends the particulars of a system of organized

religion. They hint at a universality which is difficult to describe with words, or even with

musical sounds, although the latter gets closer to its essence than the former.

Mystirion Xenon was commissioned by the Association for Canadian Choral Communities

(ACCC) for the 2012 National Youth Choir of Canada. It received its premiere performance at

the St. James Anglican Church, Orillia, Ontario, Canada, on 12 May 2012.

Performance notes

Due to extensive division of the soprano and alto parts, this work requires a medium to large

choir.

This work is open to reinvention with each performance. In addition to, or instead of, the

musical elements already included in the digital audio cues, performers may incorporate

their own elements into the work, particularly in the sections where the tenors are silent.

These elements may include, but are not limited to, live saghroutah (Middle-Eastern

ululations), Tibetan overtone singing, or didgeridoos tuned to G2. Any number of double

basses and/or cellos may be incorporated, using touch harmonics moving along the G-string

to produce overtones, or to discreetly support the basses with their droning. If several

of these optional vocal and instrumental elements are available for a performance, the

conductor may choose to lengthen the sections between the chant entries (measures 3, 6–8,

15–17, 20, 23–25, 31–35 and 55) for as long as necessary in order to create passages that

elaborate on the meditative theme of the work.

PE112 – vi


General

• All glissandi begin immediately and last for the entire notated duration.

• The fermata at measure 55 should last approximately 22 seconds only if the supplied

digital audio is used. Otherwise, a standard fermata should be used

Sopranos and altos

• In mm.7–13, sing an “ah” sound throughout and close off the mouth with the palm of

the hand when the circles are filled in. When the mouth is closed off, the “ah” sound will

naturally modulate to an “oo” sound.

Basses

• Sing with the mouth almost closed and with a muted vowel. Some of the singers may

hum with a closed mouth.

• During the last four measures of the work, gradually close the mouth completely and

hum quietly.

Audio cues

Eight distinct audio cues, identified as “Audio Cue 1–8”, are provided on compact disc with

the score.

• q Cue point for digital audio. The number above each cue point in the score indicates

which audio cue is to be played.

• Some sections of the work require more than one audio cue to be playing at the

same time. Therefore, the audio cues should be copied to, and played from, audio

software capable of running multiple playheads or triggering multiple tracks to play

independently.

• Due to low-frequency sounds used in the digital audio, a stereo or Surround Sound

system with good low-frequency response is required.

• In performance, the perceived loudness of the audio cues should not overpower the choir.

PE112 – vii


CD tracklist

[1] Audio Cue 1

[2] Audio Cue 2

[3] Audio Cue 3

[4] Audio Cue 4

[5] Audio Cue 5

[6] Audio Cue 6

[7] Audio Cue 7

[8] Audio Cue 8

PE112 – viii


MYSTIRION XENON

Christos Hatzis

Soprano

& Y Y

Π= 60

Œ



1






Alto

Tenor

& Y Y

V Y Y

Œ

mp

œ


œ œ œ œ


œ . ˙


Ó Œ œ


œ œ œ œ œ

œ œ œ


˙

˙


Ó

Bass

4 4 4 ?

Y Y 4 Μυσ

Mys

Œ

-

-

τή

ti

-

-

ρι

ri

- -

- - -


ον

on

ξέ - νον

kse - non

p

w

Hmm

w

ο

or

-

-

ρώ

rho

w

και

ke

πα

pa

-

-

ρά

ra

w

-

-

δο

dho

-

-

ξον!

kson!

w

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

7

& Y Y

& Y Y

& Y Y

& Y Y

& Y Y

& Y Y








ppp


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mp

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mp

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(a) (oo) a (oo) a (oo) a (oo)

ppp


y œ y œ x œ y œ x

a (a) (oo) a (oo)

Œ

ppp


y œ y œ x

a

(a) (oo)

mp

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Ó

(a) (oo) a (oo) a (oo)

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˙

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.

a

# œ œ nœ

mp

œ y œ x œ y œ x ẏ

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mp

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.

a

(oo) a

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ppp

# ˙. Œ


.

3


ppp

ppp

ppp

Œ

A1

& Y Y




(a) (oo) a (oo) a (oo) a (oo)


a

ppp


y œ y œ x œ y œ x

A2

& Y Y





a (a) (oo) a (oo)

Ó

ppp

˙

n

y

a

A3

& Y Y






A4

A5

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& Y Y










ppp

T

V Y Y





Ó Œ œ y

a


B

?

Y Y

w

(Hmm)

w

w

w

w

Mystirion Xenon © 2011 Promethean Editions Ltd

This Edition © 2014 Promethean Editions Ltd PE112 – 1

ISMN: 979-0-67452-211-3


S

12

& Y Y



4






A1

& Y Y

mp

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œ


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A2

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a (oo) a (oo) a

mp

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y

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x

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y

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x

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y

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x

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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


a

.

- - - - - - - - - - -

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men

œ œ # ˙

men

ppp

˙

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A3

A4

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y

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x

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y

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x

a (a) (oo) a (oo)

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ppp


a

œ y

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mp

œ

y

œ

x

œ

y

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x ẏ

a (oo) a (oo) a

mp

œ y

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a (oo) a (oo) a (oo) a

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# ˙

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ppp

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A5

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.


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A6

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a

mp

œ y

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V Y Y






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Μυσ -

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(Hmm)

S

18

& Y Y


5








A

& Y Y








T

V Y Y

œ œ œ œ

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B

?

Y Y

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ti

w

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ρι

ri

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ον

on

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w

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-

νον

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w

ο

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pa

-

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ρά

ra

w

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ξον!

kson!

w

w

(Hmm)

PE112 – 2


S1

25

& Y Y

6


ppp


œ y œ x œ y œ x

a (a) (oo) a (oo)

mp

œ y œ x œ y œ x ẏ

a (oo) a (oo) a

œ


# œ œ

7


ppp

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S2

& Y Y

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ppp

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.


ppp

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a

S3

& Y Y


ppp


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mp

œ y œ x œ y œ x ẏ

ppp

œ œ œ Œ

a (a) (oo) a (oo)

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S4

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mp

œ œ y œ x œ y œ x œ y œ x

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ppp

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(a) (oo) a (oo) a (oo)

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S5

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a

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y

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x

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mp

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y

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x

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y

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ppp

˙ œ Œ

S6

& Y Y


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mp

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A1

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ppp


a

mp

œ y

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A2

& Y Y




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A3

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ppp


y

a

A4

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ppp

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A5

& Y Y




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ppp

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a

T

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?

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w

w

w

w

(Hmm)

PE112 – 3


S

29

& Y Y








A1

A2

A3

A4

A5

A6

T

B

& Y Y

& Y Y

& Y Y

& Y Y

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mp

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y

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a (a) (oo) a (oo)

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mp


mp

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mp

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w

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nw

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œ

Μυσ

Mys

œ

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Mys

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œ

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Mys

œ

Μυσ

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œ

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τή

ti

w

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mp

mp

mp

mp

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ον

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S

36

& Y Y


mp bell-like

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œ

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A

T

B

& Y Y

V Y Y

?

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œ œ œ

τή

ti

ρι

ri

œ œ œ

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-

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(Hmm)

- -

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νον

non

ον

on

j

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ο

or

-

-

Christ

œ œ n œ

ξέ

kse

is born,

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non

j

œ ‰ œ

ο

or

œ œ œ œ œ

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rho

w

-

-

και

ke

πα

pa

-

-

-

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œ œ œ œ œ

ρώ

rho

και

ke

πα

pa

œ œ j

œ œ œ . ≈

ρά

ra

w

-

-

δο

dho

-

-

ξον!

kson!

-

-

A - - - men.

œ œnœ

j

œ œ .


ρά

ra

δο

dho

ξον!

kson!

œ œ œ œ

ου

ou

w

-

-

-

-

-

-

ρα - νόν

ra - non

το

to

œ œ œ œ

ου

ou

ρα - νόν

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το

to

œ œ j

œ œ œ . ≈

σπή

spil

w

-

-

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-

λαι

le

-

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on;

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j ≈

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σπή

spil

λαι

le

ον,

on;

œ œ œ œ

θρό

thro

w

-

-

-

-

νον

non

-

-

Χε - ρου -

Che - rou -

PE112 – 4


S

A

T

B

42

& Y Y

& Y Y

V Y Y

?

Y Y


œ

œ¯

Christ is

œ - . ‰

born.

œ œ œ nœ

θρό - νον Χε - ρου

thro-non

Che - rou

œ œ œ œ œ

βι

vi

w

-

-

(Hmm)

κόν

kon

την

tin

-

-

˙- ˙-

A

œ

βι

vi

men.

œ œ œnœ

κόν

kon

œ œ œ œ œ

Παρ

Par

w

- -

-

-

- θέ

- the

-

-

την

tin

νον,

non;

˙

œ œ nœ

Παρ

Par

œ

w

- θέ

- the

Ó

œ œ

-

-

Œ Œ œ

νον,

non;

την

tin

œ


Œ Œ ‰ j œ

την

tin

œ œ œ œ

φάτ - νην

phat - nin

w

χω

cho

-

-



œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ≈ œ

φάτ - νην χω - ρί

phat-nin

cho -ri

œ œ œ

ρί

ri

w

-

-

ον

on

-

-

ον

on

j

œ ‰ œ

εν

en

εν

en

œ¯

œ¯

Christ is born,

œ - . ‰

œ œ œ œ œ œ

ώ

o

α

a

νε -

nek -

œ œ œ œ

ώ

o

w

α

a

-

-

-

-

νε -

nek -

S

A

48

& Y Y œ¯ œ¯ œ - . ‰

Christ is born.

& Y Y œ œ œ œ œ

˙- ˙-

A - - - men.

Christ is born, Christ is born. A - - - men.

j

œ œ œ œ . ≈ œ œ

˙

Ó

œ œ j

œ œ . ≈ œ

œ¯

œ¯

œ - . ‰

œ œ œ œ œ œ

œ¯ œ¯ . œ - ‰

j

œ . ≈œ œ œ

˙- ˙-

œ

œ œ œ œ œ

T

B

V Y Y

?

Y Y

κλί -

li -

θη

thi

œ œ œ

κλί

li

œ

-

-

θη

thi

œ

ο

o

α

a

œ œ œ

ο

o

˙

α

a

-

-

-

-

χώ

cho

ρη

ri

œ œ œ

χώ - ρη -

cho - ri

w

-

-

-

-

-

τος,

tos,

˙

τος,

tos,

α

a

-

-

χώ

cho

ρη

ri

τος,

tos,

œ Œ Œ œ

w

-

-

-

-

Χρι - στός ο

Chris - tos, o

Χρι - στός ο

Chris - tos, o

Θε

The

ός,

os;

œ œ œ œ œ

w

-

-

Θε - ός,

The - os;

ον

on

α - νυ

a - nym

œ ‰ œ œ œ

J

w

ον

on

α - νυ

a - nym

-

-

-

-

μνούν-τες

noun - tes

œ

μνούν-τες

noun - tes

w

με - γα -

me - gha -

œ œ œ œ œ

με - γα -

me - gha -

(Hmm)

S

54

& Y Y ˙ Ó

ritard.

8


c. 22"

U


Π= 60 ritard.

p dim.

œ¯

œ¯

œ -

. ‰

œ¯

œ¯

œ -

. ‰

œ¯

œ¯

U

Ó

œ¯

œ¯

U

Ó

Π= 40

pp

U

˙

Ó

A

T

& Y Y

˙

λύ

ly

-

- -

œ œ œ œ

νο

no

- - -

- - -

V Y Y œ œ œ œ œ œ

U

w

μεν.

men.

U

w

Christ is

w

w

born,

Christ is

born.

pp

˙ œ.


pp

˙ œ . ‰

Christ is

U


U


Christ is

U


U


w -

born.



U


U


B

λύ

ly

?

Y Y w

-

- -

(Hmm)

νο

no

- - -

- - -

μεν.

men.

U

w

w

w

gradually close the mouth

dim.

˙

U

˙

˙

U

˙

w

pp

U

˙

Ó

PE112 – 5


PROMETHEAN EDITIONS

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