“O Joyful Day,” Anonymous Slavic 17th century motet trans. Mark Bailey


American Baroque Orchestra
Mark Bailey, artistic director

From a live 2013 performance entitled, “Music across the Nations,” this Slavic part-song or kant is arranged for two instrumental groupings that trade musical lines, and then play as a united ensemble for the final time. These part songs reveal the first significant wave of western music to influence regions such as Ukraine and Russia. They were sung para-liturgically, i.e. based on sacred themes but not designed in the church service per se. Because they were strophic and tuneful, part songs were very popular for many decades. They lend themselves quite well to instrumental ensembles and likely were played that way as well.

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