Psalmodia’s Christmas Carols Concert at NEC

13 December 2023

We are delighted to share with you the Christmas carols concert given by the Byzantine music Choir “Psalmodia” at New Europe College on 13 December 2023.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Founded in 1988 by Professor Sebastian Barbu-Bucur (1930-2015), with the support of the Romanian Patriarchy, the Byzantine music Choir “Psalmodia” began its journey alongside the revival of the Religious Music studies in 1990, at the National University of Music Bucharest (UNMB). Its leader, archdeacon and professor Sebastian Barbu-Bucur, driven by the belief that “Byzantine music is aimed to reach the human soul”, played a pivotal role in shaping “Psalmodia” into the only Romanian choir that revealed the heritage of the monodic Byzantine music, both from Romania and Mount Athos. As a result, “Psalmodia” gained international recognition through concerts in Greece, Italy, and Israel. Currently, the choir is conducted by Professor Nicolae Gheorghiță, vice-rector of National University of Music, Archdeacon Gabriel Constantin Oprea, one of the most successful sacred music performers in Romania, and Cătălin Cernătescu, researcher in Byzantine musicology at UNMB and fellow at NEC.

“Psalmodia”‘s Christmas repertoire included Byzantine hymns, traditional Christmas carols and so called “star chants”:

-The Kontakion for the Nativity of Christ, in Greek and Romanian, Romanos the Melodist, 6th c.
-“Cel făr’ de-nceput” [The Beginningless], Byzantine Christmas carol, Anonymus, 17th c.
-“Nouă azi ne-a răsărit” [It rose to us today], star chant gathered by Anton Pann (1797-1854) and published in 1830
-Carol from Ardeal, gathered by George Breazul (1887-1961) and published in 1938
-“Oaspeți cu azur în gene” [Guests with azure in their eyelashes], on a text written in 1944 by Nichifor Crainic (1889-1972)
-“Pe plai înflorit” [On the flowery land], folk carol
-“Colindița” [Little Carol], traditional greeting carol